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Abbeys privileged 247 

Acts of Penecutions in Scotland 399 

Alfred the Great; his Laws 3d 

Altars turned to Tables 482 

Amusements abolished 497 

Assassination Plot ' . 650 

Aogustin, St, comes to England 5 

Bartow, William, character of, 574 

Beaton, Cardinal, murder of, 356 

Bible, Widcliffe's Translation of the, .... 04 

Bird, John, character ef, 574 

Biihops di^laced by Mary 573 

Boleyn, Anne ....... 134, 169, 193 

Eiecutlonoi; . . ' . . . . 218 

Bomier, BiAop, . 587 

Boulogne lost 470 

Bnmet's character of Reformers ..... 423 

Bush, Paul, character of, 674 

Buchanan, George, character of, 382 ' 

Catholicism introduced into England .... 5 

Cstholic Religion, efficacy of, 10 

R»-established 577v, 

Catharine, Queen, marriage of, 131 

Trial of, ....... 144 

Speech of, . . . ^ . • . ib. 

Celibacy of Clergy . 17 

Christian Saxons, character of, .... . . 9 

Churches stripped 438 

Cleves, Anne o^ 809 

Cobham, Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester • . . 91 

Constance, Council of, ....... Ill 

Collier on the Monasteries 256 

Confocation, debates of the, 270 

ConsdeDce, liberty of, granted by Mary .... 545 

Conilrmation defended by the Fathers . . • • 452 

Conversion of England 1' 

Courtney oonspii-es against Mary ..... 559 

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Covenant, Scotch, 392 

Cranmer 156,192,198,217,309,829 

Holds the Doctrine of Divine Right . . 408 

Ecclesiastical code 457 

Cromwell, account of, 326,205,309 

Cross, sign of the, defended by the Fathers . . . 446 

Damley, Henry, blown up d8i^ 

Dissolution of Religious Establishments .... 43*2 

Divisions among the Reformers 479 

Divorce, observations on, 152 

Doctrines disputed . 278 

Dttgdale's account of the destruction of the Monasteries . . 234 
Edward YI., proceedings of, 397 

Prayer of, . 504 

Elizabeth, Queen, a persecutor of conscience . . . 549 
Conspires against Mary . . . .571 

England, deplorable state of, 486 

Extreme Unction defended by the Fathers .... 454 

Excommunication 483 

Fasting enacted by Parliament . 449 

Farrar, Robert, character of, ..... . . . 574 

Fire of London 629 

Fisher, Bishop, 206 

Speech of, in Convocation .... 272 
Forgery peculiar to the Reformation . . . » 390 

Foreign troops introduced > - . 442 

Gardiner, Bishop, 5o9;5aE7 

Gates, Sir John, speech of, at execution 587 

Gregory the Great meditates the conversion of England. . . 4 

Gregory VII. and Henry VI . . 27 

Grey, Lady Jane, proclaimed Queen . . > -.> 580 

Gunpowder Plot ^ ^ 6:^ 

Hseretico comburendo 591 

Heretics burnt by Cranmer ■ ., . 473 

Henry Vin., scruples of, 133 

Speech of, ....... HO 

. . Marries Anne Boleyn 169 

Character of, 334 

Funeral of, * 407 

Holgate, character of, 573 

Iconoclasts, the, 401 

Insurrections of the people 464 

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Ingelbnrga and Philip of France 
Inndvations, supposed, in religion 

Irish Massacre 

Jtim, king of England, surrenders his crown 
Kett's insnrrection in Norfolk 
Knox, John, character of, • 

LangtODy Cardinal, .... 

Libraries destroyed .... 
Ldngard on Catharine's marriage 
liturgy. Reformed, set forth 
Lollards, persecution of the, 
Lather, progress of the doctrine of^ 
Martyrdoms, pretended. 
Marriage of clergy legalized 
Muy, Queen, accession of, ... 

Crowned . . . 

Described by Burnet 

Vindicated ... 

Marriage of. 

Terms of treaty of marriage. 

Entry into London 

Character of, 

Resigns the Church property 
• Described by Mr. firewer . 
MtLTj, Queen of Scots, treatment of, . 
Monasteries, destruction of, 
Ho^Q^^ir Thomas, . 
tturray. Earl, character of, 
Northumberland, duke of, sent against Mary 

. Arrested and beheaded 
OfdcasUe, Sir John, confession of, 
Outrages of the Reformers 
iHigan Saxons, character of, • 
Parr, Catharine, marriage of, \ . 
People, discontent of the, 
i^ierseeution not a part of Catholicism 
Origin of, in Mary's reign 
J ' At Nismes 

^Pole, Cardinal, against persecution . 
Pope, ascendency of the. 
Popish Plot .... 
Powder Plot in Scotland 


. 24 



. 381 


. 249 

.' 439 

. 122 

. 431 

. 542 


. 527 

558, 576 

. 56a 

. 617 



115, 227 

















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Prete6tani martyrs, modem, . 

. m 

Purgatory, tlie Fathers on the doctrine of, 


Rapacity of courtiers . . . 

. . 485 

Rebellion in Norfolk, &c., against Mary 


Reformation, the, .... 

. 113 

Progress 0^ in Scotland 


In England, in the reign 

of BdwanlTI. 997 

In Ireland 


Horrible Sacrileges during the, . 

. 512 

Reformers, deposing power assumed by the. 


Rebellions of the, . 

. 869 

Faith of Scotch, 


Sacrilege of, 

. 876 

Persecuting spirit o^ 

. . 877 

. 258 

Ridley's discourse with Mary 


Dr., speech of, on the Divorce 


Schism In the Church 


Scotland, persecutions in. 

^343, 892 

Seditious writings 


Six Articles 

. 297 

Slavery legalized * .... 


Somerset, Lord High Admiral, beheaded 

. 489 

Lord Protector, breaded 


Somerset-house built 

. . 490 

Spirit in the Wall 


Supremacy of the Pope 

. 171 

The Fatiiers on. 


Speech against the king's, . 

. 186 

Sufferers for denying the king's, 


Authorities on, 

. 681 

Taxation', curious scale of, 


Tindal's fiible . . . 

. 284 

Transubstantiation professed by the Reformers 


Tyler, Wat, insurrection of . 


Universities on Henry's Marriage 


Visitation of Churches 

. 417 

Wickliffe, John, doctrines of 

52, 69 

Wolsey, Cardinal • . . . 

. 115 

Wyatt's rebellion .... 


Taken and executed . 

. 570 

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Acton, Roger 

Askew, Anne 

Badby, Thomas 

Barnes, Dr. 

Bocher, Joan 

Claydon, WUliam 

Cobbam, Eleanor 


Damlip, Adam • 

Dudley, Guilford 


Fisher, Bishop . 

Forrett, Dean 

Forest, Henry 


Garrett, Thomas 

Gourlay, Morroan 

<jtTey, Lady Jane 

Hamilton, Patrick 

Hooper, Bishop of Gloacester 

Hun, Richard 

Jerome, William 






More, Sir Thomas 


Oldcastle, Sir John 

Pearson, Anthony 

Ridley . 

Rogers, Prebendary . 

Russel, Richard . 


8awtre • 

St^tton, DaTid 

Suffblk, Duke of 


Van Parre, George 













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Wb are now arrived at a very interesting period of our 
Review, inasmuch as it^i^lates to the history of our own 
country, about which bo much has been written to no pur- 
pose, a great deal to delude and keep the people in ignorance^ 
and but a small portion to instruct and inform the searcher 
after truth. As we, at the commencement of the first 
volume of this work, shewed how the Christian or Catholic 
religion was first established and propagated by the apostles 
of Christ in the east, and how it was 'preserved when it had 
spread to other parts of the globe, so we purpose here, by 
way of preface»to this volume, to shew hxm this same system 
of Christianity was introduced and preserved in England, till 
the era of what is called the Reformation. Fox begins his 
eighth book, or the " few plain Christian " editors fbr him, 
in their edi^tion, with " a brief history of ihe Reformation, 
and ihe remarkable cireumstanees which preceded it, from 
the time of Wickliffe to the reign of queen Mary*^ so that 
the reader is left in total darkness concerning the events 
which occurred previous to the heresy of Wicklifie. It is 
true, we have some " particulars relative to the great ascen- 
dancy of the popes throughout Christendom, in the middle 
ages, ** but these particulars are given, as usual, in so con- 
fused and unauthorized a manner, that it requires consider- 
able ingenuity to unravel them, and no little space to refute 
them with that accuracy which is essential to carry conviction 
to the prejudiced reader, of our pages. 

The precise period when CWstianity was first announced 
in Britain is not accurately known ; some contend that St. 
Peter brought the glad tidings of " peace on earilh to men 
of good will,*' while others give the honour to Joseph of 


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Arimathea. This much however is certain, and is admitted by 
both Fox and his modem editors, that king Lucius, a British 
prince, sent to pope Eleutherius to solicit the aid of Christian 
missionaries, and that the holy pope sent to him two zealous 
prelates, St. Fugatius and Damianus, by whom he was in- 
structed in the Catholic faith, and who preached to and con- 
verted many of his people. This event happened about the 
year 182, and we refer the reader to page 86 of the first 
volume, where he will see an account of it taken from au- 
thentic writers. Lucius, on receiving the light of Christi- 
anity, immediately began to provide for its support and 
duration, by the erection of churches, and appointing reve- 
nues for the maintenance of the priesthood. GUdas, Nennius, 
and Bede, say that he founded churches in each of the cities 
in his dominions. It may here be remarked, that our island, 
though governed by native sovereigns, was tributary to the 
Boman empire, and with Lucius ended the dynasty of British 
princes. The emperors, on his death, governed the island by 
their own officers, having reduced it into four provinces ; but 
in the course of time, the most powerful of these governors 
assumed the title of emperor. The first of these, we are 
informed, was Clodus Albinus, who procMmed himself 
emperor in 193. This state of things continued during a 
century, and as a proof that Christianity, still existed in the 
island, we have the testimony of Fox and his editors, who 
have recorded the martyrdom of St. Alban, who suffered in 
the persecution of Dioclesian, and was a Catholic martyr, as 
we have proved in our first volume. 

This persecution did not last above two years in Britain, 
but the Christians did not dare to hold, their religious as- 
semblies or raise temples to the worship of God, until they 
were authorized so to do by the edict of Constantino the 
Great, in 312. On the appearance of this decree, the 
British Catholics began to vie with each other in the beauty 
and magnificence of the (lurches they raised, which they 
accomplisjied by voluntary contributions, there being no 
British sovereign to assist them in the pious work. That 

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tkese Christians were Oatbolics, and acknowledged the supre* 
macj of the pope, is clear from their prelates joining in the 
general ooun^ls and synods on all public occasions. Some 
of them were present at the first council of Aries, in 313, 
when the wrong celebration of Easter was condemned ; and 
at the general council of Sardica, in 347, in which the liberty 
of appeals to the bishop of Rome was confirmed. On the 
decay of the Roman power, the western provinces of that rast 
empire experienced various revolutions, but none was so 
complete as that of our island. Several of the provinces fell 
under the sway of different rulers, until a sense of danger 
induced the people to choose a chief magistrate or king, in 
order to resist the daring attempts of barbarous invaders, who 
were incessantly making inroads on the island. The choice 
fell on Yortigem, and a more unlucky selection could not 
have been made. He was slothful and sensual, and when 
threatened with invasion by the Picts or Caledonians, he had 
the baseness^ to propose, and the address to persuade the 
council of the Britons to accept, with open arms, the assist- 
ance of a foreign nation, to repel their warlike neighbours. 
Accordingly, in the year 449, the Saxon leaders, Hengist and 
Horsa, two brothers, with a formidable body of that nation, 
landed in the isle of Thanet, and soon after they gave signal 
proofe of their valour by defeating and totally routing the 
army of the Fi(^ and Scots in the vicinity of Stamford, in 
Lmcolnshire. By the fresh arrival of Saxons, Hengist found 
himself strong, and throwing off the yoke of obedience, he 
founded the first kingdom of Kent, in the year 457. For 
upwards of a century continual struggles were entered into 
between the native. British and the Saxon invaders, which 
ended in the erection of six more Saxon kingdoms, the last of 
which, Mercia, was founded in 5S5, by which extraordinary 
revolution one race of men was totally rooted out, and another 
planted on the same soil, ^ith the extirpation of the British 
race religion also fell, a signal punishment of a degenerate 
and Binfiil nation, and Pagan idolatry was again established 
in the island of Great Britain. 

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The darkness of PagaDism, however, had scarcely covered 
the island, when a raj of light beamed in the horizon, which 
shortly extended its rays over the whole coontry. We have 
before noticed the ccmversion of the ancient Britons l^ two 
holy prelates, sent from Rome by pope Elentherius; it is now 
our duty to shew tiie reader how our Saxon ancestors became 
acquainted with the blessings of Christianity. The first 
mover of this woA of piety and charity was St. Gregory the 
Great, who filled the chair of St. Peter, that is, was bbhop 
of Eome, and head of the Catholic church, from the year 
590 to 604. Previous to his elevation to the papal throne, 
Gregory had raised himself in public estimation by his great 
prudence, sanctity, and writings. Walking one day through 
the market-place of Rome, Gregory noticed several youths of 
fine features and complexion that were exposed for sale, and 
enquired what country they came from. He was answered 
that they came from Britain. He then asked if they were 
Christians or heathens ; and was told the latter. On this he 
fetched a deep sigh, and lamented that so fine an outside 
should have so little of the grace of God within. Bede re- 
lates, that on being answered that the natives of Britam were 
called Angli or Angles, Gregory replied, " Right, for they 
have angelical faces, and it becomes such to be companions 
with the angels in heaven. What is the name (he continued) 
of the province fit)m which they are brought? '* It was re- 
plied, that it was called Deiri ; *< Truly, Deiri,'* said he, 
" because mercy withdrawn from wrath, and called to the 
meroy of Christ," alluding to the Latin, De ird Dei eruti. 
He asked frurther, ** How is the king of that province called?" 
He was told his name was Alle ; on which Gregory, in allu- 
sion to the word, said, ** Alleluia, the praise of God the 
Creator, must be sung in those parts." 

Fired with these holy ideas, Gregory applied to pope 
Benedict I. to have some persons sent to preadi Christianity 
in Britian. Not finding any one disposed to undertake the 
mission, he solicited the pope's consent, and obtained his ap- 
probation to apply hia own labours in the conversion of the 

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island. Accordbglj he set forward with some of his fellow 
mcmks on the joamej) hat he was stopped hj the people, who 
complained to the holy fitther, and requested him not to 
suffer Gregory to depart from Borne. On this pressing 
occ»uon, Gregory was ordered to return, which he did with 
great reluctance, and after some time had elapsed, in which 
he distinguished himself hy his great qualities, Gregory was 
called to ihe papal chair himself, by the unanimous voice of 
the clergy, the smiate, and the people. Placed in the apos- 
tolical chair, the holy pope did not forget the impression 
made upon him in fayour of Britain, and he selected St. 
Augustin, then prior to the monastery to which Gregory 
belonged, to be superior of the mission, in which he was 
asasted by seTeral of the monks. Haying received their 
commiflftion, the missionaries set out with z^ and joy ; and 
on their way through France, an attempt was made to turn 
their intention aside, by representing the English people as 
ferocious and cruel, but no obstacles could ^t^ these holy 
men from their purpose. Taking some Frenchmen along 
with liiem for interpreters^ they landed in the isle of Thanet, 
in the year 597, being in all about forty persons. 

It is not a little singular, ihat this isle was the spot on 
which the Saxon hordes first placed their feet, by whom 
Christianity was rooted out of the island ; and now, about 
150 years afi^, the ambassadors of Christ appeared, to regain 
the people from the poww of Satan, and bend than to a yoke 
that is both sweet and light. From this place Augustin sent 
a message to Ethelbert, king of Ketit, announcing his mission, 
and assuring him of the divine promise of a kingdom that 
nev^ was to end. Ethdbert was not a stranger to the 
Christian faith, as his queen was a daughter of Caribert, 
king of Puis, and had with her a bishop for her director and 
almoner. Affcer some days, the king went in person to the 
isle, and ordered Augustin to his presence in the open air. 
The rdigions men came to him in procession, with joy and 
devotion, carrying for their banner a silver cross, and an 
image of onr Saviour pfdnted on a board, smging as they 

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walked, the litanj, and praying for the souls they came to 
save. Being admitted into the presence of the king, who 
was seated under a tree^ they announced to him the 
word of life. The king listened with attention, seemed 
p eased with the interesting truths he heard, and promised 
to take them into his serious consideration. It may not he 
unworthy of remark here, that these proclaimers of God's 
truths did not go forth with a large stock of hihles, which in 
those days were useless, as but -few could read, but they were 
armed with the Spirit of Truth, and they carried with them 
the tmctge of the crucified God they canoe to announce, which 
is the practice of the Catholic missionaries at this day ; and 
for which they are reprobated by the advocates for bibfe 
reading. That the bible never was intended by God, or by 
the writers of it, for indiscriminate reading is most certain, 
from the fact, that no nation whatever has been converted 
through the means of the bible, though many have been per- 
verted from the truth by having recourse to their own fanciful 
theories, instead Qf guiding their reason by the unerring rule 
of truth. It was by preaching the word which God com- 
manded them to announce to all nations, that the world was 
Catholicized, and the adherents of the bible- system may be 
assured, that all their efforts to un-Oatholicize them, by forc- 
ing the bible, will prove fiitile. The king was pleased with 
the holy lives of these missionaries, so much is example above 
precept in captivating the human mind ; he gave them per- 
mission to preach to the people, and he even received the 
waters of regeneration himself. On receiving the grace of 
baptism, Ellielbert became a new man ; he permitted the 
holy missionaries to build and repair churches every where, 
and he afforded them every assistance in this pious work his 
kingly prerogative allowed him. Having thus far succeeded, 
St. Augustin went to Aries, where he was consecrated bishop, 
and on his return to Britain he dispatched two of his fellow 
labourers to Rome, to solicit a further supply of workmen to 
cultivate the vineyard he had thus planted. The good pope 
Gregory sent him over several of his own disciples^ among 

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whom was Mellitus, the first bishop of Eochester ; Faulinus, 
the first archbbhop of York ; and Rufemanus, the third abbot 
of Augustin's. ''With this colony of new missionaries," 
writes our countryman, venerable Bede, " the holy pope sent 
all things in general for the divine worship and the service 
of the church, viz., sacred vessels, altar-cloths, ornaments for 
churches, and vestments for priests and clerks ; relics of the 
holy apostles and martyrs, and many books." 

We havo thus shewn, how Ihe Christian religion was intro- 
duced amongst our Saxon ancestors ; it now remains to prove 
wTiat that system of religion was. This is a point which Fox 
and his modem editors glos^ over, though it is the most 
essential of any, to come at the knowledge of truth. Gildas 
and Bede testify, that die faith which was planted by St. 
Augustin was the same that was held at Bome, and that 
our ancestors, like the primitive Christians, were ever watch- 
ful to preserve it pure and untainted. Thus, when Arianism 
shot its baneful grouts, it was immediately detected and ex- 
drpated. Pelagianism had no sooner infected the church, 
ihan recourse was had to the proper authorities, who checked 
the growing evil, and eventually eradicated it. Now this 
faith, thus carefully preserved, is the same as that preached 
by the apostles of Christ, and followed by the Catholics of 
this day. The Saxons on embracing Christianity admitted 
infant baptism, hr which there is no warranty of scripture, 
and therefore must be followed from tradition. They believed 
in seven saaraments, though the church of England now 
admits of only two. They held confession, absolution, tran- 
gubstantiation, purgatory, the invocation of saints and angels, 
prayers for the dead, the mass, celibacy, and, in short, every 
article of faith, and discipline of the church, rejected at the 
80 much vaunted event, called the Beformation, Let the 
reader now refer back to the beginning of our first volume, 
and it will there be seen, that all these points of doctrine 
were held and taught by the fathers of the Catholic church 
in Bvery age, from the apostles to the period of the conver- 
fiion of our island by St. Augustin ; and we shall shew in the 

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course of this volume, that they were maintfuned with nnde* 
Tiating accuracy, till Luther hegan his work of infamy and 
delusion. Since which they have remained, unaltered, the 
creed of Catholics, and will remain to the end of time, a 
testimony of t^e promise of Christ, that his words dbould 
not fail. 

The ^^ few plain Christians '' have re^^es^ited the Catholic 
religion, or Popery, as they call it, as inseparable from per- 
secution — a blood-thirsty system of cruelty and intolerance ; 
it will not be, therefore, irrevelant to our purpose if we lay 
before the reader a short outline of the character of our Saxcm 
ancestors when under the influence of Paganism, and the 
change which took place in their manners after they sub- 
mitted to the benign precepts of the Catholic faith. This 
outline we will not trust to our own pen, but give it in the 
words of an elegant and classical writer of the present day, 
who has made the ancient history of this country his peculiar 
study. The Bev. Dr. Lingard, in his Antiquities of the 
Seixon Church, writes thus : — ** By the ancient writers, the 
Saxons are unanimously classed with the most barbarous of 
the nations which invaded and dismembered the Roman 
empire. Their valour was disgraced by their brutality. To 
the services they generally preferred the blood of their cap- 
tives ; and the man, whose life th^ condescended to spare, 
was taught to consid^ perpetual servitude as a gratuitous 
favour. Among themselves, a rude and imperfect system of 
legislation intrusted to private revenge the punishment of 
private injuries ; and the ferocity of their passions continually 
multiplied these deadly and hereditary feuds. Avarice and 
the lust of sensual enjoyment had extinguished in their breasts 
some of the first feelings of nature. The savages of Africa 
may traffic with Europeans for the negroes whom they have 
seized by treachery, or captured in open war ; but the more 
eavage conquerors of the Britons sold with scruple to the 
merchants of the continent their countrymen, and even their 
own children. Their religion was accommodated to their 
manners, and their manners were perpetuated by iJieir reli«- 

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gi^i. In their theology thej ac^owledged no sin but 
cowardice ; and rerered no yirtue but courage. Their gods 
they appeased with the blood of human victims^ Of a futm*e 
life their notions were faint and wavering ; and if Ihe soul 
were fated to survive the body^ to quaff ale out Of the skulls 
of their enemies^ was to be the great reward of the virtuous ; 
to lead a life of hunger and inactivity, Ihe endless punish- 
ment of the wicked. 

" Such were the Pagan Saxons. But their ferocity soon 
yielded to the exertions of the missionaries, and the harsher 
features of Iheir (uigin were insensibly softened imder the 
mild influence of the gospel. In the rage of victory they 
learned to respect the rights of humanity. Death or slavery 
was no longer the f&te of the conquered Britons ; by their 
submission they were incorporated with the victors: and 
their lives and property were protected by the equity of theit 
Chrislian conquerors. The acquisition of religious know- 
ledge introduced a new spirit of legislation ; the presence of 
the bishops and superior clergy improved the wisdom of the 
national councils ; and laws were framed to punish the more 
flagrant violations of morality,- and prevent the daily broils 
which harassed the peace of society. The humane idea, 
that by baptism all men become brethren, contributed to 
meliorate the condition -of slavery, and scattered the seeds 
of that liberty, which gradually undermined, and at length 
abolished so odious an institution. By the provision of the 
legislature the freedom of the child was secured from the 
avarice of an unnatural parent ; and the heaviest punishment 
was denounced against the man who presumed to sell to a 
foreign master one of his countrymen, though he were a slave 
or a malefactor. But by nothing were the converts more 
distinguished than by their piety. The conviction of a future 
and endless existence bey<md the grave elevated their minds, 
and expanded their ideas. To prepare their souls for this 
new state of being, was to many the first object of their soli- 
citude : they eagerly sought every souroe of instruction, and 
with scrupulous fidelity practised every duty which ihej had 

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10 kevibmT of fox's 

learnt. Oftheaealof the more opulent among the laity, 
the numerous churches, hospitals, and monasteries ^hich they 
founded, are a sufficient proof: and the clergy could hoast 
with equal truth, of the piety displayed by the more eminent 
of their order, and of the nations instructed in the Christian 
faith, by the labours of St. Boniface, and his associates. 
In the clerical f»d monastic establishments, the most sublime 
of the gospel virtues were carefully practised ; even kings 
descended from their thnmes, and exchanged the sceptre fw 
the cowl. Their conduct was applauded by their contem- 
poraries ; and the modems, whose supercilious wisdom affects 
to censure it, must at least esteem the motives which inspired, 
and admire the resolution which completed the sacrifice. The 
IMt>greBS of civilization kept ecjual pace with the progress of 
religion ; not only the useful but the agreeaWe arts were in- 
troduced; every species of knowledge which could be attained 
was eagerly studied; and during the gloom of ignorance, 
which overspread the rest of Europe, learning found, for a 
certain period an asylum among the Saxons of Britain. To 
this picture an ingenious adversary may indeed c^ppose a 
very different description. He may cdlect the vices which 
have been stigmatized by the zeal of their preachers, and 
point to the crimes which disgraced the characters of some of 
their monarchs. But the impartial observer will . acknow- 
ledge the impossibility of eradicating at once, the fiercer 
passions of a whole nation; nor be surprised, if he behold 
several of them relapse^ into their former manners, and on 
some occasions unite the actions of savages with the pra- 
fession of Christians. To judge of the advantage which the 
Saxons derived from their conver^on, he will ^x his eyes on 
their virtues. They were the offsprings of the gospel; their 
vices were the relics d* paganism." 

To give an instance of the power and efficacy of the Catho- 
lic religion to reclaim sinners from their evil ways to the paths 
of rectitude and virtue, ai whatsoever rank and condition they 
may be, we will here quote a &ct related by the above learned 
au^or, in his valuable History of England, <^ Ethelbert 

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(writes the Historian) died in 616. The crown devolved uppn 
his son Eadbald, the violence of whose passions had nearly 
replonged ihe nation into that idolatry from which it had 
just emerged. The youth and heauty of his stepmother^ the 
relict of Ethdbert, induced him to take her to his bed ; and 
when the missionaries admonished him to break die unnatural 
conneziony he abandoned a rdiigion which forbade the grati- 
fication of his appetites. At the same time^ the three, sons 
of Saberet (their father was dead) restored the altars of the 
gods, and banished from their territory the bishop Mellitas. 
With Justus of Eochester he retired into Gaul : and Lauren- 
tiuSy the successor of Augustin in the see of Canterbury, had 
determined to follow their footsteps. On the morning of his 
intended departure, he made a last attempt on the mind of 
Eadbald. His representations were successful. The king 
dismissed hb stepmother and recalled the fugitive prelates. 
The sincerity of his conversion was proved by his subsequent 
conduct ; and Ohrbtianity, supported by his influence, as- 
sumed an ascendancy which it ever afterwards preserved.'' 
Here then, we have a striking effect of the influence of reli- 
gion on the mind, when supported by the voice of spotless 
mimsters. How different was the conduct of this Christian 
and Catholic bishop to that of a modem prelate of London, 
who, on a memorable occasion, asserted in his place in par- 
liament that a king of England could do no wrong. 

l%ie Catholic religion being thus established in our island, 
a regular hierarchy was founded for the regulation of ecclesias- 
tical affairs, and the preservation of true doctrine. Thus, 
when any dispute occurred, or any grievance was complained 
of, recourse was had to the regular authority : from the suf- 
fragan bishop the matter was carried to the metropolitan 
either of Canterbury or York, who, if need required, sum- 
moned a provincial synod to discuss the point, and the deci- 
sion was submitted to the pope, as the supreme head of the 
universal church. By these means the Catholic religion was 
preserved entire for the space of nine hundred years, until 
Henry the Eighth severed the branch from the parent stock. 

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12 REVIEW OP fox's 

and made himself head of a separate churdi, which had no 
other claim to junsdiction than what the lay power of the 
state granted to it. During the period of Catholicism, the 
spiritual authority of the church was quite distinct from the 
authority of the state. The king and nobles were oUiged to 
submit to the same discipline as the peasant and the beggar, 
because the church being a kingdom of another world, knows 
no distinction in her system of morality, between the monarch 
and the vassal. With these remarks, we shall proceed in 
our Beyiew of the work before us. 

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Fox commenceB this seetioii with the following string of 
assertions : — >" In the introduction will be found an account of 
the rise and progress of Popery, from the commencement of 
its usurpations to the tenth century. From this period till 
the Reformation was attempted by Wicklifie, the abominations 
of these arch and unchristian heretics increased with rapid 
strides, till at length all the soYereigns of Europe were com- 
pelled to do them the most serYile homage. It was in ike 
reign of Edgar, king of England, that monks were first made 
spiritual ministers, though contrary to the decrees and cus- 
tom of the chun^ ; and in the time of this soYereign, they 
were allowed to marry, there being no law forbidding it before 
the papacy of Gregory VII. 

"* To relate the tyrannical innoYations upon the religion of 
Christ, during the space of more than three hundred years, 
would be the proYince of a writer on church history, and is 
quite incompatible with our limits. Suffice it to say, that 
scarcely a foreign war or ciYil broil conYuked Europe during 
that period, which did not cnri^ate in the infernal artifices 
of popes, monks, and friars. They frequently fell Yietims to 
their own machinations ; for, from the year 1004, many popes 
died Yiolent deaths: soYcral were poisoned ; SylYester was out 
to peoes by las own people; and the reigns of his sueceasors 

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14 HBVI£W OF fox's 

were but short. Benedict, who succeeded John XXL, thought 
proper to resist the emperor Henry III., and place in his 
room Peter, king of Hungary ; but afterwards, being alarmed 
by the success of Henry, he sold his seat to Gratianus, called 
Gregory VI. At this time there were three popes in Bome, 
all striving against each other for the supreme power, viz. 
Benedict IX., Sylvester III., and Gregory VI., but the empe- 
ror Henry coming to Rome, displaced these three monsters 
at once, and appointed Clement the Second, enacting that 
henceforth no bishop of Bome should be chosen but by the 
consent of the emperor. Though this law was necessary for 
tranquillity, yet it interfered too much with the ambitious 
views of the cardinals, who accordingly exerted themselves to 
get it repealed i and failing in this, on the departure of the 
emperor for Germany, they poisoned Clement, and at once 
violated the law by (loosing another pq»e, without the impe- 
rial sanction. 

^' This was Damasus U., who being poisoned, within a few 
days from bis appointment, much contention took place. 
Whereupon the Bomans sent to the emperor, desiring him 
to give them a bishop ; upon which, he selected Bruno, a Ger- 
man, called Leo IX. This pope was poisoned in the first 
year of his popedom. 

" After Ids death, Theophylactus made an effort to be pope, 
but Hildebrand, to defeat him, went to the emperor, and per^ 
Buaded him^to assign another bishop— a German — who ascend- 
ed the papal chair imder the title of Victor II. The second 
year of his papacy this pope also followed his predecessors, 
like them, being poisoned. 

^* On the death of Victor, the cardinals elected Stephen IX. 
for pope, contrary to their oath, and the empertur's assign- 
ment. Fr<Mn this period, indeed, their ascendancy was so 
great, that the most powerful sovereigns of Europe were 
obliged to do them homage ; and [Nicholas, who succeeded 
Stephen, established the Council of the Lateran, In this 
council first was promulgated the terrible sentence of excom- 
munication against all such as ^ do creep into the seat of 

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Peter, bj money or favour, without the full consent of the 
cardinals ; ' cursing them and their children with the anger 
of Almigbtj God ; and giving authoritj and power to car- 
dinals, with the clergj and laitj, to depose all such persons, 
and call a council-general^ wheresoever they will, against 
them. Pope Nicholas only reigned three years and a half, 
and then, like his predecessors, was poisoned." — pp. 121, 122. 
In what part of the introduction the rise and progress of 
Popery are to be found we have not been able to discover. 
There is no precise period stated, n(M* any particular dates, 
whereby we can trace the accuracy of the assertions here 
made. When did Popery commence ? This question never 
has been correctly answered. Some have fixed it at one pe- 
riod, some at another, but none agree on the same point. 
Now, Catholics can tell the exact time whmi every heresy of 
note was broached, from the days of Simon Magus to those 
of Martin Luther, and downwards. The theories- put fbrth 
by the heresiarchs are always distinguished by the names of 
the inventors; as Arianism, from Alius, the heretic ; Dona- 
tism, from Donatus, the broacher of that error ; Pelagianism, 
hom Pdagius, who taught it ; Lutheranism, from Luther, 
tiie apoi^e of the Reformation, so called ; Calvinism, from 
Calvin, a branch spreader oi the Beformation ; and so on of 
the ^ree or four hundred different sects into which this land 
of bibles is now divided. But the same caimot be said of 
that system which Protestant writers term Popery. The word 
is derived from the title of Pope, given to the bishop of Bome, 
who is, by divine right, supreme head of the Catholic or uni- 
versal church. Of these bishops there were more than one 
hundred in the first nine centuries of the Christian church, 
but not one of them can be selected by ntxme as the institutor 
of Popery, or the inventor of hm*esy, though Fox is pleased 
to st^e them in the gross '' arch and unchristian heretics.^' 
It must not be forgotten that in the seventh century Fox 
dlows the Catholic church to have be^i orthodox ; for be 
ranks the hdy pope Martin amongst his martyrs, and says 
he was an opposer of the heresy of Monothelism^ and that he 

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16 REVIBW OF fox's 

called a council of 105 bishops, who unaBimouslj condemned 
the errors of that sect. This pope was martyr^ in 655 ; in 
the next century, we find Fox admitting another martyr into 
his calendar, who received his commission from Bome to 
preach the gospA to the Pagans, and extirpate heresy* This 
martyr b St. Boniface, the apostle of Germany, who suffered 
in 755. This was the middle of the eighth century ; so that 
we have brought the time into a small compass, and yet not 
a daU nor a name can be given for the origin of Popery, un- 
less, indeed, we go back to the apostles themsdves, from 
whom the church is styled Apostolic as well as Catholic« 

It b stated by Fox, that ^' from this period (the tenth c^i-' 
tury) till the Reformation was attempted by Wickliffe, the 
abominations of these arch and unchristian heretics (the popes) 
increased with rapid strides, till at length all the sovereigns 
of Europe were compelled to do them the most eervUe hom- 
age." These p(^s were strange fellows, truly; and how 
did they go to work to compel all the sovereigns of Europe, 
every one of them, to render their holinesses the most servile 
homage ? There must have been something supernatural in 
** these wrch and imchristian heretics," which no other heretics 
possessed, to perform such feats as these. To compel kings 
and . emperors, whether tyrants or fathers of their peofde, to 
render them the most servile homage, is no less than a mira- 
cle, and heretics were never able to daim one of these gifts of 
the Divine Being. That the sovereigns of Europe rendered 
homage to the popes at this time cannot be denied ; but 
it was not a servile homage ; it was only that spiritual obe- 
dience which is now given to tiie bead of the Catholic church 
by Bovermgns in her communion, and it was in consequence 
of their receiving the light of fait^ from missionaries sent by 
their authority. The ** abominations " which increased wiUi 
'^ such rapid strides," were the blessings imparted by the con- 
version of the nations of Eurq»e to the Catholic £edth, an ac- 
count of which advantages, both spiritual and temporal, we 
have given in our relati(m of the conversion of this island to 

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Fox goes on to say, that monks were first made spirituiJ 
ministers in the reign of our Edgar, contrary to the decrees 
and customs of the church ; and that in this monarch's time 
they were allowed to marry, there heing no law forbidding it 
lall tiie papacy of Gregory VII. We thank the martyrolo- 
gisb for this statement, because we haye something that is 
tangiUe, and can proye it false by the test of authentic his- 
tory. In Rapin's History of England, there is a long speedi 
of Edgar's to the council which he had assembled, for the 
reformation of abuses and the correction of manners. In this 
speedi the monarch inyeighs in strong terms against the in- 
continent lives of the clergy, which he said was a scandal to 
the people, and a public complaint. This author, comment^ 
ing on the dissolute lives of the clergy in this age, says, " It 
must be observed, the popes had for some itme prohibited 
the dergy from marrying ^ and were very severe to all who 
raised to comply with th^ decrees." This is the testimony 
of a Calvinist writer, who cannot be chained with any parti- 
ality towards Catholics. The asserticm, then, made by F02, 
that there was no law forbidding the marriage of the clergy 
before the popedom of Gregory VII., is proved to be false 
by Protestant evidence* We will now introduce a witness of 
anoliier character, whose work has received the approbaticm 
of the most learned and eminent perscmages of the |»resent 
day. Speaking of Edgar's days, Dr. Lingard says, in his 
Hist<»y ; << The tranquillity of Edgar's reign, his undisputed 
Biqp^riority over the ndghbouring princes. Mid his attention 
to the welfare of his people, have ocmtnbuted to throw a 
lustre around his memory : the reformaticm of the church, 
undertaken by the prelates, and effected with the aid of his 
authority, though it was received with gratitude by his con- 
temporaries, has been marked with unmerited censure by 
modem writers. The Banish invasion had both relaxed the 
sinews of ecclesiastical discip&ie, and dissolved the greater 
number of the monastic and clerical establishment. The 
moat opulent monasteries had been laid in ruins by the n^- 
ci^ of the barbarians; and thdr lands^ without an owner, 

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18 REVIEW OF JP03t's 

had been seized by the cro^iim, or had been divided among the 
nearest and most powerful thanes. Under former kings, 
efforts had been made to restore the monastic order, bat thej 
had proved ineffectual The prejudices against it were nour- 
ished by the great proprietors now in possession of its 
ancient revenues ; even the monastery of Ethelingey, which 
Alfred had peopled with foreign monks, had been gradually 
deserted : and the two abbeys of Glastonbury and Abingdon, 
the fruits of the zeal of Dunstan, had been dissolved by the 
resentment of Edwy. The clerical order was more fortunate. 
Though shattered and disfigured, it had survived the tempest. 
But the friends of religious severity, when they compared the 
clergy of their day with the clergy of ancient times, saw 
much in their conduct to lament and correct. Formerly they 
had lived in communities, under particular regulations : and 
their seclusion from temporal pursuits insured the faithfrd 
discharge of their spiritual functions. But during the Danish 
wars they had been dispersed amidst their relatives, had 
divided among themselves the revenues of their respective 
churches, and, substituting others for the performance of the 
service, indulged in the pleasures and dissipation of ihe laity. 
But that which gave particular offence to the more devout 
was iheir marriages. It is most certain, that during the two 
first centuries of the Saxon church the profession of cdibacy 
was required from every clergyman advanced to the orders of 
priest, or deacon, or sub-deacon : but amid the horrors of 
successive invasions the injunctions of the canons had been 
overlooked or condemned : and, on many occasions, necessity 
compelled the prelates to ordain, for the clerical functions, 
perscms who had already engaged in the state of matrimony. 
Similar causes had produced similar effects in the maritime 
provinces of Gtiul ; and Dunstan had witnessed, during his 
exile, the successfrd efforts of the abbot Gerard to restore the 
ancient discipline in the churches of Flanders. Animated 
by his example, the metropolitan made a first essay to raise 
the monastic establishments from their ruins: and his labours 
w^re zealously seconded by two active co-operatora, the 

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bishops Oswald imd Ethelwold. The former goremed the 
church of Worcester; the latter^ his favourite disciple^ had 
been placed, at his request, in the see of Winchester. To 
them Edgar was induced to sell, or grant, the lands of the 
monasteries, which had fallen to the crown ; and of those 
which remained in the hands of indiyiduab, a portion was 
recovered by purchase, and still more by the voluntary resig- 
nation of the possessors. Persons were soon found ready to 
embrace an institute recommended by the prelates and sanc- 
tioned by the king ; as fast as buildings could be erected they 
were filled with colonies of monks and their novices ; and 
within a few years the great abbeys of Ely, Peterborough, 
Thomey, and Malmsbury, rose from their ashes, and re- 
covered the opulence and the splendour which they had 
formeriy enjoyed. The next object of the metropolitan was 
the reformation of the more dissolute among the clergy, 
principally in the two dioceses of Winchester and Worcester. 
For this purpose a commission was obtained from Rome, and 
a law was enacted, that every priest, deacon, and sub-deacon 
should live chastely, or be ejected from his benefice.'' 

From this passage it will be seen that the monks did exer- 
cise spiritual functions before Edgar's reign, and that the 
celibacy of the clergy was a discipline of the church in the 
first period of the Saxon church. In fact the rule was co- 
eval with Christianity, though in the early ages marriage was 
permitted in some oases. On this subject we will give 
another authority, who has treated the matter very elabo- 
rately, and who stands unimpeached as a controversialist and 
historian. The Bight Rev. Dr. Milner, in his excellent 
History of Winchester j says, '' It would be too tedious a task 
to cite all the canons made in the primitive church against 
the marriage of bishops, priest and deacons. Let it suffice 
to refer to Concil. Elib. can. xxxiii. 2 Concil. Cathag. can iL 
I Concil. CBcum. ^icen. can. iii. 2 Concil. Arelat, can. ii. 
St. Jerom, in the fourth age, testifies that, in the three great 
patriarchates of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, no persons 
were received amongst the clergy, but such as were either 

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20 BBVIBW OP fox's 

single m^i, or entirely separated from their wives. Liber 
adversus Vigilant. The testimony of the learned bishop, 
St. Epiphanius, is to the same effect HcBrts. 59. Not to 
multiply quotations, the centuriators of Magdehurg allow, 
that, about the time of the conyersion of our ancestors, a 
synod was held by St. Gregory ihe Great, in which an ana- 
thema was pronounced against bishops, priests, or deacons, 
who should presume to marry. Cent. z. f. 642. The disci- 
pline of the Greek church, in subsequent times, became less 
strict in this point, than that of the Latin church. Its bishops 
did not revise to ordain married persons to serve amongst the 
inferior clergy, (for no prelate, even amongst them, was ever 
allowed to have a wife); hence even their schismatical council, 
called Quinisezt, or In Trullo, afW their separation from the 
Latin church, utterly condemned the contracting of marriage 
when a person was once initiated into holy orders, and such 
their discipline has remained down to the present day. With 
respect to our ancient English church, if the truth ikiust be 
told, we are bound to say, that its discipline was strictly con- 
formable to that of the Latin church in general, of which it 
formed a part, and of course, that it was never lawful for any 
clergyman in holy orders, whether secular or regular, to ^it^ 
into the married state : nor could any married man, unless he 
was first separated from his wife by mutual consent, ever be 
ordained to the higher orders. This we may gather, in the 
first place, from the above quoted passage of Venerable Bede, 
' according to which, only those who were net in holy orden 
were allowed, in any case whatever, to marry or live in the 
married state. The same is still more clear from another 
passage of that primitive author, whom Camden calls the 
friend of truth. In his exposition of the first chapter of St. 
Luke, having observed that the priests of the old law were 
obliged to be continent only during the stated times of their 
ministry, he goes on : ' but, now an injunction is laid upon 
priests to observe chastity continually, and ^er to abstain 
from the use of marriage, to the end that they may always 
assist at the altar.' It does not appear that any of the dergy 

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ever attempted to infringe this law, until after the confusion 
which followed the Danish devastations, in 800. Soon after 
this we find Pulco, archbishop of Bheims, congratulating 
king Alfrod on the firm and zealous conduct of his primate 
Flegmund, in extirpating what he calls the error of those who 
held it lawful for the clergy to marry. Flodoard. His. 
Rhemens. 1. iii. In the reign of king Edmund, viz., in 944, 
we meet with the particulars of a great synod, as it was called, 
held at London, by the two archbishops and a great number 
of prelates, and other considerable personages ; in the very 
first ordinance of which it is enjoined, " that all, initiated in 
sacred offices, shall be careful, as their state requires, to lead 
their lives chastely, whether they be men or women, which, 
if they fail to do, let them be punished as the canon enjoins.' 
Spelman, De Concil. The same learned writer proves from 
tiie Penitential, which he publishes, that bishops, priests, and 
deacons, no less than monks, were conceived, in those times, 
to be guilty of a great crime if they ever returned to the 
state of marriage, which they had renounced at their ordina- 
tion. This brief dissertation may serve to rectify the mis- 
taken notions which modem readers may have hastily taken 
up on this point of ecclesiastical history, from Parker, God- 
win, Tanner, H. Wharton, Carte, Hume, the late historian 
of Winchester, and other ignorant or interested writers. 
Amongst others comes forward, at the present day, a writer, 
who has miserably waded beyond his depth, wherever he has 
ventured to treat of ecclesiastical antiquities. Speaking of 
the revolution in the church of Worcester, which took place 
at the same time with that mentioned above in our cathedral, 
he says, * The popes had found it their interest to exact celi- 
bacy from the clergy; they incited the monks to raise an 
outcry against those who, instead of devoting their whole 
time to spiritual employments, gave a part of it to the com- 
pany of their wives, <fec. Priests that were members of the 
cathedral colleges had not as yet been restrained from marry - 
mg.* Yalentine Green's History of Worcester, p. 26. Prom 
this passage it appears that the writer had never met with a 

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22 REVIEW OF fox's 

single canon, or ecclesiastical authority, enforcing clerical 
celibacy, anterior to the tenth century, and that he ascribes 
the measures then taken by king Edgar and St. Dunstan, 
St. Oswald, and St Ethelwold, to certain negociations be- 
tween them and the popes, and to some new laws which the 
latter had just then enacted on this subject for their own 
interest. It was incumbent on him to have pointed out the 
negociations and laws in question. Unfortunately, however, 
too many of the popes in that age were abandoned to licen- 
tiousness themselves, instead of watching over the morals of 
the other clergy. The true policy of this original law of 
clerical celibacy, after all the sagacity of modem writers, will 
be found in 1 Cor. chap. vii. v. 32, 33. " 

Such clear documentary evidence as we have here produced 
must, we imagine, put the question to rest; at least it is suffi- 
cient to satisfy every reaaonable mind, and we know not 
what can be adduced to convince those who are determined 
to remain in their error. On the subject of celibacy in the 
clergy, much might be offered in a political point of view, 
and we cannot help considering those, who advocate the 
married life of men, whose sole duties should be to labour in 
the Lord's vineyard, very ill-advised, as far as regards their 
own interest and the country's welfare. In the time of Catho- 
licism, the provision made for the clergy did not go solely to 
fill their own coffers, nor to maintain their own families. 
They voluntarily embraced a single life, and they en- 
gaged to perform duties which it would be unjustifiable to 
call upon a married man to execute. For instance, in the 
time of pestilence, or of an individual infected with a conta- 
gious disease, the consolations of religion are not to be 
denied to the afflicted. But who is to convey these consola- 
tions to the dying under such circumstances ? It cannot be 
expected that a married clergyman would rush into danger 
which might afiect his own life, and thus leave his wife and 
family destitute ; or, by carrying home the infectious effluvia, 
cause the pestilence to spread in his family, and though 
he might escape, yet sip the cup of affliction in the 

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loss of bis wife and children. We have learned at the 
time we are writing, of a young Catholic priest, eminent 
for his talents and abilities, falling a sacrifice to this act 
of godlike charity, in Dublin; and the same disregard 
of life to impart the cheering and soothing comforts of reli- 
gion to the infected poor of his flock, has deprived the Ca- 
tholics of Manchester of a faithful servant of God, in the 
very prime of his life. Many are the instances where Catholic 
priests thus fall victims to their zeal and total disregard of 
life, in the exercise of their sacred duties ; but how few, if 
any, can be produced oi Protestant clergymen thus offering 
themselves in sacrifice. Nor is it to be expected, when 
they are clogged with the cares of a family, and have the 
temporal happiness of others depending on their own exist- 
ence. The Catholic priest, on the other hand, is unencum- 
bered with these ties ; he has voluntarily embraced a single 
life, that he may become a father to the flock over whom he 
is placed, and when grim death meets him in the discharge 
of his pastoral duties, he cheerfully resigns his life^ to render 
an account of his stewardship to his heavenly Lord and 

Besides, how inconsiderate must it be in a people, to pro- 
vide not only for the clergy, but for the families of the 
clergymen. In this country, for example, since the Reform- 
ation, as it is called, the provisions for the chm^ch establish- 
ment, except that portion which fell into lay hands, go 
entirely to support the clergy, and is not found to be sufficient 
for that purpose, as many hundreds of thousands of pounds 
sterling have been lately voted away by parliament, to 
relieve the poorer part of the clergy. Whereas, when the 
church establishment was in the hands of the Catholic clergy, 
they had the poor, and sick, and aged to maintain ; the 
churches to build and repair, and the rights of hospitality to 
fulfil, out of their income. To which we must add, that they 
contributed too, out of their revenues, to carry on the wars 
in whicli the sovereigns were engaged, either to secure the 
safety, or to preserve the honour of the country ; by which 

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means the people were eased of taxes, and a national debt 
was unknown. Bat now, alas I the case is altered. Taxes 
ai*e raised to snpport the poor ; taxes are raised to repair 
and bnild churches ; taxes are raised to relieve the poor clergy 
and their families ; and taxes are raised to pension off many 
of the sons of the clergy in the shape of half- pay offices and 
clerks in government offices. And is it wise, is it pmdent, 
when the country is in such a situation, to raU at the econom- 
ical and judicious regulations of the Catholic church, and 
our Catholic ancestors respecting the celibacy and provisi(ms 
of the clergy ? Of all the cavils reused against the doctarines 
and discipline of the Catholic church, this we cannot help 
deeming the most stupid and besotted. Even granting the 
practice was not introduced till the time of the seventh Gre- 
gory, so wise a regulation ought to immortalize his name at 
least with the patriot and the statesman. 

Having disposed of this disputed point, we come now to the 
next charge made by Fox. He says, " to relate the tyran- 
nical innovations upon the religion of Christ during the 
space of more than three hundred years, would be the pro- 
vince of a writer on church history, and is quite incompatible 
with our limits. Suffice it to say, that scarcely a foreign war 
or civil broil convulsed Europe, during that period, which did 
not originate in the infernal artifices of popes, monks, and 

If we are to believe this account, the worid must have been 
in a very comfortable state, and true religion must have been 
banished from the earth. We commend the modem edit<»» 
however, for declining to be church historians, as they must 
have convicted themselves in that case. But what are we to 
make of the " more than three hundred years? '* They tell 
UB that all the evib which arose during '^ that period " 
ori^nated with popes, monks, and friars. What are we to 
gather i^HHn *^ that period?" We have no specified time 
stated ; how then are we to ascertain what foreign wars or 
civil broils are alluded to ? This is all froth and fiiry. Tell 
us the innovations, who made them, and when they were in- 

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troduced. It would not take up much space to name onb of 
them^ nor can it be incompatible with truth to give us a plain 
fact. The most authentic writers on churdii history give a 
very different account of the conduct <^ these popes, and re- 
present them as the healers of division, and the arbiteFs of 
justice between the sovereigns of Europe, and frequently be- 
tween rulers and the people* We are ready to admit that in 
the tenth century, wh0n the continent of Europe was subjected 
to intestine wara, entered into by rival diieftatns, there were 
many popes whose lives ware a scfmdal to the lugh and sacred 
office they filled. But these were personal vices, and by no 
means affected the truth and purity of that church of which 
they were the head, any more than the tyrannical or lewd 
conduct of a king of England could sully the excellent maxims 
of the British constitution. The faith of the church could 
not be effected by the personal crimes of her chief pastors, be- 
cause her existence does not rest on the individual merit of 
any man, but on the power and promises of a ci^pcified God, 
her Divine Founder, who declared that she should remain pure 
and unsullied, both in faith and mcNrals, till the end of the 
world, and we have s^en her stand immoveable and unspotted 
for more than eighteen hundred years. As a proof of our 
assertion, history records that while Home was the seat of 
scandal as well as of religion, the northern nations of Europe 
were receiving the light of the gospel, and becoming civilized 
and good CatJ^olics. Hungary, Prussia, Poland, Germany 
Denmark, and Sweden, were conv^ted to Christianity in tlie 
tenth century. A glanoe too at the annals of our own ooun- 
i3tj will shew, that in this age lived an Alfred, an Edgar, and 
an Edward, to whom we are indebted for the best of our poli- 
tical institutions, and whose msmory reflects honour on the 
country, and the religioa by whi^ they were iiffluenced to 
confer such benefits m mankind. 

We have next a confused account of a pretended resistance 

of pope Benedict to the emperor Henry III. ; of this pope 

selling his seat to Gregory YI. ; oi there being three popes at 

one time ; of the emperor going to R<»ne, displacing ** these 

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26 REVIEW OF foil's 

monsters," and ordering that henceforth no bishop of Eotn^ 
should be chosen without the consent of the emperor ; of the 
discontent of the cardinab at this law, and their poisoning 
two other popes. Many of these circumstances we are un- 
able to trace in history, and therefore it cannot be expected 
that we should go into the whole detail of them. We cannot 
find the least appearance of a breach between Henry and 
Benedict, and the frnmer is re|»«8ented by the authors in 
our possession as a good and pious prince. There were cer- 
tainly antipopes, but nobody trouUed their heads about them , 
If we can proye but otM brazen falsehood against Fox in this 
long list ol assertions, the rest must lose their credit. To 
come, then, to the point. The period we are treating of is the 
eleventh century : Fox says, the order of Henry did not suit 
the ambitious yiews of the cardinals, and that they riolated 
his commands by poisoning one pope and choosing another. 
Now the cardinals had not the privilege of electing a pope 
1^1 1160, if we can credit a little work before us, called The 
Tablet of Memory, and this fact is confirmed by the Rev. 
Alban Butlw, who, in his life of St. Leo IX., says : '* After the 
death of pope Damasus II. in 1048, in a diet of prelates and 
noblemen, with legates and deputies of the church of Bome» 
held at Worms, and honoured with the presence of the pious 
emperor Henry III., sumamed the Black, Bruno, who had 
then governed the see of Toul twenty-two years, was pitched 
upon as the most worthy person to be exalted to the papacy. 
He being present, used all his endeavours to avert the storm 
falling on his head ; and begged three days to deliberate upon 
the matter. This term he spent in tears 'and prayers, and 
in so rigorous a fast that he neither eat nor drank during all 
that time. The term being expired, he returned to the as- 
sembly, and (hoping to convince his electors of hisunworthi- 
ness,) made public a general confession before them of the 
sins of his whole life, with abundance of tears, which drew 
also tears from all that were present ; yet no roan changed 
his opinion. He yielded at last only on condition that the 
whole clergy and people of Rome should agree to his promo- 

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tion%" They did ii,gree, and thus was Leo elected. Fox says, 
he was poisoned in the first year of his popedom ; now, un- 
fortunately for Fox's veracity, Leo filled the see of Borne 
FIVE TBAftS AND TWO MONTHS, and died a natural and holy 
death. This p^e condemned the error of fierengarius, in a 
council held at Borne, in 1050, the year after he was chosen 
pope, and died on the 10th of April, 1054, in the fiftieth year 
of his age. So much for Fox's pope- poisoning and cardinal- 

Another mistake made hy Fox, is the succession of Stephen 
IX. after Victor IL, and his election hy cardinals. Stephen 
IX. succeeded Leo VII. in 939 ; it was Stephen X. that fol- 
lowed Victor II., and his election heing in J 057, the cardinals 
could not have elected him contrary to their oath, hecause 
they were not, as we have hefore shewn, empowered at that 
time to choose the sovereign pontiffs. Nicholas, who suc- 
ceeded Stephen, is said to have estahlished the '' council of 
the Lateran." This is gross falsehood. The first council of 
Lateran was held in the year 112 3, and Nicholas, who was 
the second of that name, died in 1061 : the " terrible sentence 
of excommunication," alluded to by Fox, thus turns out to be 
a fable, invented to alarm the tremulous, as are also his 
stories about these different popes being poisoned. 

We now come to another tale, which he has placed under 
a special head, and entitled, '' Submission of the emperor 
Henry IV. to the pope." As we like fair play, we shall 
give the story in the martyrologist's own words :— " To such 
a height had papal insolence now attained, that, on the empe- 
or Henry IV. refusing to submit to some decrees of pope, 
Gregory VIL, the latter excommunicated him, and absolved 
rail his subjects from their oath of allegiance to him : on this 
he was* deserted by his nobility, and dreading the conse- 
quences, though a brave man, he found it necessary to make his 
submission. He accordingly repaired to the city of Canusium, 
where the pope then was, and went barefooted with his wife 
and child to the gate ; where he remained from morning to 
night, fasting, humbly desiring absolution, and craving to be 

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28 REVIEW OF fox's 

let in. But no ingress being given him, he continued thus 
three days together : at length, answer came, that his holiness 
had yet no leisure to talk with him. The emperor patiently 
waited without the walls, although in the depth of winter. At 
length, his request 'v^^s granted, through the entreaties of 
Matilda, the pope's paramour. On the fourth day, being 
let in, for a token of his true repentance, he yielded to the 
pope's hands his crown, and confessed himself unworthy of the 
empire, if he ever again ofiTended against the pope, desiring for 
that time to be absolved and forgiven. The pope answered 
he would neither forgive him, nor release the bond of his ex- 
communication, but upon condition, that he would abide by 
his arbitrement in the council and undergo such penance as 
he should enjoin him ; that he should answer to all objections 
and accusations laid against him, and that he should never 
seek revenge ; that it should be at the pope's pleasure, 
whether his kingdom should be restored or not. Finally, that 
before the trial of his cause, he should neither use his kingly 
ornaments, nor usurp the authority to govern, nor to exact 
any oath of allegiance from his subjects, &c. These things 
being promised to the pope by an oath, the emperor was only 
released from excommunication." 

Where Fox found this pretty relation he does not tell us, 
as, according to his usual custom, there is neither date nor 
authority, to vouch for his facts. We should be glad to have 
seen such a tyrant (for such was Henry IV., in a superlative 
degree) thus reduced to a sense of humility ; but this was not 
the case with this emperor Henry. Father Parsons gives us 
a very different account of this afiair, in his reply to Fox, and 
names many writers at the time, who represen t Gregory Yl I. 
ias a learned, wise, and courageous man ; while the emperor 
is described as an immoral and depraved character. Platina 
Sabellicus, and others, record the election of this pope in 
^ these terms : — " We have chosen this day, the 2 1 st of May, 
1072, for true vicar of Christ, a man of much learning, great 
piety, prudence, justice, constancy, and religion,*' <fec. Lam- 
bert of Aschafnaburg also saith : *' The signs and miracles 

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Book of martyrs. 2\p 

yAaxSk ofitentlines were done by the prayers of pope Gregory 
Vn.y and his most fervent seal for the honour of Qod and de^ 
fence of ecdeaiastieal kws^ did sufficiently defend him against 
the venemous tongues of detractors/' This is the character 
given by authentic writers of this pope, which we could mul- 
tiply, were it necessary, but enough has been said to shew 
he was not the person Fox makes him. Let us now look at 
Ao de8cripti<»i of Henry IV., for whom Foi has so much 
pity^d ccmipassion. We will here give an account from 
&ther Parsons. 

*' But what do the same authors, yea, Germans themselves, 
write of their emperor, his enemy, Henry IV. ? Surely it is 
shameful to report his adulteries, symoniacal selling of bene- 
fices, robberies, and spoiling of poor particular men, thrusting 
in wicked men into j^ces of prelates, and ihe like : ' He did 
revest the princes of the empire (saith Lambert) that they 
would suffer him to put away his wife, telling them what the 
pope by his legate had opposed to the contrary.' Which 
being heard by them, Ihey were of the pope's opinion : the 
princes affirmed, that the bishop of Rome had reason to deter- 
mineas he did, and so the king (rather forced than changed 
in mind) abstained from his purposed divorce. 

^ Lo here the first beginning of filing out betwixt the em- 
peror and the pope ; which was increased, for that two years 
afW (as the same author saith) the pope deprived one Charles 
for simony and theft, to whom the emperor had sold fbr 
money the bishopric of Constance, And this he did by a council 
of prelates and princes, held in Germany itself, the emperor 
being present : ' Bishop Charles (saith Lamb^) was deposed, 
notwithstanding that the king was present in that judgment, 
and defended him and his cause as much as he could.' Lamb, 
Sehaf, A. D. 1071. And this was an increase of the falling 
out between them ; but the constan<r)r (saith the same author) 
and invinoibie mind of Hildebrand against covetousness, did * 
exclude all arguments of human deceits and subtilties. Ibid. 

** Urspergensis, in like manner, who lived in the same time, 
rackoneUi up many partijtmlars of the emperor's wicked be* 

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30 BEVIEW OF fox's 

haviour in these words: 'He began to despise the princjes, 
oppress the nobles and nobility, and give himself to inconti- 
nency.' Usrp. A. D, 1068. Whidii Ayentinus (an authcn: 
not mislikedby the Protestants) uttereth more par^ularly in 
these words: ' The very fnends of Henry the emperor do not 
deny that he was infamous for his wicked life and lephery, 
^mication^ and adultery.' Lib, 4. Annaltum Boiorum* 

'' And finally, not to name any one, Marianus Scotus (that 
lived in those days) writeth thus of the whole controversy be- 
tween them : — Gregory VII. (saith he) being stirred up by 
the just clamours of Catholic men, and hearing the immanity 
of Henry the emperor's wickedness^ cryed out against by 
them, did excommunicate him for the same, but especially for 
the sin of simony, in buying and selling bishoprics ; wliidi 
fact of the pope did like very well all good Catholic men, but 
displeased such as would buy and sell benefices, and were 
favourers of the said emperw." Mar. ScoL Inchron. A, D. 

Thus wrote the learned Father Parsons, more than two 
. hundred years ago, who was well acquainted with the autho* 
rities he has quoted, and who, it appears, lived eotemporary 
with Gregory and Henry, and must therefore have been in 
perfect possession of the facts they stated. The Rev. Alban 
Butler, who compiled the life of this holy pope from some of 
the ablest and most authentic writers of tiiat and succeeding 
ages, enters more deeply into the transactions between Gre- 
gory and Henry. He confirms the testimony of Father 
Parsons as to the character of this prince, who feU, when 
young, into the hands of ambitious and unprincipled men, by 
whom his passions were inflamed and indulged, that ^y 
might carry on their own vicious designs. Hence, by his 
tyranny and injustices he provoked his own subjects, and 
caused the princes and nobility of the empire to appeal to the 
pope. It must here be observed, that the lives of some of 
the higher orders of the clergy were scandalous in the extreme, 
and that many of them had been guilty of simony, having 
purchased their bishoprics of Henry. Gregory, who was ea^- 

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Book, of martyrs. 31 

alted to the papacy by compulsion, and with the consent of 
Henry, was no sooner seated in the chair of Peter, than, like 
a good and pious pontiff, he meditated a reform in the morals 
of the clergy, as the best and surest means of producing a 
general change For the better. Accordingly, he called a coun- 
cil at Rome, and after due deliberation, a decree was passed, 
by whicli all persons guilty of simony were declared incapable 
of receiving any ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and disqualified 
for holding any benefice whatever. This mandate was of 
course not pleasing to those bishops who had purchased their 
benefices from the emperor, and who were not willing to part 
with them ; they therefore made complaint to Henry, who 
espoused their cause. This monarch, like all other tjrants 
and oppressors, could dissemble when it served his ends, and 
accordingly he wrote a letter to Gregory on his exaltation to ^ 
ihe papal see, condemning himself for having sold the bene- 
fices of the church, and promising amendment. This pope 
answered him in terms of the greatest charity and apostolic 
zeal. But when Henry found Gregory inflexible in the pur- 
suit of a reformation in the conduct of the clergy, he shewed 
that his former professions of repentance were dictated by 
hypocrisy, and he resolved to continue the patroniser of cor- 
ruption and exaction. Pursuing this determination, on the 
23rd of January, 1076, he assembled at Worms a conventicle 
of simoniacal bishops, who presumed to depose Gregory from 
the p<mtificate on the most shallow pretences. Henry sent 
tliis mock sentence to Home, together with a contumelious 
letter. On the receipt of this sentence and letter, Gregory 
called a council at Home, and declared the emperor and his 
schismatical adherents excommunicated ; and he further took 
upon him to pronounce that Henry, for his tyranny and op- 
pressions, had forfeited his right to the crown. 

That Gregory had a right to excommunicate Henry and 
his adherents cannot be doubted, since the afiair for which he 
was condemned was one of spirituals. With the affairs of 
the church the temporal power has no jurisdiction. Henry 
therefore could not depose the pope without creating a schism. 

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and for tliis, he was liable to exclusion from the benefit of 
the stieraments. By the sentence of excommunication he 
was cut off from receiving any part of the treasures of the 
church ; but the decree of deposition was quite a different 
thing. Christ had left too power in his church to depose 
sovereigns, nor would he admit the power of sovereigns to 
interfere with his kingdom; the general opinion of those 
times, however, had constituted the reigning pope, from the 
nature of his high office, a kind of arbiter or judge in the 
disputes which arose between contending sovereigns, or the 
discontents which might occur between a sovereign and the 
nobles and people. In this case the pope acted not by divine 
right, but by general consent ; and if kings, and princes, and 
people alike, are content to refer their temporal concerns to 
the head of the church, that head cannot be blamed for using 
his beat endeavours to see justice done to each party, by the 
removal of public abuses and the establishment of just laws. 
This was the aim of Gregory VII., and for this most praise- 
worthy and honourable intention, he is the subject of invective 
and calumny. 

The reader will now perceive the cause of the decree 
issued by Gregory, and the motives which induced Henry to 
refuse submission. We must now notice Fox's pathetic tale of 
the barefooted pilgrimage of Henry, his wife, and child, and 
the three dftyS' sojournment before the walls of the pope's 
palace, into which he is said to have gained admission at last 
through the entreaties of a lady named Matilda, and said to 
be the pope's paramour. By the name of the pretended para- 
mour we are inclined to believe that this lady is no other than 
the countess of Tuscany, who was the daughter of Beatrice, 
sister to the emperor Henry III., by her husband Boniface, 
Lord of Lucca, and was therefore cousin to the emperor 
Henry IT. She was a woman of great virtue and heroism, 
and the wife of Guelpho, the younger duke of Bavarift. Her 
mother, Beatrice, and herself, were great admirers and pro- 
tectresses of Gregory, and were directed by his counsels ili 
tbd paths of perfection ; it is not therefore likely, but is 

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evidently a gross ealamnj, that Matilda was a paramour of 
tiie pope, who was too serious in his design to hring the 
clergy to a state of continencj to violate it himself. 

The sentence of Ghregorj agidnst Henrj, added to his own 
oppressions and misconduct, caused the princes of the empire 
to assemhle in diet^ to take into consideration the state of 
the empire^ and to decide whether Henry should he any longer 
their emperor. This state of things, and the repentance of 
many of his adherents, alarmed Henry, and he set off to 
Borne to ohtain a reconciliation with the pope, as the sures 
way to preserve his crown. The monarch put on the garh of 
penitence, and hegged an audience, hut Gregory, knowing 
his former insincerity, kept him in suspense till the fourth 
day, when they were reconciled on certain conditions, the 
efmperor promising to make all the satisfaction in his power 
for the injuries he had committed. The conditions of this 
reconciliation, as related by Fojc, are. fabulous, as the sub- 
sequent conduct of the monarch will clearly shew. This part 
of the history Fox has suppressed, but it is necessary to be 
known, in order to clear up the mist thus thrown around it. 
Gregory, with the sincerity of an upright man, sent off a 
messenger instantly to the princes of Germany, imforming 
them of the important reoondliation, and requesting them to 
suspend their deliberations, until he and Henry should appear 
am<mgst than. Henry, on the contraiy, like all dissemblers, 
made excuses, and tried to prolong his appearance, and thiit 
of the pope in tiie assembly. The council or diet of the 
princes, was held at Foreheim, in Franconia, the members of 
which, growing weary of delay, and expecting no good from 
a Mthless sovereign, proceeded to the Section, and on the 
15th of March, 1077, chose Rodolph, duke of Suabia, for 
their emperor. 

Henry, finding his enemies resolute, and not being dis- 
posed to part with his crown without a struggle, the seeds of 
«vil war were sown, and a contest was carried on, with various 
fRKceM, for ihree years. The death of Rodolph, who fell in 
battle, left Henry sole master of the empire ; and elated with 

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victory, he renewed his yidence against the churchy dun^ 
moned a crowd of simoniacal prelates to depose the pope, and 
publish again the mock deposition. Gregory, in consequence 
of this arbitrary and insulting conduct, renewed his former 
censures against Henry, who, full of revenge, marched an 
army into Italy, set up an antipope, and laid siege to the 
city of Home. The pope shut himself up in the castle of St. 
Angelo, wliere he remained secure till Hobert Guischard, the 
heroic duke of Calabria, relieved the city and caused Henry 
to retreat into Lombardy. Though again master of Home, 
the spirit of party ran so high, that Gregory deemed it most 
prudent to retire, which he did, first to Monte Ca8sino> and 
then to Salerno, where he fell sick, and ended his days on the 
25th of March, 1085. Thus then this pope, who b repro^ 
bated for his insolence, which, we are told had attained, at 
this time, a formidable height, died a proscribed exile, through 
the villanies and intrigues of a man, who is held out to tlxe 
people of England as an olject of pity. The last words of 
Gregory were : " I have loved justice and have hated iniquity, 
therefore I die in a strange land.*' Gifted as this pontiff 
was with the most heroic qualities and amiable virtues, it 
would have been a wonder if his character had not been as- 
sailed by some writers, and more especially by those who are 
interested in keeping up similar abuses which Gregory 
opposed, and who hate that system of religion of which h^ 
was the head. His own writings, however, will bear testi- 
mony against these slanders, and when we add the evidenee 
of a writer, by no means partial to any pope, we may con- 
sider the character of Gregory as rescued from foul blots, 
which unjust authors have attempted to cast upon it. Dupin, 
a French author, says : ** It must be acknowledged that pope 
Gregory VII. was an extraordinary genius, capable of great 
things; constant and undaunted in the execution; well 
versed in the constitution of his predecessors ; zealous fbr the 
interests of the Holy See ; an enemy to simony and liber!^ 
tinism (vices which he vigorously opposed); full of Christian 
thoughts and of zeal for the reformation of the manners of 

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the clergy ; and there is not the least colour to think that he 
was not unblemished in his o^n morals. This is the judg- 
jnent which we suppose every one will pass upon him, who 
shijl read oyer his letters with a disinterested and unprejudiced 
mind. They are penned with a great deal of eloquence, full 
of good matter and embellished with noble and pious thoughts; 
and we boldly say, that no pope since Gregory I. wrote such 
fine and strong letters as this Gregory did.'* — Du Piny Cent. 
11, ch. 1, pp. 67, 68. 

As to the emperor Henry IV., after carrying on the con- 
test with three of Gregory's successors, his own sons rebelled 
against him, and joined the malcontents. In these contests 
he suffered the severest checks of fortune, and died at Liege, 
in the year 1106, and 46th of his age, leaving behind him a 
name odious for his execrable lust, refined hypocrisy, and 
barbarous cruelties. Yet such a character as this has Fox 
enlisted among his auxiliaries to traduce and defame the re- 
ligion of the primitive Christians, and the successors of the 

The next story is headed, — "King John surren- 
ders HIS CROWN TO THE PoPB j" which Occurrence he 
gives in these words :— " The ascendency of the popes was 
never more fully evinced than by a remarkable fact in the 
history of our own country. King John, having incurred the 
hatred of his barons and people, by his cruel and tyrannical 
measures, they took arms against him, and offered the crown 
to Louis, son of the French king. By seizing the possessions 
of the clergy, John had also fallen under the displeasure of 
the pope, who accordingly laid the kingdom under an interdict, 
and absdved his subjects from their allegiance. Alarmed at 
this, the tyrant earnestly sued for peace with his holiness, 
hoping, by his mediation, to obtain favourable terms from the 
barcms, or, by his thunders, to terrify them into submission. 
He made the most abject supplications, and the pope, ever 
willing to increase the power of the church, sent cardinal 
Pandulf as legate to the king, at Canterbury, to whom John 
resigned his crown and dominions ; and the cai-dinal^ after 

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retaining the crown ^re days, in token of possession^ rettimed 
it to the king, on condition of his making him a yearly pre- 
sent of 1000 marks to the court of Itome, and holding the 
dominions of England and Ireland in farm, from the pope. 
But if John expected any henefit from this most disgracefbl 
transaction, he was disappointed ; and instead of enjoying 
the crown, which he had so hasely surrendered and received 
again, the short remainder of his life was disturbed by con- 
tinual insurrections, and he at last died either of grief, or by 
poison, administered to him by a monk of the convent of 
Swineshead, in Lincolnshire. The latter cause is assigned by 
many historians, and we are told that the king, suspecting 
some fruit that was presented to him, at the above convent, 
to be poisoned, ordered the monk who brought it to eat of it, 
which he did, and died in a few hours after." 

As this subject is most obscurely given in this passage, and 
as the transactions in this king's reign are of great interest, 
even at this moment, and, as well as the days of Alfred, will 
require to be referred to, in our examination of Fox's acconnt 
of the Reformation, we will here enter somewhat oopiously 
into the principal fisicts of the reigns of Alfred and John, as 
regard the religious and political institutions of those times, 
and the influence which religion had on these two monarcha 
in wielding the sceptre. We have already shown Ttow the 
Catholic religion wius introduced into this kingdom, under the 
Saxon heptarchy, in the sixth century, and the beneficial 
effects it produced on Ihe manners and dispositions of our 
converted ancestors. By the advice of the prekteS; tihe 
guardians of faith and morals, laws founded on the true prin- 
ciples of justice were establidied under the best and wisest of 
their kings ; and when the ravages of war and the torpitacle 
of sovereigns had debased the morals of the people, the dergj 
were the foremost to seize the opportunity, whenever one was 
offered, to bring the nation back to a state of vkiue and hap- 
piness. 1 n this pursuit, they always found the best had most 
efficient aid in a religious and active monarch. Such was the 
renowned Alfred, whose deeds as a Christian, a sddier, and a 

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frtatesman, reflect a lustre on that religion by whicli they were 
infinenced. This great monarch was the fourth and youngest 
son of Ethelwolph, the pious king of the West Saxons, and 
the second sovereign of all England. He was bom at Want* 
age, in Berkshire, in 849, and at an early age was sent to 
Rome. Leo IV., who then filled the chair of St. Peter, 
adopted him as his son, and the foundation of those virtues, 
which afterwards shone with such brilliancy in his actions, 
was no doubt laid in his heart by the instructions he received 
at the papal court. How then can that religion be insepar- 
able from persecution, which leads the mightiest monarchs 
to establish the most equitable laws ? And how can the men 
be monsters, as Fox and his editors represent the popes to 
have been, who planted such noble feelings in the minds of 
our Alfred, and those other British sovereigns whose names 
glitter in the page of history, and throw a dark shade on the 
vices of those monarchs who rejected and violated the prin- 
ciples of their religion ? 

Alfred came to the crown in the 22nd year of his age, when 
the Danes were pouring their hordes into the kingdom, and 
swe^xing everything before them. Various were the vicissi- 
tudes he experienced in his endeavours to recover the king- 
dom from the invaders, and at last he was driven to the 
extremity of seeking safety in some woody and boggy parts 
<rf the county of Somerset. Here he lay hid for six months, 
employing hhnseff in prayer and meditation, and listening to 
the instructions of his spiritual director. In this state of 
exile, several of our best historians relate, that falling into a 
slumber, he received an assurance from St. Cuthbert thiLt 
God would shortly restore him to his kingdom. Encouraged 
by this vision, Alfred renewed active operations, and succeeded 
in reconquering the kingdom, making the Danes surrender 
to his prowess, and acknowledge him victor. The first use 
he made of his triumph was to grant liberty of conscience to 
the Danish prisoners, by^lowing those who did not choose to 
become Christians to return to their own country ; those who 
unbraced the •hxtk were settled in ihe kingdom of the Ea^t 

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38 REVIEW OF pox's 

Angles. He next turned his attention to maritime affairs, 
and founded that navy which has raised British glory so high 
among the nations of the world. The arts^ sciences, and 
literature then occupied his notice, and he also employed 
himself in erecting castles, fortresses, churches, and monas*- 
teries, which had heen oyerthrown hy the devastation of the 
Danes. But that which raised Alfred's name above the rest 
of our monarchs, was the indefatigable assiduity and superior 
wisdom he manifested in bringing about a reformation g£ 
abuses, and laying the foundation of British freedom. 

" Nothing," writes the Rev. Alban Butler, in a note to the 
Life of St. Neot, a near relative of Alfred, ^' is more famous 
in the reign of this king, than his care and prudence in 
settling the public tranquillity of the state, by an exact ad- 
ministration of justice. In the preceding times of war and 
confusion, especially whilst the king and his followers lurked 
at Athelney, or up and down, and in cottages, the English 
themselves became lawless, and in many places revolted and 
plimdered their own country. Alfred, by settling a most 
pnident polity, and by a rigorous execution of the laws, re- 
stored so great a tranquillity through the whole kingdom, 
that, according to the common assertion of our historians, if 
a traveller had lost a purse of money on the highway, he 
would find it untouched the next day. We are told in Bronip- 
ton^s Chronicle^ that gold bracelets were hung up at the 
parting of several highways, which no man durst presume 
to touch. 

" Alfred compiled a body of laws from those of Ina, Offa, 
and Ethelbert, to which he added several new ones, which all 
tended to maintain the public peace and safety, to enforce 
the observance of the divine precepts, and to preserve the 
respect which is due to the church and its pastors. For 
crimes they inflict fines or mulcts, proportioned to the quality 
and fortune of the delinquent ; aa, for withholding the Peter- 
pence, for buying, selling, or working on the Lord's day ot 
holiday, a Dane's fine was twelve ores or ounces, an English- 
man's thiHy shillings : a slave was to forfeit his hide, that is^ 

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to be whipped. The mulct of a Bane was called Lash-Ute ; 
that of an Englishman Wears-wite, or gentleman*s mulct. 
Were or Weregild was the mulct or satisfaction for a crime; 
it was double for a crime committed on a Sunday or holiday, 
or in Lent. By these laws it appears that slaves in England 
enjoyed a property, and could earn for themselves, when they 
worked at times in which they were not obliged to work for 
tiieir masters; in which they differed from strict slaves of 
whom the Roman laws treat. Alfred's laws were mild, scarce 
any crimes, except murder, being punished with death ; but 
only with fines, or if these could not be paid, with the loss of 
a hand or foot. But the severity with which these laws were 
executed, roaintamed the public peace. Alfred first instituted 
trials to be determined by juries of twelve unexceptionable 
men, of equal condition, who were to pass judgment upon 
oath as to the evidence of the fact or crime ; which is to this 
day one of the most valuable privileges of an English subject. 
To extirpate robberies which, by the confusion occasioned by 
Danish devastations, were then very common, this king 
divided the kingdom into shires (though there were some 
shires before his time), and the shires into hundreds, and the 
hundreds into ty things or tenths, or in some places into 
wapentakes, and every district was made responsible for all 
robberies committed within its precincts. All vagabonds were 
restrained by every one being obliged to be enrolled in some 
district. The capital point in Alfred's administration was, 
that all bribes or* presents were most rigorously forbid the 
judges, their conduct was narrowly inspected into, and their 
least faults most severely punished. Upon any information 
being lodged against a judge or magistrate, he was tried by 
a council, established for that purpose by the king, who him- 
self presided in it ; he is said to have condemned in one year 
forty-five judges to be hanged, for crimes committed by them 
in their office. By this severity he struck a terror into all 
his magistrates ; and si^ch was the effect of his perspicuity and 
watchfidness in this respect, that, as Milton says, in his days 
justice seemed not to flourish only, but to triumph. 

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" This prince, who was born for everything that wa& great, 
was a lover and zealous patron of learning and learned men. 
He considered that arts and sciences cultivate and perfect 
those faculties in men in which the ezcellencj of their nature 
consists, and bestow the empire of the mind, much more 
noble, pleasant, and useful than that of riches ; they exceed- 
ingly enhance all the comibrts and blessings of life, and ex- 
tend the reputation and influence of a nation beyond any 
conquests. By this encouragement of learning have so many 
great geniuses been formed, to which the world stands most 
indebted ; and to this the greatest nations owe their elegance, 
taste, and splendour, by which certain reigns have been dis- 
tinguished. By what else did the golden elegant ages of 
Rome and Athens differ from the unknown brutal times of 
savage nations ? Certainly nothing so much exalts the glory 
of any reign, or so much improves the industry and under- 
standing, and promotes the happiness of a people, as the cul- 
ture of leading geniuses by well regulated studies. As Plato 
says, (1. 6. de leg.) man without culture and education is the 
most savage of all creatures which the earth nourishes. But 
sciences are still of infinitely greater importance with regard 
to religion ; and this consideration above all others, recom- 
mended the patronage of learning to this pious king. The 
ancient public schools being either destroyed, or almost fallen 
to decay with the monasteries during the wars, Alfred founded 
the university of Oxford. Alfred, canon of Beverly, in 1 120, 
writes in his manuscript history, that king Alfred stirred up 
all gentlemen to breed their sons to the study of literature, 
or if they had no sons, some servants or vassals whom they 
should make free. He obliged every free man who was pos- 
sessed of two hides of land, to keep their sons at school till 
they were flfreen years of age, for, said the king, a man bom 
free, who is unlettered, is to be regarded no otherwise than a 
beast, or a man void of understanding. It is a point of im- 
portance, that persons of birth, whose conduct in life must 
necessarily have a strong and extensive influence over their 
fellow-creatures^ and who are designed by Providence to be 

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. BOOR OP lilAHf YfiS. 41 

diarged with the direction of many others, be fonned from 
their infancy to fill this superior rank which they hold with 
dignity, and to the general advantage of their species. Ih 
order to he qualified for this purpose, their tender hearts must 
he deeply impressed with the strongest and most generous 
sentiments of sincere piety and religion, and of true honours : 
by being inured to reason in their youth they must acquire a 
habit of reasoning well and readily, and of forming right 
judgments atid conclusions. Their faculties must be raised 
and improved by study, and when, by passing through the 
circle of the sciences, their genius has been explored, their 
studies and employs ought to be directed into the channel, 
which, by their rational inclinations, talents, particular duties, 
and circumstances of life, the great Author of nature and 
. Master of the world skeXi point out to each individual. King 
Alfred also exhorted the noblemen to choose, among their 
country vassals or villains, some youth who should appear by 
parts and ardent inclinations to piety, particular promising ii> 
be trained up to the liberal arts. As for the rest, it was not 
then the custom to give the poorer sort too much of a school 
education, which might abate their industry and patience at 
manual labour. But this prince was solicitous that care 
should be taken for the education and civilizing of all, by re- 
ligious instructions and principles. Agriculture, in the first 
place, and all the useful and mechanical arts never had a 
greater patron or protector.** 

Who can have the hardihood, after this account of the 
transactions of Alfred, to charge the Catholic church with a 
desire to keep her children in ignorance ? Kothing but the 
most barefaced impudence and bigotted prejudice could in- 
duce a man to utter so groundless a falsehood. X>o we not 
here see, in the ninth ceutury, the strenuous exertions of a 
Catholic king, seconded by the Catholic clergy, iu founding 
seminaries of education^ and imparting the advantages of 
learning to those who seek them. These schools and colleger 
were preserved, and others added to them, out of the revenues 
of the church and through the piety of ihe clergy, till the 

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42 REVIEW OP fox's 

rapacious Henry the Eigh& came to the crown, when, taking 
it into his head to become a religious tinker, he and his suc- 
cessor seized upon most of these seats of knowledge, and 
destroyed the learned labours of their inhabitanta. Camden, 
the panegyrist of Elizabeth, in his introduction to the Annak 
of that queen, says : ** England sate weeping to see her wealth 
exhausted, her coin debased, and her abbeys demolished, 
which were the monuments of ancient piety;" while another 
writer. Sir John Denham^ speaking of this scene of desola- 
tions, exclaims, — 

** Who sees these dismal heaps but will demand. 
What barbarous invader sack'd the land ! 
But when he hears no Goth, no Turk, did bring 
This desolation, but a Christian king ; 
When nothing but the name of zeal appears 
Twixt our best actions and the worst of theirs. 
What does he think our sacrilege would spare. 
Since these th* effects of our deyotion are." — Cooper's Hill, 
Of Alfred, on the contrary. Sir Henry Spelman ( Oonc. Brit. ) 
speaks thus in strains of rapture : " O, Alfred, the wonder 
and astonishment of all ages ! If we reflect on hia piety and 
religion, it would seem that he had always lived in a cloister ; 
if on his warlike exploits, that he had never been out of 
camps ; if on his learning and writings, that he had spent 
his whole life in a college ; if on his wholesome laws, and wise 
administration, that these had been his whole study and em- 
ployment." Such is the character given to Alfred, who, we 
wish the reader to bear in mind, was a Catholic king, 
governed by the divine precepts of the Catholic church, 
while the " few plain Christians" tell us that the Catholic 
religion is inseparable from persecution, and its professors 
bloodthirsty and superstitious. 

We must now return to the martyrologist. Fox says : 
*' The ascendency of the popes was never more fully evinced 
than by a remarkable fact in the history of our own country ;" 
which fact turns out to be the surrender which John inade of 
the crown of England to Innocent III. This fact he has 
taken care to envelope in much darkness, and when placed in 
its true light, the ascendency of the popes in those days wil^ 

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appear to be not half so pernicious as the asoendencj of an 
Orange faction of our own. It is confessed by Yox, that 
John was hated bj the barons and ^people for hia cruel and 
tyrannical measures, and that they offered the crown to Louis, 
mm of the French king. It is true they did so ; and it is 
also true that this offer was made subsequent to the surrender 
of the crown by John to Innocent, so great was the ascendency 
of the popes in those days I Fox places this circumstance 
before the affair between the king and the supreme pontiff, 
whereas, as we have just said, it should have been <$fter the 
mighty resignation. The case was this : John was a faith- 
less and perfidious character ; he divorced his wife and mur- 
dered his nephew, which latter crime drew upon him the 
indignation of his subjects ; and the Bretons, in particular, 
swore to be revenged on the murderer. His foreign do- 
minions in Normandy were attacked, and John was compelled 
to retire to England, where he raised forces, and applied to 
the pope to compel his antagonist, the French king, by 
ecclesiastical censures, to observe his engagements. 

It must be here noticed, that at the period we are treating 
of, the principle upon which our ancestors were governed was 
the feudal system ; and it was no unconmion thing to see the 
king of England doing homage as the vassal of the king of 
France, and the king of Scotland swearing fealty to the king 
of England ; the one for territories held in Normandy, the 
other for lands held under the English crown. Hence in 
many of these disputes, when the fate of arms was doubtful, 
or had turned out disastrous, the sovereign pontiffs were ap- 
pealed to as the conunon father of Christendom, to use their 
spiritual influence, which was almost invariably exercised on 
the side of justice. In the case with John, the pope entered 
warmly into the affair, and endeavoured to bring about a re- 
conciliation. The matter, however, turned out disastrous to 
the English monarch's interests, and he soon found himself 
involved in a dispute with Innocent himself. 

In those times, the choice of a bishop was not as now, a 
XOfiXQ matter of Qourse^ at the will of ^ minister, but a canon\- 

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cal election wfts deemed neee&ddiy, and the church heing 
independent of the 6tate, in point of ipirittsals, a rigid ad- 
herence to forms was the consequence. It happefued Ihat the 
see of Oanterhurj became vacant, and Jotai wanted to put 
one of his own creatures into ihe prii^ate's chmr ; the monkey 
who had a right of elecUon, differed from the king, and 
elected another candidate ; but fearing John's displeasure, thej 
disregarded the €rst choice, and made a selection of John de 
(jrej, bishop of Norwich, according to the recommendation 
of the king. As this was an affair that regarded the spiritual 
jurisdiction of the church, recourse was had to the pope, who 
pronounced both elections void, and ordered a canonical one 
to be entered into, when Stephen Langton, an Englishman 
of great eminence and learning, who had been honoured bj 
Innocent with the purple, was chosen, and his election con- 
firmed by the pope. The bishop of Norwich not being willing 
to loose the object of his ambition, insinuated bad advice into 
the ear of his royal master, who reused to acknowledge 
Langton, and, in the fury of disappointment, he turned his 
rage upon the monks, seized on their revenues, and banished 
them from the kingdom. Innocent tried, by persuasive means, 
to bring the king to a state of reason and justice, but he was 
inexorable ; three bishops, by order of the pope, beseeched 
him in the most moving terms, to accept the new bishop, but 
he only answered them with oaths and insults. The king was 
then laid under an interdict, and was subsequently excommu^ 
nicated, in tiie hope of bringing him over to justice. John 
continued to deride these measures till he found the barons 
were not to be relied upon, so great was their detestation of 
his conduct and injustices, and his crown was threatened by 
his rival, the French king. He was then panic-struck, and 
in a fit of guilty cowardice, he resigned the crown into the 
hands of the pope's legate, and swore feality to the Boman 
see. Fox insinuates, that this transaction originated in the 
willingness of the popes to increase the power of the church ; 
but if this were the case. Innocent must have felt himself 
much disappointed, his power not having received the least 

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augmentation by the transaction, as we shall find in the 

The kmg being reconciled, the new archbishop Langton 
was allowed to take possession of his see and the revenues 
thereof. The first act of the archbishop, on revoking the 
sentence of excommunication, was, we are told by Dr. Lin- 
gard, to make the king swear, '* that he would abolish all 
illegal customs, and revive the laws of the good king 
Edward.'' John took the oath, but he did not mean to keep 
it, so perfidious was his disposition. Some of the barons 
having fallen under the king's displeasure, he resolved to 
punish their disobedience by military execution. In this 
resolution the monarch found himself opposed by the noble 
minded and honest archbishop, who reminded him that it was 
the right of the accused to be tried by his peers. John dis- 
regarded his admonitions, on which the archbishop told the 
king, gays the last named author, that if he " persisted to 
refuse them the justice of a trial, he should deem it his duty 
to excommunicate every person, with the exception of the 
king himself, who should engage in so impious a warfare. 
John yielded with reluctance, and for the sake of form, sum- 
moned the accused to appear on a certain day before him or 
his justices.*' This conduct of the archbishop may be 
thought by some as insolent and disrespectful to the sovereio-n ; 
but to those who admit that a monarch holds his crown for the 
people, it will appear an act "of the purest patriotism, and 
shew how beneficial it is that churchmen should not owe their 
situations to the crown, but be independent of ministerial 
influence for their elevation. 

The continued treachery and vexations of John induced 
the cardinal archbishop to seek other measures to ensure the 
safety of persons and property from the lawless rapacity of 
the king. Accordingly, at a meetiug of the barons at St. 
Paul's, he called them aside, read to them the chapter of 
liberties confirmed by Henry I., and commented upon its pro- 
visions. The barons swore upon oath to conquer or die in 
defence of their liberties. The reader will observe that 

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46 REVIEW OF fox's 

daring these proceedings, John held his crown in fealtj to 
the pope, and was courting his support against the harons, as 
well as against the king of France, with whom he was at war. 
The contest with France proved unsuccessiul, and John^ 
having concluded a truce of five years, returned to England 
to receive further mortification. On the 20th of November, 
1214, the barons met at the abbey of St. Edmundsbury, 
where they took a solemn oath before the high altar, to de- 
mand in a body of the king, a redress of their grievances 
and a restoration of their civil liberties. This was done ac- 
cordingly, and the king demurring, both parties appealed to 
the pope, who took the part of his vassal, John. In a letter 
to Langton he condemned the conduct of the barons as un- 
just, accused the archbishop of being the fomenter of the 
dispute, dnd commanded him to exert all his authority to re- 
store harmony between the king and his subjects. The 
question was not one of spirituals, but a political struggle for 
temporal claims, and Langton knew how to distinguish 
between the two authorities. While he bowed submission to 
Innocent as head of the church, he declined to obey his 
mandate as lord paramount of the state, when the command 
was contrary to the rights and interests of the nation. Thus, 
when the cardinal primate was urged by the legate and the 
bishop of Exeter to excommunicate the barons, Langton re- 
fused to listen to their propositions, and told them that unless 
John dismissed the foreign troops he had introduced into the 
kingdom, he should think it his duty to oppose them with all 
his power. The barons thus fortified by this courageous 
dignitary of the church, again pressed their demands on the 
king, who wished to refer the question to the pope, but the 
barons refused to let the matter be sent to Home, and at 
length obtained, on the plains of Runnymead, the signature 
of the king to that charter of liberties which is referred to at 
the present day as one of the fundamental pillars of British 
freedom, and is called the Great Charter. 

Thus it is clear, that whatever might be the ascendancy of 
the popes, and however disgraceful the conduct of John 

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might be in surrendering the crown to Innocent^ a Catholic 
cardinal and bishop, and Catholic barons and knights, knew 
bow to treat this aseendancj when it stood in the waj <^ 
their rights and grievances. The idea of the dominions of 
England and Ireland being l^ldtn /arm from the pope, maj 
suit some prejudiced minds, but the page of history will prove 
that none were more attached to the see of Rome, on subjects 
of spiritual jurisdiction, nor more opposed to the court of 
Rome, when the rights and independence of the country were 
interfered with, than our Catholic ancestors. They knew, 
as we hare before observed, how to distinguish between the 
two authorities, and if they occasionally appealed to the pope 
to heal any differences between crowned heads, or between 
the rulers and the people, when any stretch of power was 
exerted on the part of the pontiffs, there were always pro- 
fessors of the canon and civil law to point out the act of en- 
croachment, and all parties were at liberty to abide by it or 
reject it. So much for this mighty bugbear, which was con- 
jured up to fdarm the haters of Popery out of their senses, 
as well as out of those liberties which our Catholic forefathers 
were so tenacious in preserving. 

After John had signed the charter of liberties, he used 
eveiy endeavour to render the privileges granted by it nuga- 
tory, and sought to wreak vengeance on the heads of those 
who were instrumental in forcing him to sign that important 
document. His cruelties were unparalleled, and his rapacity 
insatiable ; which induced the barons to offer the crown to 
Louis, the son of the king of France. Louis accepted the 
offer, and an unsuccessful attempt was made by the pope's 
legate to prevent both father and aon from invading a king- 
dom^ which, he said, was a fief oi the holy see. Here we 
have another proof how little the pretended ascendancy of 
ihe popes was regarded, when it stood in the way of kingly 
Mnbition. The fact is, as we have frequently repeated, and 
it ought not to be forgotten, the ascendancy of the popes 
arose from the high situation they held, and the general 
opinion entertained of their virtues and learning, and love of 

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justice. Innocent III.^ like Gregory YIIL, was a divine 
renowned for his great knowledge taid stem integrity. Of 
Innocent, who governed the church eighteen years, Blondus, 
amongst other authors, writes thus : " The faoE^ and pdour 
of this pope's gravity, holiness of life, and greatness of ac- 
tions, was most sweet throughout all France," ^. (Blond, 
decad, 2. 1. viL p. 297.) The Rev. Alhan Butler says, that 
Innoeent III. was "famous for his great actions^ and fac 
several learned and pious hooks which he composed." There 
are writers, to he sure, who have endeavoured to hlacken the 
fame of this eminent pontiff, but their slanders are evidently 
the effect of malicious or prejudiced minds, and, therefore* 
wholly unworthy of credit. Innocent convened the fourth 
general council of Lateran, and condemned the Albig^ses ; 
it is, therefore, do wonder Hiat he should be abused by Fox 
and his modem editors, the ** few plain Christians,'* who 
daim so n^ar a kindred in religion with that impious and 
diabolical sect. 

Let us now see what the character of John was from the 
best historians. Dr. Lingard thus describes it : " Wh&x 
Geraldus delineated the characters of the four sobs of £Lenry» 
John had already debased hb faculties by excess and volpp- 
tuousness. The courtly eye of the preceptor could indeed 
discover tiie germ of future excellence in his pupil ; but his- 
tory has recorded only his vices : his virtues, if such a mon- 
ster oould possess virtues, were unseen or forgotten. He 
stands b^ore us polluted with meanness, cruelty, pesjury, and 
murder; uniting with an ambition which nished thpough 
every crime to the attainment of its object, a pusillanimity 
which often, at the sole a{^)earance of opposition, sank into 
despondency. Arrogant in pro^>erity, abject in adver^j, 
he nether oondliated affection in the one, nor excited eeteem. 
in the other. His dissimulation was so well known, that it 
sddom deoeived : his suspicion served only to multiply h*s 
enemies; and the knowledge of his vindictive temper Am- 
.tributed to keep open the Ueadi between him and those wha 
had incurred his cUspleawre. S^dom, perfai^, vras there a 

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prince with a heart more callous to the suggestions of pity. 
Of his captives many never returned irom their dungeons. If 
they surnyed their tortures, they were left to perish hy 
famine. He could eyen affect to be witty, at the expense of 
his victims. When Geoffiry, archdeacon of Norwich, a faith- 
ful servant, had retired from his seat at the exchequer on 
account of tiie interdict, the king ordered him to be arrested, 
and sent him a cope of lead to keep him warm in his prison. 
The cope was a large mantie, covering the body from the 
shoulders to the feet, and worn by clergymen during the 
service. Wrapt in this ponderous h ^bit, with his head only 
at liberty, the unhappy man remained without food or assist- 
ance till he expired. On another occasion, he demanded a 
present of ten thousand marks from an opulent Jew, at 
Brist(^, and ordered one of his teeth to be drawn every morn- 
ing till he should produce the money. 1 he Jew was obsti- 
nate. The executioners began with his double teeth. He 
suffered the loss of seven ; but on the eighth day solicited 
a respite, and gave security for the payment. 

^ John was not less reprehensible a^ a h sband, than he 
was as a monarch. "Wliile Louis took from him his provinces 
on the continent, he had consoled h mself fjr the lo.s in the 
company of his beautiful bride; but he soon i.b ndoned her 
to revwrt to his former habits. The licentiousness of his 
amours b reckoned by every ancient writer among the prin- 
cipal causes of the alienation of his barons, many of whom 
had to lament and revenge the disgrace of a wife, or daughter, 
t)r sister.'* 

We have here given a faithful account of the circumstances 
which occurred between Henry IV. of Germany and Gregory 
VIL, and John of England and Innocent III, together with 
a true character of these respective personnges from the best 
authorities. It will here be seen that the aux Haries pressed 
by Fox into his cause are of tiie most worthless and irreli- 
gious cast, whose crimes bring discredit on human nature, and 
whose deeds are a blot on the history of nations. On the 
other hand, the '* infernal artifices*' attributed by him to the 


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50 BEYIEW OF fox's 

*' popes, monks, and iriars/* we find have led to the most 
beneficial consequences, and have been the means of exaltmg 
the human mind ; extending the arts and sciences through 
every country where Cathcdicism was planted, and in none 
more so than in our own beloyed island, as the remains of our 
ancient buildings, and the stately cathedrals that now adorn 
the kingdom bear testimony. The foreign wars and eiyil 
broils that convulsed Europe are also imputed to these ''in- 
fernal" artificers ; with how mneh truth let the admirable 
laws and regulations of those days, in our country, the work 
of the most pious kings and learned divines, bear witness. 
We have shewn how the Catholic religion was planted by the 
care of popes in this country, and how the purest maxims of 
justice and civil government were established under its benign 
influence ; another picture now remains to be unfolded, in 
which the depravity of error will appear in that light which 
Pox and his modern editors have endeavoured to cast upon 
the ministers and disciples of the Catholic church. 

Before we enter on this comparison, we must be allowed to 
lay before our readers another delectable tale by the martyro- 
logist, which he has headed thus : ** An Emperor troddb]^ 
ON BY THE Pope.*' Oh horrible ! ! Who could ever have 
supposed such a thing ? The popes must be '* monsters" in- 
deed to tread upon emperors I But let us see what Fox 
himself says on this extraordinary deed. " The papal usur~ 
pattofis,^* he writes, " were extended to every part of Europe* 
In Germany, the emperor Frederic was compelled to submit 
to be trodden under the feet of pope Alexander, and dared 
not make any resistance. In En^mid, howev©*, a spirit of 
resentment broke out in various reigns, in consequence of the 
oppressions and horrible conduct of those anti-christian blas- 
phemers, which continued with more or less violence till the 
time of the great Wickliffe, of whom we shall speak more 
fully in the following pages.*' (Page ii,, 23.) 

Can any one re&ain from smiling at this account by Fox ? 
These German emperors, according to his account, must have 
been shocking base dastards, to have submitted to such 

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humiliation. But they ** dared not/' he says, '^make any 
resistance!*' No, indeed ! to Ao was to prevent them ? Tell 
us hy what power, and under tohat au^ority, the popes were 
so exalted and the emperors so humhled. Let us have chapter 
and verse, and do not let this tale rest on hare assertion. We 
have shewn that Henry II. attacked the pope with arms in 
his very capital, and is it likely that an emperor, (we cannot 
say whether a predecessor or successor of this Henry, for we 
cannot tell hy the relation of Fox which of the popes named 
Alexander it was, there having heen seven of that name, nor 
which emperor called Frederick, of whom there had heen/owr,) 
is it likely, we say, that an emperor would suhmit to such an 
indignity, or that a pope, whose interest it must have heen to 
live in peace and amity with a powerful sovereign, would re- 
quire such an act of submission from a monarch ? No man 
of unclouded mind can ever believe it ; nor could such a story 
ever have gained credit in this country, had not the people 
been previously hoodwinked and beguiled out of their wits. 

But though the German emperor^ were such cowards, our 
ancestors, it seems, were not to be humUed and trodden upon 
by '^ those anti-chrislian blasphemer Sy* as Fox and his editors 
call the popes. A '* spirit of resentment,** it is said, " broke 
out in the various reigns." Well, and why not ^ecify diS" 
tinctly the reigns in which this spirit made its appearance, 
and the cause of its appearing ? There is history to refer to, 
and by making this reference a disposition would have been 
manifested to court inquiry into the truth of the fact. That 
some opposition was made to the temporal encroachments of 
some of the popes is what no Catholic will deny ; nay, our 
be^t Catholic writers frequently mention the stand made by 
our ancestors in terms of praise, and cite these instances as a 
proof of the spirit of indepefndenee, not of resentment, that 
animated the Catholics of those days, denominated by silly 
ignorant bigots the *' days of darkness." However, as Fox 
says he shall speak more fully of these days* in his account 
of Wickliffe, we shall do the same, and follow him inch by 
inch in his catalogue of falsehoods. 

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52 BKTIEW OF fox's 

•* SECTION n. 


This is a most important period in the histoty of oar oonn- 
try, and deserves much attention. According to his custom. 
Fox introduces his acconnt with a mixture of truth and false- 
hood^ of facts and fictions, well calculated to work on the 
generous creduKty of Englishmen, who are proverhial for 
their dislike of everything oppressive, and their attachment 
to justice ; hut who are unfortunately so misled hy the mis- 
representations and falsehoods of interested writers, that they 
mistake error for truth, despotism for freedom, and wrong for 
justice. The following are the introductory remains made hy 
Fox, regarding the errors of John Wickliiffe. — " The first 
attempts made in England towards the reformation of the 
church took place in the reign of Edward III., ahout A. D. 
1350, when John Wickliffe appeared. This eariy star of 
the English church was puhlic reader of divinity in the univer- 
sity of Oxford, and, hy the learned of his day, was Accounted 
deeply versed in theology, and all kinds of philosophy. This 
even his adversaries allowed, as Walden, his hitterest enemy, 
writing to pope Martin, says, that he was wonderfully 
astonished at his strong arguments, with the places of authority 
which he had gathered, with the vehemence and force of his 
reasons, <fec. At the time of his appearance, the greatest 
darkness pervaded the church. Scarcely anything hut the 
name of Christ remained ; his true doctrine heing as far un- 
known to the most part, as his name was common to all. As 
to faith, consolation, the end and use of the law, the office of 
Christ, our impotency and weakness, the greatness and 
strength of sin. of true works, grace, and free justification by 
faith, wherein Christianity consists, they were either unknown 
or disregarded. Scripture learning and divinity were known 
but to a few, and that in the schools only, where they were 

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tamed and converted into sophistry. Instead of Peter and 
Pauly men occapied their time in studying Aquinas and 
Sootus ; andy forsaking the lively power of God's spiritual 
word and doctrine, were altogether led and blinded with out- 
ward ceremonies and human traditions, insomuch that scarcely 
any other thing was seen in the churches, taught or spoken of 
in sermons, or intended or sought after in their whole lives, 
but the heapbg up of ceremonies upon ceremonies ; and the 
people were taught to worship no other thing but that which 
they saw, and almost all they saw they worshipped. But 
Wickliffe was inspired with a purer sense of religion ; and, 
knowing it to be his duty to impart the gracious blessing to 
others, he published his belief with regard to the several 
articles of religion, in which he differed fiom the common 
doctrine. Pope Gregory XI., hearing this, condemned some 
of his tenets, and commanded the archbishop of Canter- 
bury and the bbhop of London to oblige him to subscribe 
the condemnation of them ; and in case of refusal, to summon 
him to Borne. This commission could not easily be executed, 
WickMe having powerful friends, the chief of whom was 
John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, son of Edward III. The 
archbishop holding a synod at St Paul's, Wickliffe i^peared, 
accompanied by the duke of Lancaster and lord Percy, mar- 
shal oi England, when a dispute arising whether Wickliffe 
should answer sitting or standing, the duke of Lancaster pro- 
ceeded to threats, and treated the bishop with very little 
ceremony. The people present, thinking the bishop in danger, 
sided with him, so that tiie duke and the earl marshal thought 
it prudait to retire, and to take Wickliffe with them. After 
this an insurrection ensued, the clergy and their emissaries 
spreading a report .that the duke of Lancaster had persuaded 
the king to take away the privileges of the city of London, 
Ac, which fired the people to such a degree, that they broke 
open the Marshalsea, and freed all the prisoners: and not 
contented wiUi this, a vast number of them went to the duke's 
palace in the Savoy, when missing his person, they plundered 
his house. Vw this outinge the duke of Lancaster caused 

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the lord mayor and aldermen to be removed from their offices, 
imagining that thej had not used their authority to qnell the 
mutineers. After this, the bishops meeting a second time, 
Wickliffe explained to them his sentiments with regard to 
the sacrament of the encharist, in opposition to the belief of 
the Papists ; for which the bishops only enjoined him silenoe, 
not daring at that time to proceed to greater extremities 
against him.'* (Page ii.> 24, 25.) 

The martyrologist is not correct even at the commence- 
ment ; the attempt of Wickliffe and his followers were not to 
reform^ which means to change from worse to better, bat to 
deform^ that is, to disfigure, to dishonour the church, and 
convulse the state. In the first case, however, he was frus- 
trated, as we shall presently shew, by the watchful eye of her 
Divine Founder, and the vigilance of her lawful pastors ; in 
the latter he was unfortunately more successftil. The greatest 
darkness, we are told, pervaded the church at the time of 
Wickliffe's appearance, and the true doctrine of Christ, it is 
said, was unknown to the most part of the world. '* Scripture 
learning and divinity were known but to a few, and that in 
the schools only, where they were turned and converted into 
sophistry. Instead of Peter and Paul, men occupied their 
time in studying Aquinas and Scotus, and the people were 
taught to worship no other thing but that which they saw, 
and almost all they saw they worshipped.^' These are bold 
assertions, but a little reflection, and a slight glance at saored 
and profane history, will soon show how groundless they are. 
Christ has said, that his words should not fail ; that his 
church should be guided by the Spirit of Truth ; that the 
gates of hell should not prevail against her ; that she should 
continue one and the same to the end of the world ; and that 
she should never be obscured by the mist of darkness, hot 
should be like a city placed on die top of i mountain, a light 
and guide to all men. These are j^ain and unequivocal texts 
from Scripture, which every one may read and understand 
too, unless reason is perverted, and the brain is disordered 
with chimerical notions. Kow> then^ how could the church 

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W pervaded with darkness, unless the promises of Christ be- 
came void ? And is there a man laying claim to the name 
of a Christian^ who has the hardihood openly to avow that 
Christ has £&iled in his promise ? Fox caUs the popes *' anti- 
christiaa blasphemers," but, is he not heie a blasphemer 
himself, in asserting that the church was at one time m dark- 
ness, in opposition to the promises made by God, that the 
church nev^ should be in darkness ? 

But it was not wholly in darkness, it may be said ; a spariL 
of the gospel was still treasured up, to burst forth upon the 
w(H*ld, and chase away the abominations of Popery. This is 
a fine flight of imagination, and much used by the adversariea 
of the Catholic church, to lull the credulous into belief. How- 
ever, let us look to the history of the world, and see how thia 
light shone forth, and how tiie darkness, as it is called, en- 
veloped it. We have, in our first volume, displayed the pro- 
gress of Christianity in the eaiiy ages of the church, and 
shewn how the errors of dogmatazers were detected and con- 
demned, and that the greatest care was taken by the pastors 
of the Catholic church, either by g^ieral councils, or provin- 
cial synods, or written epistles, or word of mouth, to condemn 
ev^7 species of novelty, and caution the people to beware of 
the deceits of designing men, whose object was to involve 
them in confusion, and ensnare them in the meshes' of 
error. We have shewn liiat Fox himself admitted the 
right of the pope to assemble synods, and condemn heretics. 
He has dassed the holy pope Martin amongst his ** godly 
martyrs,'^ and praised him for condemning the errors of the 
Monothelites ; nor has he, in one single instance, shewn any 
authority by which the popes were derived of that right 
which he has allowed them, and which they have exercised 
from the first foundation of the church to the present day, 
and will continue to exercise it, in spite of the world and the 
devil, to the end of time. At the commencement of this 
volume, we have shewn how the Catholic faith was introduced 
into this island by missionaries sent fromEgme, and the same 
£sith was propagated by missionaries sent by the popes, in all 

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56 REVIfeW OF fox's 

the different countiies of the world, whieh did not receite ii 
personallj from the apostles. Wickliffe began Im career 
about the year 1371, so that England had been in possession 
of the Catholic faith nearly EfOHT hundbed tears, had 
acknowledged the sphitual sttpremacy of Borne during that 
time, and was gorerned in spiritual matters by a regular and 
unbroken hierarchy. A consecutite list of archbii^ops and 
bishops of all and every diocess in the kingdom can be pro^ 
duced from their first foundation to the time when ^ey were 
displaced by the ruthless hand of Elizabeth, and intruders 
thrust into the vacant sees, in which they were secured by act 
of parliament The kings of England, the emperors of both 
the eastern and western empires (with the exception of some 
of the former, who hdd scbismatical opinions, but agreed in 
point of faith, and were for their disobedience consigned by 
the vengeance of God to the infidel Mahometans) wHh the 
kings of France and the other monarehs of Europe, were all 
of one faith and one religion with the other. There were in 
cfvery age a number of the most eminent doctors and pro-* 
fessors of divinity, and for some hundred years the monks 
and friars of England had raised high the character of ^e 
country, in point of science, literature, and theology. If they 
studied Aquinas and Scotos, they also studied Peter and Paul, 
for Aquinas believed and taught the same doctrines as those 
blessed apostles received, «id preached by the command of 
their Divine Master. Dming this period, as in former ages^ 
several synods and councils were held in divers countries, for 
the suppression of error and sectananism, which ocasionally 
started up, such as the Bogomilians, Petrobusians^ Waldenses^ 
Albigenses, Flagellantes, Begardians, and others, some of 
which we have noticed in our first volume. 

We are told that Wickliffe was inspired with a purer 
<< sense of religion ; knowing it to be his duty to impart the 
gracious blessing to others, he published his belief with regard 
to the several articles of religion, in which ho differed frorai 
the common doctrine,** This is very true ; he did differ from 
the common doctrine, and it was for differing from the 

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tratl^ ihat is from the common faith of the whole world, that 
ke was condemned as a faUe teacher. . But he was an in- 
^Hrednaaal This assertioii may suit the fanatic who deals 
in private ittsfraration ; tiie sensible man, however, will require 
80BM test to piove his inspiration. From whom did he receive 
his credentials? Who commissioned hun to preach a doctrine, 
differing from those taught h"^ the apostles, and believed in 
common bj all the worid ? The fact is, if Wickliffe were 
inspired, it was by ik» 4^irit of revenge, for a disappointment 
he experienced in losing the wardenship of Canterbury-hall, 
in Oxford, into whidi place he had oontiived to hedge him- 
self. Wickliffe made his appeal to the pope, who decided 
against him, which inspired him with fresh resentment, and 
was the principal cause of his opposition to the pope. He 
had previously been engaged in a dispute with the friars, and 
finding himself not likely to obtain the promotion he sought 
for, he determined to raO against benefices and temporalities 
generally, to have his revenge on the whole body of the 
clergy, his own creatures excepted. Such doctrines could 
not foil to meet with admirers among hungry ambitious 
courtiers, and as he declaimed also against tithes, the people, 
who were oppressed at that time, owing to the expensive wars 
of Edward III., were ready to catch at his doctrine. The 
novelty and danger of Wickliffs's tenets, and the conduct of 
his ^' poor priests,*' as the fonatics who enlisted under his 
banners were called,'' soon became matter of astonishment 
and complaint. He was summoned .by the archbishop of 
Canterbury and the bishop of London to appear before them. 
He did so, as Fox relates, accompanied by John of Gaunt, 
duke of Lancaster, and Percy, the lord marshal. An alter- 
cation ensued between these haughty and irreligious peers 
and the prelates, and the people present certainly sided with 
the latter, in consequence of the outrageous and insolent 
bduiviour of the peers, whose object was to intimidate their 
opponents. It is equally true that an insurrection ensued ; 
not, however, from the insbuations of the clbrgy and their 
enuasaries, as Fox folsely asserts, but through the infiuence 

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58 BBVIEW OF fox's 

of WicklifTe's doctrines, whioh heightened Uie discontmit of 
the peo^e» whose minds w&te ahready soured by taxation and 
disappointment. To add to the discontent, a new tax was 
levied of so much a head on eyery person, according to his 
rank and estate. As this tax accelerated the rebellion of 
Wat Tyler, of which so much has been written, and so little 
is cleariy known, and the scale of taxation is yery curious, we 
will here subjoin an abridgment of it, from Dr. Lingard's 
History <^ England. 

1. The dukes of Lancaster and Bretagne were rated at. . 6 13 4 

2. The justices of the king^s bench and common pleas, 

and the chief baron of the exchequer 6 

3. An earl, earPs widow, imd the mayor of London 4 

4 . A baroUf banneret, knight equal in estate to a banneret, 

their widows, the aldermen of London, mayors of 
great towns, Serjeants at law, and great apprentices 
ofthelaw 2 6 

5. A knight, esquire who ought to be a knight, their 

widows, apprentices who followed the law, jurats of 

great towns, and great merchants I 

6. Sufficient merchants . . la 4 

7. Esquires, their widows, the widows of sufficient mer- 

chants, attomies at law 6 8 

8. Othen of less estate in proportion • 6 3 4 

or .•.. 2 

or 1 

9. Each married labourer for himself and wife 4 

10. Single men and womeui not mendicants 4 

Rot. Pari. m. 67, 58. 
The clergy, who possessed the right of taxing themselves, 
adopted a similar rate. 

Archbishops paid 6 13 4 

Bishops and other spiritual peers 4 

All having benefices above the yearly value of 200^ 2 

From 100/. to 200/ 1 10 

From66/. 13*. 4< 100/ 10 

From 20/. to 40/ 10 

From 10/. to 20/. 6 

All other clergymen 2 

Monks and nuns paid per head^ according to the value of 

the houses to which they belonged, 40d, or 20d. or 

12c/. or 4</. Wilk. Con. iU. 141^ 142. 

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From ihia scale it will be seen that the clergy in those dajs 
ecmtribated their fcur quota to the exigencies of the statOi 
even of the lowest degree, besides maintaining the poor ; but 
in these days, the days of the blessed Reformation and bible- 
reading, the people are taxed to maintain the poor clergy as 
wdl as the poor laity. Such is the difference between a 
married and unmarried clergy. We should add, that 
the above capitation tax falling short of the estimated sum, a 
further grant was voted by parliament, and the clergy, in a 
convocalidn, granted a tax of 6d. 8d. from all prelates, priests, 
(both regular and secular) and nuns, and of one shilling from 
deacons and inferior dei^s. (Cone, iii. 150.) But to return 
to Wickliffe and his doctrines. At this period there was a 
great f<»rment among the mass of the people of all nations, 
and those of England were encouraged to resist the authori- 
ties by the diffusion of the doctrines of Wickliffe, amon^ 
which he maintained that the right of property was founded 
in grace, and that no man, who was by sin a traitor to his 
God, could be entitled to the services of others. Thus a man 
had only to conceive himself to be in a state of grace, and his 
ndghbour to get drunk, when the latter forfeits his right to 
property, and the former becomes entitled to it. Such notions 
as these could not be long entertained without disjointing the 
scale of society, and we find their propagation by itinerant 
preadi^rs, who took care likewise to inculcate the natural 
equality of mankind, and the tyranny of artificial distinctions 
soon wound the people up to a pitch of madness, and caused 
them to commit the greatest violences. 

To enter into every particular here would occupy too much 
space^ but to shew the effect of these doctrines we will give 
the words <rf Stowe, an authority of great reputS and much 
referred to by historians: — ** The fame of these doings (that 
is the murder of the collector, by Wat Tyler, and the sub- 
sequent vhang of the Kentish-men) spread into Sussex, Hert- 
ford, Essex, Camlnidgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, &c., and when 
such assembhng of the common people daily increased, and 
that their number was now made almost infinite, so that they 

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feared no man to resist them, thej began to shew smne such 
acts as they had considered in their minds, and took in htaxd 
to behead all men in law, as well apprentices as nttet bar- 
risters and old justices, with all the jurors of the country, 
whom they might get into their hands ; they spared none 
whom they thought to be learned; espe^cially if diey found any 
to have pen and ink, they puUed off his hood, and all with one 
Toice crying out, * Hale him out, and cut off his head !' They 
also determined to bum all court rolls mid old monuments, 
that the memory of antiquities being taken away, their lords 
should not be able to chsJlenge any right on them from that 
time forth. These commoni had to their chaplain or preacher 
a wicked priest^ called Shr John Ball, who counselled them 
to destroy all ths nobility and clergy, so that there should be 
no bishop in England but one archbishop, which should be 
himself/' This Sir John Ball^ the same historian informs 
us, had employed himself for some years in preadiing at 
'* divers places those things which he knew to be lilong to 
the common people, slandering as well ecclesiastical pers<ma 
as secular lords, seeking thereby rather the benevolence of the 
common people, than merit towards God ; he taught that tithes 
were not to be given to churchmen, except the party who 
should give the same should be richer than the vicar or the 
parson that should receive it. Also, that tithes and oblations 
were to be withdrawn from curates, if the parishioners or 
parishioner were of better life than the curate. Also^ that no 
man was meet for the kingdom of God, that was not bom in 
matrimony." These and many other things Stowe says he 
taught, for which he was prohibited by the bishops in whose 
diocesses he had attempted to spread them; and as they pre^ 
vented him from preaching in churches, he went forth into 
the streets, and highways, and fields, where there wanted not 
common people to hear him^ whom he ever sought to allure 
to his sermons, by detracting of the prelates. For these sedi- 
tious practices he was committed to prison, from which he 
was released by the mob, and, after being thus delivered, he 
followed them, for the purpose of instigating them to do evil. 

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"That his doctrines/' writes Stowe, "might infect the 
more numhers of people, at Blackheath, where ihej were 
many thousands of the commons assemhled, he hegan his 
sermon in this manner :— 

** When Adam delved and Bve span, 
** Who was then a gentleman ? 

^' And^ continuing his hegun sermon, he sought hy the 
word of that proverb, which he took for his theme, to in- 
troduce and prove, that from the beginning all were made 
alike by nature, and that bondage or servitude was brought in 
by unjust oppression of naughty men against .the will of God ; 
for if it had pleased God to have made bondmen, he would 
have appointed thom from the beginning of the world, who 
should have been slave and who lord. They ought to consider, 
therefore, that now there was a time given them by God, in 
the which, laying aside the yoke of continual bondage^ they 
might, if they would, enjoy their long wished-for liberty. 
WhM^fore he admonished them, that they should be wise, 
and afiter the manner of a good husbandman that tilled bis 
ground, and did cut away all noisome weeds that were accus- 
tomed to grow and oppress the fruit, that they should make 
haste to do now at this present the like. First, the arch- 
bishop and great men of the kingdom were to be slain ; 
after, lawyers, justiciars, and questmongers ; lastly, whom- 
soever they knew likely hereafter to be hurtful to the com- 
mons, they should dispatch out of the land, for so might they 
purchase safety to themselves hereafter, if the great men 
being once taken away, there were among them equal liberty, 
all one nobility, and like dignity, one semblable authority or 
power. These" adds the writer, "and many such road devices 
he preached, which made the common people to esteem of 
him in such manner, as they cried out, he should be the 
ai*chbbhop of Canterbury and chancellor of the realm^ for he 
only deserved the honour." 

At Canterbury several citizens were slain by the insur- 
gents, and in every place they demolished the houses and 
pillaged the manors of the lords, burnt the court rolls^ 

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and cut off the heads of every justice, lawyer, and juror, who 
fell into their hands. In Southwark they demolished thQ 
houses belonging to the Manhalsea and the King*8 Bench, 
forced their way into the palace of the archbishop of Canter- 
bury at Lambeth, and burnt the furniture, with the records 
belonging to the chancery. In the city they demolished New- 
gate, and set the prisoners free, plundered and destroyed the 
magnificent palace of the Savoy, and burnt the Temple with 
the books and records. The next objects of their vengeance 
were the natives of Flanders, sixty of whom ihey seized in 
various parts of« the city, and struck off their heads with 
shouts of savage triumph. They next rushed into the Tower, 
and laying hands on the archbishop of Canterbury, who was 
also lord chancellor. Sir Eobert Hales, William Apuldore, 
the king's confessor, Legge, the farmer of the obnoxious tax, 
and three of his associates, they were instantly led to exe- 
cution. Walsingham relates the death of the archbishop 
with much minuteness. His head was carried through the 
streets on the point of a spear in triumph and fixed on London 
Bridge ; and that it nnght be better known, the hat or bon- 
net worn by him was nailed to the skulL 

The reader will now be able to judge of the credit due to 
Fox, who has endeavoured to screen the pernicious and revo- 
lutionary tendency of Wickliffe's preachings, by insinuating 
that the clergy were the instigators of the insurrection, when 
it is clear, from the testimony of the most authentic writers, 
that they were the victims and not the factors of the seditious 
and lawless spirit of those times. As to the duke of Lan- 
cast^ displacing the lord mayor and aldermen for this remiss- 
ness, it is one of Fox*s numerous fabrications, for Bapin tells 
us, that the duke was in the north during the rising, and 
being himself suspected, he retired into Scotland till the 
storm was appeased, by which time the lord major went out 
of office by regular order. We are then told that, '^ q/1^ 
this, the bishops had a meeting a second time, when Wickliffe 
explained to them his sentiments with regard to the sacra- 
ment of the eucharist, in opposition to the belief of thd^ 

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Papists; *' that is, of the whole kingdom, and of all Christen- 
dom, as there was then no division or contradiction in helief 
<« the real presence either in the Greek or Latin church. 
For heing so kind as to explain, the bishops, he sajs, *^ only 
enjoined him to silence, not daring at that time, to proceed 
to greater extremities." We know not whether we ought to 
smile or feel indignant at the subterfuges practised by the 
anti-Popery writers, who will never give to the Catholic 
churdi her just due. The bishops, in enjoining silence to 
WicklifPe, only acted according to the mild precepts, c^thek* 
diurch, and proved by their conduct, that persecution was 
not an ingredient of their creed. By this false and base 
writer it is imputed to fear. But what cause had the bishops 
to fear? They had the king and people on their side, by 
Fox's own shewing. Nay, according to his account, they 
(the people) had even gone so far as to commit outrages at 
the instigation of the clergy ; and now in the same breath 
we are assured, that they dare not punish WickJifie for fqar 
of the people, or something else. What contradiction have 
we here, and to diffuse, as it is pretended, *' a knowledge and 
love of the genuine principles ai Christianity '' among their 
fellow-believers. The truth is, the bishc^s were the appointed 
guardians of " the faith once delivered to the saints ; ** they 
were bound to preserve the truths which they received from 
thdr predecessors, who received them from St. Augustin, 
who had them from the Ecunan bishc^, and this bishop from 
his predecessors in the see, up to the apostles. They did not 
act on their own jpriva^ opinion, as Wickliffe did, and as all 
other heresiarohs do, who depart from the truth^ and promul- 
gate error : but they follow the example set them by the 
apostles in the council of Jerusalem, and by the fathers of 
the preceding ages of the church in the various councils held 
to examine into the pretensions of impostors, and explain the 
real truths of the Catholic faith. The bishops assembled at 
synod to listen to WicUiffe, to deliberate and to decide. 
They had to pronounce judgment before the whole kingdom, 
and if that judg^ient had been erroneous, is it to be believed 

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64 BBVIEW OF fox's 

that some one of talent, learning and respectability, would 
not have taken np the cause of Wickliffe, and denounced tbe 
conspiracy of the bishops to lead the peoj^ into error, and im- 
pugn the truths of the gospel ? And yet it is a &ct, that not 
one individual of rank in the school of letters came forward to 
assist this heresiarch. He conld find no followers but those of 
the most ignorant and depraved oast, and the two peers named 
patronised him merely to gratify their ambitious intentimis 
and glut a revenge they had long entertained. This we shall 
see as we proceed in our review of the martyrology. 

The next event noticed by Fox is the ** great schism in 
the church of Rome/' which we shall treat of hereaflter, as it 
interferes with the subject under discussion. He then pro- 
ceeds to give an account of Wickliffe, under the head, 


transcribe fw the amusement of the reader. ^' Wickliffe," 
he says, '* paying less regard to the injunctions of the bishops 
than to his duty to God, continued to promulgiU;e his doc- 
trines, and gradually to unveil the truth to the eyes of men. 
He wrote several books, which, as may be supposed, gave 
great alarm and offence to the clergy. But God raising him 
up a protector in the duke of Lancaster, he was secure from 
their malice. He translated the bible into English, which, 
amidst the ignorance of the times, may be compared to the sun 
breaking forth in a dark night. To this bible he prefixed a bold 
preface, wherein he reflected on the immoralities of the clergy, 
and condemned the worship of saints, images, and the cor- 
poral presence of Christ in the sacrament : but what gave the 
greatest offence to the priests was, his exhortin^rall people to 
read the smptures, in which the testimonies against all those 
corruptions appeared so strongly. About the same time tiie 
common people,*goaded to desperation by the oppressions of 
the nobility and clergy, rose in arms, and committed great 
devastations ; and, among other persons of distinction, they 
put to death Simon of Sudbury, archbishop of Canterbury. 
He was succeeded by William Courtney, who was no l^s 
diligent than his predecessor had been, in attempting to root 

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out heretu^. Notwithstanding aU opposition, howeirer, Wick- 
liffe's sect increased^ and daily grew to greater force, until 
the time that William Barton, Tice«-chanoellor of Oxford, 
who had the whole rule of that university, assisted hy some 
monastic doctors, issued an edict, prohihiting all persons 
under a heavy penalty from associating themselves with any 
of Wickliffe's favourers j and threatening Wickliffe himself 
with excommunication and imprisonment, unless he, after 
three days canonical admonition or warning, did repent and 
amend. Upon this, Widdiffe wished to appeal to the king ; 
hut the duke of Lancaster forhade him ; whereupon he was 
forced again to make confession of his doctrine, in which con- 
fession, hy qualifying his assertions, he mitigated the rigour of 
hb enemies. Still his followers greatly multiplied. Many 
of them, indeed, were not men of learning; hut heing 
wrought upon by the conviction of plain reason; they were 
the more steadfast in their persuasion. In a short time his 
doctrines made great progress, being not only espoused by 
vast numbers of the students of Oxford, but also by many of 
the nobility, particulariy by the duke of Lancaster and lord 
Percy, earl marshal, as before mentioned. Wickliffe may 
thus be considered as the great founder of the reformation 
in this kingdom. Jf e was of Morton College in Oxford, 
where he took his doctor's degree, and became so eminent 
for his fine genius and great learning, that Simon Islip, 
archbishop of Canterbury, having founded Canterbury College, 
now Christ Church, in Oxford, appointed him rector ; which 
employment he filled with universal approbation, till the death 
of ^e ardibishbp. Langholm, successor to Islip, being de- 
sirous of favouring the monks, and introducing them into the 
college, attempted to remove Wlcklifie, and put Woodhall, a 
monk, in his place. But the fellows of the college, being 
attadied to Wickliffe, would not consent to this. Neverthe- 
less, the affair being carried to Home, Wickliffe was deprived 
in &vour of Woodhall. This did not at all lessen the repu- 
tation of the former, every one perceiving it was a genera} 
$Star, and that the monks did not so much strike at Wiokliffd's 

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96 REVIEW OF Fox'a 

person, as at all tl^ secular priests who were members of the 
college. Andy indeed, they were all turned out, to make 
room for the monks. Shortly after, Wickliffe was presented 
to the liring of Lutterworth, in the county of Leicester, where 
he remained unmolested till his cteath, which happened 
December 31, 1385. But, after the body of this good man 
had lain in the grave forty-one yeai^, his bones were taken 
up by the decree of the synod of Constance, publicly burnt, 
and his ashes thrown into a river. The condemnation of hb 
doctrine did not prevent its spreading all over the kingdom, 
and with such success, that, according to Spelman, * two men 
could not be found together, and one not a Lollard, or 
Wickliffite.' " 

This plausible story has had its day, and too long a day 
for the cause of truth, and the happiness of the country. It 
is one of those fashionable themes which have caused hundreds 
in the present age to part with their money and their wits, 
to encourage a knot of pretenders not a jot better than Wick- 
liffe himself. He is commended for translating the biUe 
into English ; but his greatest offence, we are told, was ^' his 
exhorting all people to read the scriptures, in which the tes- 
tinK>uies against all those corruptions appeared so strongly .'' 
What those testimonies and what those cj^rruptions were are 
not pointed out to the reader, so that he is as completely left 
in the dark concerning them, as the adversaries of Catholicism 
charge the Catholic priesthood with keeping the people in 
ignorance respecting the scriptures. At that time the copies 
of the sacred writings were few, and confined cluefly to the 
libraries of the monasteries and universities. The great mass 
of the people, including many of the nobility and gentry, 
could not read, from the want of facility in teaching and the 
paucity of books, the art of printing not being then discovered^ 
so that the exhortation of the heresiarch to all the people to 
read the scripture is a mere fiction, invented to conceal the 
deception of intriguers and knaves. It is true that Wickliffe 
translated the scriptures, and that he multiplied the copies as 
much as he could with the aid of transcribers; and by the aid 

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of his dlsdples, who were the off-scum of the clergy, aod called 
*' poor priests," he disseminated those texts among the 
illiterate which fayoured his doctrines, bj word of mouth, and 
he inculcated the now favourite and delusire notion of private 
interpretation, by which he undermined the authority of the 
church, and set the people and their pastors at variance. Of 
the novelties preached by Wickliffe, two of them are said to 
be the condemnation of the worship of saints and the corporal 
presence of Christ in the sacrament. We could have wished 
for more explidtness. Why did not Fox give us the precise 
grounds on which Wickliffe rested his condemnation ? We 
have shewn in our first volume, by quotations from the fathers, 
that the invocation of saints was practised and taught in all 
times by the apostles and doctors of the church ; that the op« 
posite doctrine had been cond^nned as false and erroneous ; 
therefore, that which was fake before the time of Wickliffe 
could not be rendered truth by him, let him be ever so deeply 
inspired. That Wickliffe was not a Protestant is beyond 
contradiction, since he inculcated the doctrine of purgatory, 
and strenuonidy maintained the efficacy of the mass, both of 
which Protestants deny upon oath. He also admitted the seven 
sacraments of the Catholic chureh, while the Protestants of the 
chureh as by law established hold only two, and many deny 
them altogether. Consequently, if Wickliffe was righty Pro- 
testants must be wrong ; and if the latter are rights why then 
the former must be wrong, and what becomes then of his 
being inspired ? It could not be by the Spirit of Truth, but 
must have been by the Father of Lies. 

Fox admits that the common people rose in arms, and put 
several persons of distinction to dea(h : among others Simon 
Islip, the archbishop of Canterbury, who gave Wickliffe the 
wardenship of Canterbury college. But then he endeavours 
to throw the blame upon the clergy as well as the nobility. 
We have shewn that the dergy were not the oppressors and 
plunderers of the people, hut that they contributed to relieve 
them of a considerable share of taxation, by heavy impositions 
on every rank of the ecclesiastical order. And if W^ilUam of 

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Courtney was dUigent in rooting out heretics^ he only followed 
the example of pope Martin^ who, aa we have before obsenredy 
aad which should not be forgotton> is extolled by Fox for his 
vigOaace in preserving truth and oondemntng heresy, and is 
placed among his '* godly martyrs." The term " to root out 
heretioiy^* is here improperly used ; because, at this period, 
there was no kw to inflict corporeal punishment on those who 
had became infected with heresy. It was the error^ the 
heresy^ not the individual contaminated with it, that the 
elergj were diligent to root out, as it became thdlr duty so to 
4o. The story of Barton, the vice-diancellor oi Oxford, 
issuing an edict of prohibition to aU persons not to associate 
with WickMe or his followers is another fiction, for Barton 
had not the authority to issue so general an edict. His juris- 
diction extended only to the university of Oxford, of which 
Wi(^liffe was not then a member. 

But what shall we say to the admission of Fox, that Wide- 
ns *' y^9A forced again to make eonfemon of Ins doctrine ; 
in whidi confession, by qualifying his assertions, he miti- 
gated the rigour of his enemies*'* Here is a pretty i^ostle 
^ to uaveil the truth to the eyes of men i " He is compelled 
to make a confession of his faith, snd in making this confess 
sion he qualifies his expresnons, he softens, that is, he {days 
the deceiver, to molify his judges, and save himself. What 
an admission ! Who eould rely on such a juggling scoundrel ? 
And yet this is a man who is held ferth as the precursor of 
that *^ blessed '' work of robbery, and pillage, and corruption, 
botb in &ith and morals^ called the ReformaiUm, To be 
sure he was a fit person to precede so irreligious a work, and, 
as we have shewn, his doctrines were productive of similar 
disorders, only the wisdom and firmness of the king and his 
eounciltors, in those days of darkness, nipped the evil in tlie 
bud. How different is thu oonduet of Wicklifie to the ex- 
ample set by the primitive martyrs ? How different to the 
itlustiious and innumerable confessors of the Catholic fiuth in 
all ages. They did not want to be eompeUsd to make a oon- 
fesinon of their feith ; they gloried in it, and4^>enly professed 

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it in the face of their judges and executioners. They neyer 
practised the art of dissimulation, as, we are assured hy Fox, 
John WickliffB did ; hut they declared, in plain and unequi- 
vocal language, the tenets of their creed, and hraved the 
malice and rigour of their enemies. Wickliffe, however, was 
not made of such materials ; he did not aspire to he a martyr, 
and therefore when he appeared hefore his lawful judges, to 
render an account of his doctrines, he read a confession of 
faith with some reluctance, in their presence, which heing 
considered satisfactory, he was allowed to remain in peace, at 
his rectory i^t Lutterworth, where he died two years after- 
wards, whilst assisting at the mass of his curate. That Fox 
gave a true character of Wickliffe, when he represented him 
as a qualifier of doctrine, is confirmed hy Dr. Lingard, who 
thus describes his manner of managing disputation. '' On 
many points of doctrine," writes the doctor, "it is not easy to 
ascertain die real sentiments of this reformer. In common 
with other religious innovators, he claimed the two-fold pri- 
vilege i3^ changing his opinion at toill, and of being infallible 
in every change; and, when he found it expedient to dissemble, 
could so qualify his doctrines with conditions, or explain them 
away by distinctions^ as to give an appearance of innocence to 
tenets of the most mischievous tendency.** Here, then, the 
historian and Fox are agreed, and it cannot now be doubted 
or disputed that John Wickliffe, the precursor of the Eefor- 
mation, an inspired reformer of religion, appointed by Qod, 
according to Fox, " gradually to unveil die truth to the eyes 
of men," was a pbbvaricatob and dissembleb ! I ! He 
most have be^a an admirable teacher of truth. 

Fox next gives us the " Tenets of Wickliffe ; " that is, 
diose whidi were condemned as heredcal. They are as follow : 

1. '* The substance of material bread and wine doth remain 
in die sacrament of die altar after the consecration. 

2. *' The accidents do not remain without die subject in the 
same sacrament, after the consecration. 

3. ** That Christ is not in the sacrament of the altar truly 
and really, in his proper and corporal person. 

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70 RBVIBW OF fox's 

4. ** That if a bishop or a priest be in deadly sin, he doth 
not order, consecrate, nor baptize. 

5. " That if a man be duly and truly C(mtrite and penitent, 
all exterior and outer confession is but superfluous and unpro- 
fitable unto him, 

6. *' That it is not found or established by the gospel, that 
Christ did make or ordain mass. 

7. " That if the pope be a reprobate and evil man, and 
consequently a member of the devil, he hath no power, by any 
manner of means given unto him over faithful Christians. 

8. " That since the time of Urban the sixth, there is none 
to be received for pope, but every man is to live after the 
manner of the Greeks, under his own law. 

9. " That it is against the scriptures, that ecclesiastical 
ministers should have any temporal possessions. 

10. ''That no prelate ought to excommunicate any man^ 
except he knew him first to be excommunicate of God. 

11. ** That he who doth excommunicate any man, is there- 
by himself either an heretic or excommunicated. 

12. " That all such which do leave off preaching or hear- 
ing the word of God, or preaching of the gospel for fear of 
excommunication, they are already excommunicated, and in 
the day of judgment shall be counted as tr^tors unto Gt>d. 

13. '' That it is lawful for any man, either deacon or priest; 
to preach the word of God, without authority or license of 
the apostolical see or any other of his Catholics. 

1 4. '* That so long as a man is in deadly sin, he is neither 
bishop nor prelate in the church of God." 

Speaking of the 4th article, Father Parsons, in his reply^ 
observes ; "Will Fox yield to this article, think you? For, 
if he do, we may call in doubt whether ever he were well 
baptised, and consequently whether he were a Christian; 
seeing it may be doubted whether the priest that baptized him 
were in mortal sin or no when he did it." Of the ninth; the 
same learned writer remarks : " This article, if Fox will 
grant, yet his fellow ministers^ and his lords the bishops^ I 

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|H«same, will hardlj yield theireiiiitOY but will pretend scriptures 
to the contrary agaimt Wicfclifie.** With regard to the first 
three articles, we refer the reader to the primitive fathers we 
have quoted in the first volume, who contended for the oppo- 
site doctrine, and vouched for the real presence as of divine 
institution, derived from Christ to the apostles. As to the 
sixth, which rejects the mass, WickMe attended at this 
sacrifice to the day and hour of his death, as we have before 
stated. But, what will the modem editors of Fox say to the 
following tenets, which they have prudently suppressed in 
these awkward times about tithes. 

16. " That temporal lords may, according to their own wills 
and discretion, take away the temporal goods from any church- 
men, whensoever they offend. 

17. '* That tithes are mere alms, and may be detained by 
the parishioners, and bestowed where they will at their 

These are some of the truths which Wickliffe thought pro- 
per ** gradually to unveil to the eyes of men," and we will 
here ask the reader, if another Wickliffe were to rise up now 
iukL preach the same doctrines, whether the clergy of the 
church, as by law established, would not one and all contend 
for his being punished and silenced? There cannot be a 
doubt but they would, and the impostor made severely to feel 
the weight of the law. He might try to persuade the clergy 
uid the people that he was an inspired man ; that they were 
all in the dark, and he alone was commissioned to shed light 
up<m them ; but not one of the clergy would he get to believe 
him, unless it was some poor half-starved curate, who could 
lose nothing by the experiment. So it wa« with Wickliffe ; 
he found greedy ignorant clerks to imbibe his notions in lu)pee 
of b^iefitting from the credulity of the pe<^le, and the duke 
of Lancaster was not averse to the improving his estate by 
the possessions of the church, which, however, he was not al- 
lowed to do ; such robbery being reserved for the beastly 
H^ory and his rapacious courtiers. The effect of Wickliffe^s 
doctrines, nevertheless, were too apparent in the diaturbanceis 


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72 BBYIEW OF fox's 

they created, and the treasons thej gave rise io, nor were the 
evil eonse()uences ever entbdj removed. 

To ^ve another specimen of the daring attempts of the 
disciples of Wickliffe, who. Fox says, felt himself called upon 
*' gradually to unveil the truth to the eyes of men/' Dr. 
Lingard relates, that while Richard IL was establbhing his 
power in Ireland, he was suddenly recalled to his English 
dominions. The disciples of Wickliffe, under the denomina- 
tion of Lollards, had seized the opportunity of his absence to 
commence a fierce attack upon the revenues and the disci- 
pline of the church. Not content with affixing libels against 
the clergy in the most public places in the capital, they had 
prepared an inflanimatory petition, which was to be presented 
to the House of Commons. This instrument is a strange 
compound of fanaticism and folly. It complains, that ever 
since the church had been endowed with worldly possessions, 
faith, hope, and charity have been banished from England : 
that the English priesdiood is a false priesthood, because sin- 
ners can neither impart nor receive the Holy Spirit ; that the 
clergy profess a life of celibacy, but pamper themselves too much 
to observe it ; that by accepting places under the government 
they become hermi^hrodites, obliging themselves to serve 
both GK>d and mammon : that they teach transubstantiation, 
which leads to idolatry; enjoin confession, which makes them 
supercilious; authorize war and criminal executions, which 
are contrary to the law of Christ, a law of mercy and love ; 
and permit men to exercise the trades of the goldsmith and 
swcmi-cutler, which are unnecessary and pernicious under the 
dispensation of the gospel. The prelates, alarmed at the 
'x)ldness of these fanatics, solicited the protection of the king; 
ho at their prayer returned to London, and reprimanded 
>ae patrons of the Lollards vnth so much severity, that they 
did not venture to move the subject in parliament." By 
this extract the reeAer must be now convinced, that there was 
nei^er truth not justice on the part of these disturbers of the 
public peace, but only faction and a lawless desire of abolish- 
ing the ooi»tituted authorities of the reahn. 

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As this subject is one of the utmost importance, and but 
little understood by the great mass of the people of England, 
we have distinguished it by a head line, and intend to eluci- 
date it with as mudi perspicuity as we are master of. But, 
first we will see what Fox has got to say. He writes :— 
'Mn the council of the Lateran, a decree was made with re- 
gard to heretics, which required all magistrates to extirpate 
Uiem upon pain of forfeiture and deposition. The canons of 
this council being received in England, the prosecution of 
heretics became a part of the common law ; and a writ (staled 
de heretieo comburench) was issued under king Henry IV. 
for burning them upon their conyiction ; and it was enacted, 
tiiat all who presumed to preach without the licence of the 
bishops, should be imprisoned, and be brought to trial within 
three months. If, upon conviction, they offer to abjure, and 
were not reli^ses, they were to be imprisoned and fined at 
pleasure ; but if they refused to abjure, or were relapses, tliey 
were to be delivered up to the secular arm ; and t^e magis- 
trates were to bum l^em in some puUic place. About this 
time William Sautre, parish priest of St. Osith, in London, 
being condemned as a relapse, and degraded by Arundel, 
archbishop of Canterbury, a writ was issued, wherein burning 
is called the common punishment,^ and referring to the cus- 
toms of other nations. This was the first example of that 
sort in England. The clergy, alarmed lest the doctrines of 
Wickliffe should ultimately become established, used every 
exertion in their power to check them. In the reigu of 
Bichard II. the bishops had obtained a general license to 
imprison heretics, without being obliged to procure a special 
order from court, which, however, the house of commons 
caused to be revoked. But as the fear of imprisonment 
could not check the pretended evil dreaded by the bishops, 
Henry IV., whose particular object was to secure the affec- 
tion of the clergy, earnestly recommended to the parliament 
the concerns of the church. How reluctant soever the house 


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74 REVIEW OF fox's 

of commons might be to prosecute the Lollards, the credit of 
the coui;, and the cabals of the clergy, at last obtained a 
most detestable act, {(x the burning of obstinate heretics ; 
which bloody statute was not repealed till the year 1677. It 
was immediatdy after the passing of this statute that the 
ecclesiastical court condemned William Sautre aboTe m^i- 

We always have contended, and still contend, that perse- 
cution is not a part and parcel oi the system of Catholicism. 
The precepts and maxims of the Catholic church are founded 
on the purest principles of charity ; nay, it is charity itself, 
which is an emanation from the Deity, and by the Deity wa» 
the Catholic church founded. We have here the acknow- 
ledgment of Fox that the execniioa of the priest, Sautre, 
^' was the first example oi the sort in England." Now the 
Catholic church had been established in this island, reckoning 
from the landing of St. Austin, in 596, to the execution of 
Sautre, in 1399, eight hundred and three years, without one 
single instance of corporal coercion for matters of opinion, 
though difference of opinion had occasionally arisen, and in 
the case of Wickliffe ,we find to some height That this man 
was treated with the utmost lenity is confessed by Fox, and 
we find him remaining unmolested in his rectory till the day 
of his death. From what cause then could spring this writ» 
stiled de heretico comhurendo, of which so much has been 
said to bring odium on the Catholic religion, and so little 
understood by the Protestants of England ? Fox alhides to 
the council of Lateran, a decree of which, he says, required all 
magistrates to extirpate heretics upon pain of forfeiture and 
deposition. This decree, admitting that there was such a 
one passed, was not of faith, and therefore binding on none . 
without the consent of the temporal power; and at this 
council, which may be consistently called the parliament of 
Christendom, there were preseiit, either in person or by their 
ambassadors, all the sovereigns of Europe, to give their con- 
sent to such decrees of discipline as might be deemed con- : 
ducive to the morals of society and the tranquillity of their 

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States. The real version of the decree, according to Dr. 
LiDgard, was this, that persons convicted of heresy " should 
be lefi to the secidar power, to be dealt with according to the 
due form of law." Now what could be more correct than 
this ? Every state haa an undoubted right to provide for its 
own internal as well as external security, and should an indi- 
vidual imbibe a notion that he is commissioned by God to 
preach novelties tending to disturb the peace> and raise 
tumults and rebellions, why, in the name of common sense, 
are not laws to be passed to prevent such lawless doings, no 
matter whether committed under the garb of a religiotts or 
political reformer? Who will have the hardihood to answer 
us in the negative ? The same was the conduct of the Wick- 
liffites ; they sought, under the cloak of religion, to revolu- 
tionize all ranks and property; and when they had thus 
declared their intentions, and made them manifest by their 
actions, then^ and not till then, and with a view of self- 
preservation, not of personal cruelty and ambition, did the 
authorities take upon them to protect themselves and the 
people, by this statute de heretico comhwrendo. So long as 
the heresy of Wiekliffe was confined to mere matter of 
opinion, the spiritual weapons only of the church were 
ex^:ted to counteract the poison, and convince the ignorant 
of their error ; but when the infected proceeded to lawless 
outrages and murders, surely it was time to use the arm of 
the civil sword to restrain them within due bounds. Nor 
can the measures thought necessary at that time to be adopted 
be justly termed persecution, seeing that they were enforced 
on none but the most obdurate miscreants of the day. 

When such a disposition reigned among the ignorant and 
illiterate people, it is no wonder that the clergy should be- 
come alarmed, and use every means in their power to check 
the progress of the pernicious doctrines ; nor were the laity 
less anxious to subdue the spirit of depredation that influ- 
enced the Lollards. Fox would fain have us believe that the 
house of commons reluctantly passed the act ; Dr. Lingard, 
however^ tells us a different sort of story. This able and 
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Digitized by LjOOQiC 


accurate wtlter states, that the commons were more zealaus 
at that time in opposing the Lollards, than the nohilitj and 
the clergy. On this interesting point we shall give the 
kamed historian's own words. ^' Encouraged by the royal 
invitation, and the disposition of the commons, the clergy- 
presented a petition to the king in parliament ; and an act 
was passed for the protection of the church, and the suppres- 
sion of the new sect. The preamble sets forth, that divers 
unauthorized preachers go about teaching new doctrines and 
heretical opinions, making conventicles and confederacies, 
holding schools, writing books, misinforming the people, and 
daily committing enormities too horrible to be heard : and 
that the bishops are unable to repress these offences, because 
the offenders despise ecclesiastical censures, and when they 
are cited before their ordinaries, depart into another diocese : 
the statute therefore provides, as a remedy for these evils, 
that the bi^op shall have power to arrest and confine per- 
sons defamed or vehemently suspected of such offences, till 
they make their canonical purgation ; and, if they be con- 
victed, to punisli them with imprisonment, and a fine to the 
king. It then enacts that if any person so convicted shall 
refuse to abjure such preachings, doctrines, opinions, schools, 
and informations, or after abjuration shall be proved to have 
relapsed, then the sheriff of the county, or the maycHr and 
bailiffs of the nearest borough shall, on requisition, be present 
at the pronunciation of the sentence, shall receive the person 
so condemned into custody, and shall cause him to be burnt 
cm a high place before the people, that such punishment may 
strike terror into the minds of others."—/?©/. Pari, iii. 466. 
Wilk. Cone. iii. 252. 

" During this very parliament (whether before or after the 
passing of the act is uncertain) a petition was presented to 
the lords and commons by William Sautre, begging that he 
might be permitted to dispute before them on the subject of 
religion. Such a request excited considerable surprise: but 
the enthusiast aspired to the crown of martyrdom, and had 
the satisfaction to fall a victim to his own folly. He had 

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been rector of Ljnn, in Norfolk, but about two years before 
had been convicted of heresy and deprived of his living. On 
his recantation he had been lately admitted a chaplain in St« 
Osith's, in London. The character of Sautre, and the nature 
of his request, induced the convocation to summon him be- 
fore them : and six days were allowed him to prepare his 
answer. The articles objected to him were those of which he 
had been accused before the bishop of Norwich. With un- 
paraUeled effrontery he denied his former conviction and re- 
cantation ; explained the other articles in an orthodox sense ; 
but refused to give any satisfaction on the subject of the 
eucharist. The trial was adjourned from day to day ; and 
the archbishop, notwithstanding the contempt and insolence 
of his answers, made a last effort to save him, by asking if 
he were content to stand on that question by the determination 
of the church. He answered that he was, provided the de- 
termination were agreeable to the will of God : an evasion 
which of course was rejected. The record of his former 
conviction and recantation were now produced from the 
registry of the bishop of Norwich ; and on the eleventh day 
from his arraignment he was pronounced by the primate a 
relapsed heretic, was degraded from his orders, and delivered 
into the custody of the constable and mareschal of England. 
— (Con, iii. 255-260). About a week afterwards, Henry 
consulted the temporal lords sitting in parliament, and by 
their advice issued a precept to the mayor and sheriffs to 
execute the sentence of the law upon Sautre. The unhappy 
man, instead of being shut up in an asylum for lunatics, was 
burnt to death as a malefactor, in the presence of an immense 
multitude: and the commons, by their speaker, returned 
thanks to the king that, whereas ^ by bad doctrine the faith 
of holy church was on the point of being overturned, to the 
destruction of the king and kingdom, he had made and or- 
dained a just remedy to the destruction of such doctrine and 
the pui'suers thereof.' 

" This severity did not, however, subdue the boldness of 
ihe preachers. They declaimed with redoubled animosity 

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78 REVIEW OF fox's 

against the temporalities of the clergy, till the lay proprie- 
tors became alarmed for the security of their own possessions. 
In 1407 the subject attracted the notice of the house of 
lords ; a petition was sent by them to the commons fw their 
concurrence, and it was afterwards presented by the speaker 
to the king. It stated that- the preachers excited the people 
to take away the possessions of the church, of which the 
clergy were as assuredly endowed as the temporal lords were 
of their inheritances ; and that unless these e?il purposes 
were speedily resisted^ it was probable that in process of time 
they would also move the people to take away the possessions 
and inheritances of the temporal lords, and make them com- 
mon to the open commotion of the people and the utter sub- 
version of the realm. In consequence it was enacted that 
such persons, together with those who maintained that king 
Kichard was still alive, and others who published false pro- 
phecies to delude the people, should be arrested and brought 
before the next parliament to receive such judgment as the 
king and peers, in their judicial authority, should pronounce." 
From this authentic relation it is evident that persecution 
is no part or parcel of the Catholic church. No act of vio- 
lence was offered, nor could be offered by the clergy as 
clergymen ; they petitioned the king in parliament, as mem- 
bers of the state, not as ministers of the ehUrch, in conse- 
quence of their temporalities being endangered by lawless and 
erroneous pretensions. The power was granted to them by 
the civil supreme authorities of the land, and it will not, we 
apprehend, be disputed, that the representatives of the people, 
that is, the real representatives of the people, for such was 
then the case, had the right to grant and delegate the power 
of preserving the peace of the kingdom to whomsoever they 
pleased. How far it was consistent with sound policy and a 
due regard of religion is mere matter of opinion ; the then 
parliament thought it wise, and in this they were probably 
light, for as some part of the crime was an error in judg- 
ment, and as the clergy were then the most learned class of 
men in the country, and the most able to decide on the case^ 

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none could be so proper to act as they in matters requiring 
discriminate nicety. That they acted with every degree of 
forbearance^ charity and mildness, is conspicuous in their 
conduct towards the unfortunate Sautre. This unhappy 
ecclesiastic was a bold, impudent enliiusiast ; a recanter, a 
preyaricator, and frontless liar. When rector of Lynn, he 
was convicted of heresy, and retracted. The infection of 
heresy necessarily deprived him of his living ; for it would 
have been inconsistency itself to have continued a man as the 
instnictor of others, who was himself under the influence of 
error. On renouncing that error, we find him appointed to 
another situation, which does not display a vindictive or 
persecuting spirit on the part of the clergy ; nor do their 
conduct in putting off his condemnation from time to time 
evince a sanguinary feeling towards him. Finding him ob- 
stinate, they had nothing left to do but to pronounce what he 
evidently was, a relapsed heretic, that is, a man wilfuUy 
attached to erroneous opinions — opinions which he must 
know, and which he had acknowledged, to be heretical. 
Having done this, they delivered him over to the officers of 
the civil power, to do with him as the laws of the state, not 
of the church, authorized them. We agree with Dr. 
Lingard that it would perhaps have been better had Santre 
been confined in a madhouse, instead of being burnt ; but 
the king and the commons thought otherwise ; they thought 
it best that the wretched man should be made a sacrifice to 
deter others from the like offence, and he suffered accord- 
ingly. Why such an outcry should be raised by the admirers 
of Fox's lies against this single statute by Henry IV., while 
80 many bloody laws were passed against Catholics by 
Elizabedi and her successors, for no other cause than their 
adherence to truth and rejection of error, is somewhat incom- 
prehensible. It must arise from the most stupid ignorance, 
or the basest impudence, and when they have made their 
choice, there is plenty of cause to make them blush. During 
the whole space when Catholicism was in power, from the 
time of passing the act to. the assumption of the spiritual 

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80 REVIEW OF fox's 

supremacy by Henry YIII^ embracing a period of more than 
130 years, fewer persons suffered under the writ de heretieo 
camhurendo than in the last fifteen years of the first spiritual 
temporal head of the church of England. But it is time to 
see what kind of martyrs Fox has selected to grace hi& 
martyrology and stamp credit on Wickliffe's doctrines. 


The first after Sawtree, named by the modem editors, i» 
an inspired tailor of the above name, and is distinguished by 
the above title line. Fox writes,—** Thomas Badby was a 
layman, and by trade a tailor. lie was arraigned in the 
year 1409 before the bishop of Worcester, and convicted of 
heresy. On his examination he said, that it was impossible 
any priest could make the body of Christ sacramentally, nor 
would he believe it, unless be saw, manifestly, the corporal 
body of the Lord to be handled by the priest at the altar ; 
that it was ridiculous to imagine that, at the supper, Christ 
held in his own hand his own body, and divided it among his 
disciples, and yet remained whole. * I believe,' said he, * the' 
omnipotent God in Trinity ; but if every consecrated host at 
the altars be Christ's body, there must then be in England 
no less than 20,000 gods.' After this, he was brought 
before the archbishop of Canterbury, at St. Paul's church, 
and again examined in presence of a great number of bishops, 
the duke of York, and several of the first nobility. Great 
pains were used to make him recant ; but he courageously 
answered, that he would still abide by his former opinions* 
which no power should force him to forego. On this the 
archbishop of Canterbury ratified the sentence given by the 
bishop of Worcester. When the king had signed the warrant 
for his death, he was brought to Smithfield, and there being 
put in an empty tun, was bound with iron chains fastened to 
a stake, and had dry wood piled around him. And as he was 
thus standing in the tub, it happened the prince of Wales, 
the king's eldest son, was there present ; who, being moved 
with compassion, endeavoured to save the life of him whom 

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the hjpocritical Levites Und Pharisees sought to put to 
death. He admonished and counselled him that, having 
respect unto himself^ he should speedily withdraw himself out 
of these dangerous labynnths of opinions^ adding oftentimes 
tbreateningSy which might have daunted any man not sup- 
ported hj the true faith. Also Courtney^ at that time chan- 
cellor of Oxford^ preached unto him^ and informed him of the 
faith of holy <^urch« In the mean time^ the pi'ior of St. 
Bartholomew's, in Smithfield, brought, with all solemnity, the 
sacrament of God's body, with twelve torches borne before, 
and shewed the sacrament to the poor man at the stake. 
And then they demanded of him how he believed in it, he 
answered that he knew well it was hallowed bread, and not 
God*fl body. And then was the tun put over him, and fire 
put unto him. And when he felt the fire he cried, ' Mercy !' 
(calling upon the Lord), when the prince immediately com- 
manded to take away the tun, and quench the fire. He then 
asked him if he would forsake heresy, and take the faith 
of holy church, which, if he would do, he should have goods 
eoiough, promising him also a yearly pension out of the king's 
treasury. But this valiant champion of Christ, neglecting 
the prince's fair words, as also contemning all men's devices, 
refused the oficr of worldly promises, being more inflamed by 
the spirit of God, than by any earthly desire. Wherefore, as 
he continued immovable in his former mind, the prince com- 
manded him straight to be put again into the tun, and that 
he should not afterwards look for any grace or favour. But 
as he could be allured by no rewards, he was not at all abashed 
at theit torments, but, as a valiant soldier of Christ, per- 
severed invincibly till his body was reduced to ashes, and his 
sool rose tnumphant unto him who gave it." 

To this rodomontade account them odem editors have added 
the following note : " It will not be uninteresting to our town 
readers, to be informed, that that part of Smithfield where 
the large board containing the laws and regulations of the 
market formerly stood, is the very spot on which their fore- 
fathers suffered for the cause of Christ. There many an 

E a 

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Englisli martjr*g body mingled with the dust ; from thence 
ascended many a soul to inherit everlasting glory." So &r 
as the Wickliffites were concerned, we shall shew that the 
cause for which they suffered was not that of Christ nor of 
Christianity, and the readet must he informed that Catholic 
martyrs suffered in Smithfield under the beastly Henry, who 
was the founder of that devastating thing, called the Kefor- 
mation, in greater numbers than the fanatical disciples of the 
Beformation so called. We agree with the author of the 
note that many an English martyr's body there mingled with 
the dust, and that many a soul ascended from thence to ever- 
lasting glor^ ; but then they were martyrs to the cause of 
truth, and not the enthusiast victims of visionary theories. 

But what shall we say to this learned tailor of the fifteenth 
century, whose knowledge of divinity is here stated to have 
been so great as to bear down all the clergy with the king 
and the duke of York to boot ? Why this reverend knight of 
the thimble must have excelled the famous iidlor of Leyden, 
who, though he assumed the title of king of Sion, does not 
appear to have been a cool disputant with divines, whose lives 
had been spent in studying the fathers and exploring sacred 
history. But where did Fox, or his editors, find this narrative 
of the life, behaviour, and death of this ^' valiant champion of 
Christ," Tom Badby, layman and tailor ? We have looked 
into Stowe, Baker, Rapin, Echard, andLingard, but we can 
find no trace, in their pages, of any such transaction. Nay» 
we have by us an edition of Fox, by a Bev. Henry Southwell, 
LL.D., who does not mention our learned tailor. It is true 
there is a History of England, by one Russell, a work scarcely 
heard of, in which it is stated, that, in the year 1410, " One 
Bodby, a tailor, took upon him to exclaim violently against 
the absurdity of the real presence in the sacrament. This 
person, therefore, was singled out by the clergy for exemplary 
punishment. He was accordingly tried and condenmed to 
the stake, and the prince of Wales had the curiosity to be a 
spectator of the execution. When the flames first reached 
the body of the criminal, he cried out in so horrid a mamier. 

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ihat the prince ordered the fire to be remoyed^ and offered 
the man his life^ together with a pension out of his private 
purse, as the fiames had disabled him from following his busi- 
ness, on condition he would renounce his opinions. Bodbj, 
however, shocked when he first felt the flames, refused the 
offered pardon ; he loved his opinions better than his life ; 
and he was accordingly committed again to the fire, and there 
resigned his breath as a forfeit to his faith.** For this account 
there is not the least voucher, and we may therefore conclude 
that, as the most authentic writers are silent on the subject, 
the story is a fictitious one. 

That some of the circumstances connected with the tale 
are spurious and self-made, we think, probable. Can it be 
supposed, for one moment, by any rational mind, that so much 
interest should be shown towards an individual in so humble 
a station of life, by the king and the principal nobility, as 
well as the dignified clergy, as to honour him with a public 
examination in St. Paul's church ? Then again, why is the 
duke of York introduced ? Who was the duke of York of 
that day ? Not a son of the king, reader, but one among the 
rest of the nobles, of no great eminence for talent or ability, 
that we read of. The whole story, the more it is examined, 
the more improbable it appears. The tailor is first ar- 
raigned before the bishop of Worcester, and convicted of 
beresy ; then be is brought before the archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and examined in the presence of the king and nobility, 
in St. Paul's church, when the sentence is ratified by the 
primate, and the warrant for his death signed by the king. 
Truly, the tailor is a most important personage, that the ordi- 
nary process of the law was not sufficient to convict him, but 
the most extraordinary proceedings must be entered into to 
overcome his novelties and vagaries. Firm as the tailor was 
before the prelates and the monarch, when the fire began to 
warm him, we are told, his heart failed him and he cried 
out for mercy 1 A precious witness for the truth of the gos- 
pel, to be sure! How different from the conduct of the 
primitive martyrs, and the Catholic sufferers under Protestant 

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ascendancy. These latter braved their torments, and scorned 
to cry for mercy from their persecutors. They gave testi- 
mony of the truth, by the uivincible fortitude of their be- 
haviour, nor did they rest their faith on their own fanciful 
reason, but learned it from the apostles and their successors. 

The tailor, it is said, denied that any priest could make the 
body of Christ sacramentally, and *< that it was ridiculous to 
imagine that, at the supper, Christ held in his own hand his 
own body, and divided it among his disciples, and yet remained 
whole. '^ Eidiculous as Tom Badby might suppose such doc- 
trine to be, the learned fathers of the Catholic church> who 
derived their faith from the apostles themselves, who were 
present at this very supper, believed differently from John 
Fox's tailor. Their sentiments may be seen in the first volume 
of this work ; and we beg the reader will refer to them before 
he proceeds any further, and compare them with the ridicu- 
lous nonsense put into Badby 's mouth. The mode of execu- 
tion, as described by Fox, is ludicrous in the extreme, iarented 
probably to please the taste of ignorant people, who delight 
in the marvelTous, or borrowed from the tub-preachers of 
some sectarians. At that time, it was usual, we believe, to 
hang first and bum afterwards. At least, such was the way 
in which Sir John Oldcastle suffered. 

One word more, and we close with the tailor. From what 
h stated to have passed between the prince and Badby, it 
cannot be said that he was persecuted. Every mode of per- 
suasion, it seems, was used to overcome the fellow's obstinacy. 
He was promised goods and a pension by the prince, if he 
would but believe as aU the world then believed;, but, as soon 
as he lost the pain of the fire, he became inspired^ and 
renounced the '* offer of worldly promises, being more in- 
flamed by the spirit of God than by any earthly desires.'* 
'>^^hat cant and hypocrisy, to in^nuate that a tailor, who must' 
of necessity have been ignorant in the extreme, so far as 
literary knowledge was concerned, the use of letters being 
then chiefly confined to the clergy, and printing not invented ; 
what hypocrisy, we say, what cant to represent this man as 

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inspired af God, and the bolder of the true faitli, in opposition 
to the befief of the whole nation for upwards of eight hundred 
years. Really, such rant is truly disgusting, and fit only for 

. The modem editora of Fox have been rather concise 
re^>ecting the persecutions, as they are called^ of the Wick- 
liffites or Lollards, as they have confined themselves ta twoi 
cases only, namely, this tailor Badby and Sir John Oldcastle, 
of whom we shall speak hereafter. Other editors of this mar- 
tyrology, as well as Fox himself, however, have been more 
prolix, and the historians of England, with a single exceptioa 
or so, have grossly misrepresented the conduct of the clergy 
and the then constituted authorities, in their proceedings to 
stem the torrent of sedition and rebellion rushing throughout 
the kingdom, and thyeatening destruction to civil society from 
the pernicious tendency of Wickliffe*s doctrines* These writ- 
ers have studiously represented the question as one of 
religion, and the only opposition shewn as raised against the 
supposed encroachments and corruptions of the church of 
Rome. This, however, was not the case, as we shall proceed 
to shew, by a few instances, it is our intention to cite from a 
work issued by Protestant hands, and therefore the less ex- 
ceptional^e to the generality of the people. In doing this, 
we are influenced by a desire to disabuse the public mind^ 
which has been so long led astray by interested writers, and 
is so little informed on those points of history which it is so 
important they should know, to be able to distinguish the 
ti-uth- On no subject are the people of England 1 ess informed 
than that of sacred history, and of profane, too, where the 
interests of the Catholic church are concerned. The measures- 
juiced prudent and precautionary by oiu? ministers and legis- . 
lature,. in these days of Protestant enlightenment, to preserve 
order and regularity in the state, are represented as sanguinary 
and persecuting, the offspring of a bloodthirsty religjon, and 
the invention of cruel churchmen. in the days of Catholic 
darkness, though precisely of the same nature, and adopted 
for the same ends. The law of de heretico comhurendo^ 

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86 REVIEW OP fox's 

though directed against heresy, was occasioned by the SEDT- 
Tious and traitorous tendency of those who imbibed the 
erroneous opinions, and, though those who su£fered might 
have been convicted of heresy, yet it must also be observed 
that they were guilty of treason and sedftion, and suffered 
hanging for the latter crimes. This we shall proceed to prove 
be the following example, which we have selected fi-om a work 
we have before quoted, namely, The History of King-killers ; 
or^ The Fanatic Martyrology^ published in the year 1720. 
The facts recorded therein are authenticated, and are stated 
to have been derived from another work written by a church 
of England divine, the Rev. Mr. Earbery, aiid entitled, The 
pretended Reformers; or, The History of John Wiehliffe^ Sfc. 
We beg the reader's serious attention to the statements made, 
and likewise to the remarks which the author makes on Fox, 
for introducing such desperate villians and barefaced hypo- 
crites into his famous, or rather infamous. Book of Martyrs. 


** This fellow was a currier by trade ; but running mad with 
an enthusiastic spirit communicated to him by the followers 
of that known rebel. Sir John Oldcastle, he quitted his lawful 
profession to bear arms against his sovereign, king Henry V., 
in the year 1413. In relation to this man, the best account 
we find is in Walsingham, who, speaking of Oldcastle, says 
thus : ' In the mean time, their leader and chief. Sir John 
Oldcastle, coming abroad, sent a messenger to the lord Aber- 
gavenny, that he would be revenged of him for the injuries 
received ; but he wisely prevented him, and, departing from 
his castle at midnight, got so many men about him, that Sir 
John was obliged to fly again to his retreat ; however, the 
lord Abergavenny took a priest of his, who confessed where 
his arms, banners, &c., lay; and soon after was taken an old 
Lollard of the same gang, called William Claydon, who, de- 
pending on the notions of his sect, was become so mad, that, 
being himself a layman, he pretended to confer holy 
orders on his son, and to make him a priest, and to celebrate 

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mass in his house on the day of his mother's rising from 
childbed, for which, he being apprehended, examined and 
legally convicted, he was burnt in London. The reader is 
here to observe, that though this wretch was burnt as a heretic, 
he was taken in open rebellion, and must have died for the 
same if the crime of heresy, being a rebellion against God, 
had not taken place/ It is true Fox sets him down as a 
martyr, and on the same day, which does not in the least 
exempt him from this calendar, because nothing is more plain 
than that he was a rebel, and, indeed. Fox has been very free 
in canonizing any such if they came in his way, as is visible 
by a very considerable number of his martyrs, whom all his- 
torians acknowledge to have been traitors. As for the wild 
notions of this fanatic, more of them may be seen where we 
treat of others of his gang ; and I believe any member of the 
church of England will be convinced of the brutality of this 
fellow, when he finds him taken in open rebellion, and prac- 
tising an episcopal power, beiug himself an illiterate, grace- 
less, and base currier." 


" Thomas Walsingham, the author above quoted in the 
life of William Claydon, gives us the following short account 
of this William Murle, who was one of the same wicked gang 
with Claydon, last spoken of. ' This Murle, more closely 
following the opinions of John Oldcastle, had perfidiously 
been more vexatious to many of the orthodox than any other 
of his sect. And this fellow having been in St. Giles's Fields, 
and understanding that the king was coming thither, he with- 
drew into the country for fear, and hid himself there. He 
had before made preparations for receiving the order of 
knighthood at the hands of Sir John Oldcastle, to which pur- 
pose he had brought with him two fine horses, with rich fur- 
niture, adorned with gold, and a pair of gilt spurs in his 
bosom, for the same effect the which were found upon him 
when taken, soon after his flight from the field. Being 
dragged frt)m his lurking place, he was hanged, drawn, and 

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burnt ; an end which he well deserved. Among other things 
there was found upon him a list of the names of monks, 
which he had taken from the chanter of St. Alban's, and 
those monks he intended to have destroyed, in order to ob- 
tain, by the gift and donation of the aforesaid John Oldcastle, 
the place and possessions of the monks of St. Alban's. 
Many others, as well priests as laymen, were taken, convicted, 
and condemned for this conspiracy, and had like ends ; most 
of whom died unpenitent,' Thus Walsingham. 

" This Murle was a malster, of Dunstable, and having by 
that trade acquired wealth, the same turned his brain, so as 
to entertain thoughts of being a knight, and enjoying all the 
large possessions of the abbey of St. Albans, and all this by 
joining in rebellion with Sir John Oldcastle. The devil had 
blinded him, and being purse-proud, there was nothing so 
lienious but what he could attempt to raise himself above his 
mean state, and accordingly he was advanced to the gallows, 
the fittest preferment for such scoundrels. His life and death 
was at the same time with William Clay don, the next above 


**The heresy of Wicklifie, for such Mr. Earb«*y has 
sufficiently proved it to be, having spread itself in England, 
under the protection of the duke of Lancaster, who favoured 
the same in order to exclude his elder brother's son from the 
succession to the crown, and to usurp the same himself, it 
occasioned, as the same author informs us, many seditions, 
murders, and rebellions, which we have not here room to 
mention. The same spirit, says Mr. Earbery, which began 
Wickliffe's reformation, animated his followers after hia 
death, to rebel under Sir John Oldcastle in England, &c. 
Sir Roger Acton was one deeply engaged in that rebellion. 

"In the reign of king Henry V., and in the year 1413, 
the Wickliffian heretics posted it up in writing on the church 
doors in London, that there were an hundred thousand of 
them ready to rise up in armi^ against such as opposed their 

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sect. One Sir John Oldcastle, called lord Cobhara, for 
having married a kinswoman of that nobleman^ was their 
chief, having been before convicted of heresy, and made his 
e&cape out of custody. This Sir Roger Acton of whom we 
here speak, was engaged with Oldcastle^ and next to him in 
post Their design was to murder the king and his brothers, 
and to destroy all the religious houses in London. The king 
having sufficient information of these practices, and that the 
rendezvous of the rebels was appointed to be in the wood at 
St. Giles's, came privately away from Eltham, where he had 
kept Christmas, to Westminster, on the day after the feast 
of the Epiphany, and having ordered the lord mayor to keep 
the city gates shut, that the rebels in the city might not join 
those in the wood, went himself to the said wood after midnight 
with a considerable body of men, where he tock above eighty 
men of that gang in armour, who being thus surprized, and 
not knowuig by whom, all owned that they came to the lord 
Oobham. He and the rest, being thus disappointed, fled ; 
but in the pursuit several of his men were killed or taken, of 
the latter, sixty-nine were convicted as traitors &i West- 
minster, of which number thirty -seven were on the 13th of 
January, drawn from the Tower of London to Newgate, and 
so to St. Giles's, and there all hanged in a place called 
Ficket's field ; seven of them were also burnt with the gal- 
lows on which they hung. Some time after Sir Roger 
Acton, having skulked about and lain concealed among his 
party, was discovered and taken, and the fact being so noto- 
rious, that there was no difficulty to convict him ; so that on 
the 10th of February he was hanged and drawn, and buried 
under the gallows. Though Fox, in his Martyrology, has 
given these and many others for martyrs, having found them 
no other than rebels, by the universal consent of all our his- 
torians, there is no reason why they should not have their due 
place here among the fanatic martyrs and king- killers, for ta 
murder the king was their intention, and to involve, the 
nation in blood and rapine under a false pretext of religion, 
the cloak for all rebellions. Walsingham and other ancient 

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historians do inibrm ns^ that this Sir Eoger Acton was a 
very lewd fellow, reduced to heggary hy his riotoosness, and 
thus sought to recover himself by the spoil of his country." 


" The heresy of Wickliffe having spread abroad in several 
parts of England, and disposing the people to libertinism and 
rebellion, there were many executed at several times for the 
same. William Murle is one instance hereof on the fourth 
of February, and we shall hereafter speak of Others in their 
proper places. The two saints we here treat of were of that 
gang, rank enthusiasts, and infatuated with the poison of 
those abominable doctrines. Being both obscure fellows, and 
their reign in villainy but short, we have only the followmg 
brief account of them in Stow. * Soon after Easter, in the 
year 141 4, being the 10th of king Henry the Vlth, who was 
still in his minority, the lord protector was warned of an 
assembly of certain lewd persons, under pretence of religious 
minded men, to be assembled at Abington, wherefore he sent 
thither certain persons, and also rode thither himself, and 
there arrested the baily of the town, named William Mande- 
ville, a weaver, the which was appointed for a captdn, who 
had named himself Jack Sharp of Wigmer's Land, in 
Wales, who being examined, confessed that he meant to have 
done many mischiefs, especially against priests, so that he 
would have made their heads as cheap as sheep's heads, that 
is to say, three or four a penny, or as some write, ten for a 
penny. Many of his accomplices were taken and sent to 
divers prisons. Their captain, Mandeville, was drawn, 
hanged and beheaded fet Abington, and. his head was sent to 
London, and set on the bridge ; I^b other fautors were exe- 
cuted in divers places and countries, to the terror of others.' 

" I here join to this scoundrel another like him, though he 
belongs to another day, because he is too inconsiderable to 
deserve a place to himself. Stow, in the same place above 
quoted, goes on thus: 'Also the 13th of July, Richard 
Russel, woolman, was hanged, drawn and quartered, for that 

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he would have made dukes and earls at his pleasure. Here 
we see the nature of wicked sectaries, who are whoUy bent 
upon cruelty; Mandeyille was for murdering of all clergy, 
which was the meaning of making their heads so cheap, and 
Russel could design no less than the destruction of the ancient 
Qobility, to make room for his rabble of dukes and earls, and 
both could aim at no less than the slaughter of their sove- 
reign, usurping such barbarous authority themselves." 


" She was the daughter of Reginald Cobham, lord of 
Sdrbrough, and wife to Humphrey, duke of Gloucester. 
Having been infected with the fanatic notions of John 
WicklifPe, she abandoned herself to all sorts of wickedness, 
and associated with in&mous persons. Among these were 

Roger Bolingbroke, an astrologer, and Thomas Southwell, 
canon of St. Stephen's chapel at Westminster^ both of them 
reputed necromancers ; as also Margery Gurdemaine, com- 
monly called the witch of Eye, by whose sorceries it was then 
thought tibat lady Eleanor had induced the duke of Gloucester 
to love and marry her : all these persons conspired to destroy 
king Henry VI. by sorcery or witchcraft, and Roger Boling- 
broke and Thomas Southwell being apprehended and ex- 
amined^ both of them confessed their guilt, and declared that 
what they had done, had been at the instigation of the said 
duchess. For this, Roger Bolingbroke did public penance 
on a scaffold, in St. Paul's churchyard. On the Tuesday 
following, the duchess knowing herself guilty, fled by night 
into ihe sanctuary at Westminster. Being cited, upon the 
information of the parties aforesaid, to Appear before Henry 
Chidieley, archbishop of Canterbury, Henry Beaufort, bishop 
of Winchester, and cardinal John Kemp, archbishop of 
York, and cardinal William Aiscoth, bishop of Salisbury 
&c., in St. Stephen's chapel, at Westminster, to answer to 
twenty-eight articles of necromancy, witchcraft, sorcery, 
fa^^sy and treas<m, she appeared accordingly, and Roger 
Solln^broke charging her with having employed him in those 

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92 REVIEW OF fox's 

mischiefs, she was on the 1 1th of August committed to the 
custody of Sir John Stewart, Sir William Rolfe, John 
Stanley, Esq., and others^ to be conveyed to the castle <^ 
Leeds, there to remain till three weeks afiber Michaelmas^ 
Not long aft^ she was indicted of high treason, in Guildhall, 
in London, before the earls of Huntingdon, Stafford, Suffolk, 
and Northumberland, the treasurer. Sir Ralph Cromwell, John 
Cornwall, lord Fanhope, Sir Walter Hungerford, and some 
judges of both benches. On the 21st of October she ap- 
peared in the chapel of St. Stephen, at Westminster, again, 
before Robert Gilbert, bishop of London, William Alnewick, 
of Lincoln, and Thomas Brown, of Norwich, where Adam 
Molios, clerk of the king's council, read the articles of sorcery 
and witchcraft laid to her charge, whereof some she denied, 
and others she confessed. On the 23rd of October she ap- 
peared again, and the witnesses against her being examined, 
she was fully convicted. Being then asked whether she had 
anything to object against the witnesses, she answered in the 
negative, and submitted herself. On the 27th of October 
she abjured the articles, and was ordered to appear again on 
the 9th of November, which she accordingly did, before the 
archbishop and others, and was enjoined penance, which she 
performed as follows : — 

'' On Monday, the 13th of November, she went from 
Westminster by water, and landed at the Temple bridge, 
whence she proceeded through Fleet-street, with a wax 
candle of two pounds in her hand, without an hood, but with 
a kerchief, to St. Paul's, where she offered her taper at the 
high altar. On the Wednesday following, she landed at the 
Swan in Thames-strtet^ and went through Bridge-street, 
Gracechurch-street, &c., straight to Leaden-hall, and so to 
Christchurch, by Aldgate. On Friday she landed at Queen- 
hithe, and proceeded to Cheapside, to St. Michael's in Corn- 
hill, in the same manner as aforesaid. At all these times the 
mayor, sheriffs, and tradesmen oi London met and accom- 
panied her. After all this she was committed to the custody 
of Sir Thomas Sfanley, so to remain during her life in the. 

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easUe of Cbester, having 100 marks a year allowed for her 
roainteDance ; but in the 22nd year of king Henry the VI., 
she WAS removed to Ken il worth.- Her pride, covetoosnese, 
and lust, were the cause of her confusion. 

*^ This is one, as well as some others before mentioned, 
whom Fox has thought fit to canonize as a aamt in his Book 
of Martyrs, and indeed we have here shown that she was a 
king-kiiier in intention, though she could not compass her 
design, and being a practitioner in sorcery and witchcraft, 
she may well have a place among fanatic saints, such as 
many are of those transmitted to us by that latitudinariaa 
writer. It is true there are many at this time who altogether 
explode all notions of sorcery or witchcraft, it is not our 
business to enter upon this controversy, but all the persons 
here mentioned having confessed their guilt in that crime, it 
must be supposed that they best knew what they had done, 
and whether they had really any compact with 1^ devil or 
not, their confession sufficiently evinces, that they practised 
such things as they looked upon as charms, and that the end 
of the same was to destroy the king, which is enough to prove 
they were intentional regicides, and so far answers our pur- 


We oome to another of John Fox's martyrs, of whom more 
has been said by historians than of the Tom Badby, and we 
shall therefore be better able to detect the falsehoods «nd 
misrepresentations of the martyrologist. But first lei us 
have his account of the afiair. *^The persecutions of the 
Lollards," he says, ** in the reign of Henry V. were owing 
to the cruel instigations of the clergy, who thought the most 
effectual way to check the progress of Wickliffe^s doctrines, 
would be to attack the then chief protector of it, viz.. Sir 
John Oldcastle, baron of Cobham ; and to persuade the king 
that the Lollards were engaged in conspiracies to overturn 
the state. . It was even reported that they intended to mur- 
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94 BEYISW OF fox's 

most of the lords spiritaal and temporal, in hopes that the 
confusion which must necessarily arise in the kingdom, after 
such a massacre, would prove favourable to their religion. 
Upon this a false rumour was spread that Sir John Oldcastle 
had got together 20,000 men in St. Giles's in the Fields, a 
place then overgrown with bushes. The king himself went 
thither at midnight, and finding no more than fourscore or a 
hundred persons, who were privately met upon a religious 
. account, he fell upon them and killed many. Some of them 
being afterwards examined, were prevailed upon, by promises 
or thi'eats, to confess whatever their enemies desired ; and 
these accused Sir John Oldcastle. 

« The king hereupon thought him guilty ; and in that be« 
lief set a thousand marks upon his head, with a promise of 
perpetual exemption from taxes to any town which should 
secure him. Sir John was apprehended and imprisoned in 
the Tower ; but escaping from thence, he fled into Wales^ 
where he long concealed himself. But being afterwards 
seized in Powis land, in North Wales, by Lord Powis, he 
was brought to London, to the great joy of the clergy, who 
were highly incensed against him, and resolved to sacrifice 
him, to stiike a terror into the rest of the Lollards. Sir 
John was of a very good family, had been sheriff of Hert- 
fordshire under Henry IV., and sunmioned to parliament 
among the barons of the realm in that reign. He had been 
sent beyond the sea, with the earl of Arundel, to assist the 
duke of Burgundy against the French. In a word, he was a 
man of extraordinary merit, notwithstanding which he was 
condemned to be hanged up by the waist, with a chain, and 
burned alive. This most barbarous sentence was executed, 
amidst the curses and imprecations of the priests and monks, 
who used their utmost endeavours to prevent the people from 
praying for him. Such was the tragical end of 1^ John 
Oldcastle, who \eh the world with a resolution and constancy 
that answered perfectly to the brave spirit with which he had 
ever maintained the cause of truth and of his God, 
'< Not satisfied with his single death, the clergy induced 

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tbe parliament to make fresh statutes against the LoUards. 
It was enacted, among other things, that whosoever read the 
scriptures in English should forfeit land, chattels, goods, and 
life, and he condemned as heretics to God, enemies to the 
crown, and traitors to the kingdom ; that thej should not 
have the heuefit of any sanctuary ; and that, if they continued 
ohstinate, or relapsed after heing pardoned, they should first 
be hanged for treason against the king, and then burned for 
heresy against God. This act was no sooner passed, but a 
violent persecution was raised against the LoUards ; several 
of them were burnt alive, some fled the kingdom, and others 
were weak enough to abjure their religion, to escape the 
torments prepared for them." 

Sdch is the account given by Fox, or his modem editors ; the 
reader, by a comparison with the foregoing accounts of some of 
Oldcastle's comrades, will be able to appreciate the credit due 
to the relation of the martyrologist. As usual, all is bare 
assertion ; .not a voucher has he produced to prove the au- 
thenticity of the incidents he mentions, but we are called 
upon to take for granted whatever he has thought proper to 
advance. The time, however, is come when facts must be 
]nt>daced to obtain credit, and it would have l>een well for the 
people of England had they always demanded unquestionable 
authority for the statements of historians. With Catholic 
writers it has been the invariable rule to lay down the source 
from whence any extraordinay circumstance has been derived, 
in order that the suspecting party might satisfy themselves 
by a reference to the authority cited ; while, on the other 
hand^ the oppugners of truth always shun plain and open 
dealing, and have recourse to trick and deception to make up 
what may be wanted of common honesty. Such is the case 
wilh JB'ox in hiis account of the death of Sir John Oldcastle. 
He commences his tale by attributing the persecutions of the 
Lollards, in Henry V.'s time, " to the cruel instigations of 
the clergy, who,'* he says, *' thought that the most effectual 
wa,j to check the progress of Wickliffe's doctrines, would be to 
attack the then chief protector of them," this Sir John Old- 

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86 REVIEW OF Fox'a 

castle, and " to persuade tlie king that the Lollards were 
engaged in conspiracies to overturn the state." We trust 
the people of England will no longer be persuaded by 
Fox and "the few plain Christians,'' his modern editors, 
to take these gross perversions of history for genuine fact. 
Let us refer to dates, which are the best guides to come at 
disputed facts. Wickliffe's doctrines had been broached 
about fifty years when Sir John Oldcastle was apprehended. 
Several rebellions had been occasioned by their dissemination, 
during the reign ef Henry's father, and his predecessor, 
Hichard IT., so that there could be no occasion for the clergy 
to persf$ade the king that conspiracies were intended, when 
he had himself the perfect knowledge that such had actually 
been entered into to dethrone his father, and were in progress 
to wrest the sceptre from himself. To charge the clergy, 
therefore, with being the instruments oi persecuting a nest of 
traitors and plunderers, because tliese treason-hatchers had 
the adroitness to screen their lawless and wicked designs 
under a pretence of reforming religion, and purifying the 
morals of the clergy, is brazen impudence and mendacity in 
the extreme. 

Henry, when prince of Wales, had joined the lords and 
commons in petitioaing his father to arrest the progress of 
the preachers and punish them, as may be seen by searching 
the records of parliament. This fact is an indisputable proof 
of the lying qualities of Fox. Sir John Oldcastle had been 
one of the intimate companions of Henry in the follies of his 
youth, and on the reformation of the monarch, on his coming 
to the crown, he was dismissed his presence, in consequence 
of the opinions he held and the immorality of his conduct. 
Henry therefore did not require the instigation of the clergy. 
Fuller (p. 168) tells that Sir John Oldcastle was, among our 
more ancient dramatists, the debauched but facetious knight 
who now treads the stage under the name of Sir John 
Falstaff. Thus we have the same personage pourtrayed by 
Fox as a " godly martyr," and by Shakspeare as a " beastly 
debauch^." What an edifying saint to grace the martyrology 

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of John Po», To return, however, to the narrative. Fox 
says, the persons who were assembled in St. Giles's, and 
' snrprtsed by the king, " were privately met upon a religious 
account," and that ** he fell upon them and killed many." 
In contradiction to this gross fidsehood, we refer the roader 
to the account of the death of Sir Eoger Acton, pi^e 89, 
which is copied from Stow. Of ^He extraordinary merit 
of this notorious traitor we have before given an account; 
his death, which b represented to have been most tragical, 
was no other than what many others less deserving have 
undergone, without exciting the notice or pity of John Fox. - 
The execution of this base villian took place when the king 
was engaged, with his anny in France, and is thus related by 
Dr. Liugard : — " But while the king was thus occupied with 
the conquest in Normandy, a feeble attempt had been made 
to deprive him of England. In consequence of a secret 
understanding between the Scottish cabinet and the chiefs of 
tiie Lollards, the Duke of Albany and the Earl Douglass 
suddenly crossed the borders and laid siege, the former to the 
castle of Berwick, the latter to that of Roxburgh. It proved, 
however, a ' foul raid.' They had persuaded themselves that 
the kingdom had been left without a competent force for its 
protection : but when they learned that the Dukes of Bedford 
and Exeter were approaching at the head of one hundred 
thousand men, they decamped with precipitation, and dis- 
banded their armies. At the same time Sir John Oldcastle 
emerged from his concealment, and arrived in the neighbour- 
hood of London. The retreat of the Scots defeated all his 
projects. At St. Albans he eluded, by a precipitate flight, 
the pursuit of his enemieii: in the marches of Wales he was 
taken, after an obstinate resistance, by Sir Edward Charlton, 
a retainer of the lord Powis. At the petition of the com- 
mons (the parliament was then sitting) he was arraigned 
before the peers: the indictment on which he had been 
formerly outlawed^ was read, and he was asked in the usual 
form by the Duke of Bedford, why he should not receive 
sentence of deatL Instead of replying directly to the ques- 
VOL. ir. p 

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tion, be preached a long sermon on one of the faTOurite 
doctrines of hi» sect, that it is the duty of man to forgive, 
and to leave the punishment of offences in the hands of the 
Almighty. Being interrupted, and required to -return a 
direct answer, he said that he would never acknowledge the 
authority of that court, as long as his liege lord, king 
Bichard II., was alive in Scotland. Judgment was instantly 
pronounced ; that he should he hanged as a traitor, and burnt 
as a heretic. St. Giles's fields, which had been the theatre 
of his rebellion, witnessed also his pnnbhment. By his 
partisans he would have been revered as a martyr, had not 
their faith been staggered and scandalized by a non>accom- 
pitshment of a prophecy, which he was said to •have uttered 
at the gallows, that he should rise again from the grave on 
the third day." 

Looking at this account by Dr. Lingard, and that given 
by Fox, the shameless mendacity of the latter is most con- 
spicuous, and must make the unprejudiced Protestant blush 
at the depravity of the mind that could deliberately and 
purposely invent such brazen lies to villify the clergy of 
former times, who were the fathers of the people and the 
protectors of the poor. Alas ! how have the people of 
England been deceived and beguiled, since the pretended 
Reformation, by the means of the press. From the moment 
the spiritual supremacy was connected with the state, the 
press became the instrument of forgery, falsehood, misrepre- 
sentation, calumny, and fanaticism. By a long career of 
near three hundred years in this wholesale system of iniquity, 
the people of this country have been plunged into the densest 
mists of error and imposition. Thus the most palpable lies 
have been swallowed as indisputable facts ; the most depraved 
villians have been taken for the most pious saints ; and the 
most humane and self devoted order of religious men for the 
most sanguinary and malignant miscreants. The time, 
however, is rapidly approaching when the rays of truth will 
dispel this dark gloom, and exhibit the hypocrites and falsi- 
fiers in all their horrid deformity. In this relation of the 

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deatk of Sir John Oldcastle^ Fox, idth his usual malioe and 
want of veracity, has represented the Catholic priests and 
monks as the bitterest enemies of the hoary traitor, though 
it is dearly proved by Dr. Lingaid and other authorities, that 
he was arraigned at the petition of the representatives of the 
people, and that he confessed himself a traitor to the reigning 
king. Fox also states that he was hung ** by the tcaist with 
a chain, and burni alive,** This statement, made for the 
purpose of exciting horror and indignation against the sup- 
posed cruelty and barbarity of our Catholic anc^tors, is 
positively contradicted by Stow, who had better means of 
ascertaining the fact than Fox. The former says, " he (Sir 
John Oldc^le) was hanged by the neck in a chain of iron, 
and AFTEB consumed with fire." Who, after this palpable 
4|etectiou, can believe the statements in this Book of Martyr si 
Fox talks of Oldcastle's '^ resolution and constancy,'* and his 
** brave spirit," but he does not note his Janaiical spirit, 
which led him to predict his resurrection from death after the 
third day, which is recorded by Stow, and as Dr. Lingard 
observes, staggered not a few of his deluded disciples <hi 
finding his prophecy not fulfilled. 

Fox next asserts that, '^ not satisfied with his (Oldcastle's) 
^ngle death, the clergy induced the parliament to make fresh 
statutes against the Lollards." In whose reign, and in wJiat 
year, were these /re«^ statutes made? It was surely an easy 
ti^ to have given chapter and verse, by a reference to his- 
tory and the statu(^ book. He talks here of the siTigle death 
of Oldcastle, after having recorded the martyrdoms, as he 
calls the death of Sautre and Badby^ and recounting the 
killings of many of Oldcastle's followers, as persecutions by 
the clergy. We have, from authentic testimony, named 
several traitors that suffered death for their crimes, and w^e 
classed as martyrs by Fox ; how then can he here speak of 
only one single death, namely, Oldcastle's? The insinuation 
is base and groundless, and like the rest of the assertions 
made by this lying martyrologist. For instance^ he says, 
<* it was enacted, among other things^ that whosoever read 

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loo REVIEW OP fox's 

the scriptures in English, should forfeit land, chattels, goo^, 
and life ; and be condemned as heretics to God, enemies to 
the crotcn, and traitors to the kingdom," Were ever such 
improbabilities before put f<»rth for facts? Peo|^e in general^ 
at that time, were not able to read ; but why not punish the 
translators and copyists, as well as the readers ? If it was made 
heresy and treason merely to read, what ought to have been 
the crime and punishment of those who were the instigator» 
of this heresy and treason ? But who ever heard of the mexe 
readers of the scriptures becoming heretic8> and heretics te 
God too? What nonsense, sheer stupid nonsense, is this« 
Heresy, as defined by Johnson, L» *' an opinion of private 
men, different from ^at of the CathoHe and orthodox 
church; ^* and a HERETIC, "one who propagates \m private 
opinions in opposition to the Catholic church." Now a man 
mighi read the scripture, as hundreds and thousands have 
read the sacred volume, and yet remain Catholics — sound 
orthodox Catholics ; therefore to make it heresy and treason 
merdy to read the bible is preposterous folly, and such as our 
Catholic ancestors, though they are said to have lived in the 
dark ages, would never have been guilty of. No, no ; it waa 
not the reading then, nor is it the reading now, oS the scrip- 
tui*es, that the Catholic church objects to ; it is the misitUer^ 
pretation of the sacred text that she condemns; and it waa 
the corruption of the meaning to traitorous purposes ^at 
caused our ancestors to pass the law de heretico comburendo, 
as we have shewn by indisputable facts, accompamed by the 
clearest testimony. 

This account of the death of Oldcastle is self- contradictory 
in ihe extreme. Fox says that Oldcastle was burned alive, 
and in the same column he says the punishment of the 
Lollards was, to be hung Jirst, for treason against the king» 
and then burned for heresy against God. ^gain, he says, 
there were fresh statutes made against the Lollards, and 
immediately after he speaks of only one. '* Thisaet,*^ he 
. writes, was no sooner passed, but a violent persecution was 
raised against the Lollards; several of them were burnt 


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oKw,'* &c. Yet this very law, hj his own statement, enacted 
that they should be hung in the first instance, and burned 
afterwards. Yerily those who believe such a narrator as Fox 
will believe any thing, however incredible or monstrous. 


Fox next proceeds to give an account of the religious creed 
of this infamous and debauched knight, Oldcastle. He says, 
''The following is the confession of this virtuous and tru4. 
Christian, which, ^m its clearness imd- simplicity, is well 
worthy of remembrance." He commences with the Apostles* 
ereed thus : — 

<' I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven 
and earth ; and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, which. 
was conceived by the Holy Ghost, bom of the Virgin Mary,, 
suffered under Pontius Filate, crucified, dead, and buried, 
went down to hell, the third day rose again from death, 
ascended up to heaven, sitteth on the right hand of Gt>d the. 
Father Almighty^ and from thence shall come again to judge 
Use quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the 
^miversal hdy church, the communion of saints, the forgive-. 
oess c^ sins, the uprismg of the flesh, and everlasting life. 

*^ And for a more large declaration of this my faith ia the 
Catholic church, 1 steadfastly believe, that there is but one 
Qodi Almighty, in and of whose godhead are these thi'ee 
persons^ the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and that 
those three persons are the self-same God Almighty. I 
believe also, that the second person in this most blessed 
Trinity, in most convenient time appointed thereunto before, 
took flesh and blood of the most blessed Virgin Mary, for 
the safeguard and redemption of the universal kind of man, 
which was before lost in Adam's offence. 

<' Moreover, I believe that the same Jesus Christ our Lord, 
thus being both God and man, is the only head of the whole 
Christian church, and that all those that have been or shall 
be saved; be members of this most holy church. 

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•' Whereof tlie first sort be now in bearen, and tbey are 
tbe saintB from hence departed. These, as tbej were here 
eonrersant, conformed always their lires to the most hdj 
laws and pure examples of Christ,- renouncing Satan, the 
world, and the flesh, with all their concnpiseence and evils. 

" The other sort are here upon earth, and caOed the church 
militant. For day and night they contend against ei*afty 
assaults of the devil, the flattering prosperities of this world, 
avd the rebellious fllthiness of the flesh/' 

Such is tbe confession which the modern editors of Fox 
have put into the mouth of Sir John Oldcastle, traitor, 
heretic, and martyr, which they are pleased to describe as 
**well worthy of remembrance," from "its clearness and 
simplicity.^ But, reader, though Sir John might make this 
confession, it was not the creed he always held, and be made 
other acknowledgments, which it did not suit the convenience 
of the "few plain Christians" to make public. These 
modem editors set forth that their purpose in publishing this 
Book of Martyrsy was to *^ diffuse a knowledge and love of 
the genuine principles of Christianity ; *' but they have taken 
special care to suppbess in this edition many other things 
which Fox admitted in his original work, and o^er editors 
have inserted in their editions of the Martyrology. Before 
we notice these suppressions, we will here ask the modem 
editors by whose authority did they change the word Catholic 
for " tmiversal *' in the Apostles' Creed ? Sir John Old- 
castle, we are sure> never made use of the term "universal,** 
nor could there be any occasion for it in then* edition, as they 
allow that be professed the Catholic faith in his confession. 
Now the Catholic faith then was the same as the Catholie 
faith now, and consequently cannot be the Protestant fakh, 
if tbe endless diversities of sects into which Protestanti^n is 
divided can be c&Ued faith. But what will the reader say of 
John Fox, and John Oldcastle, and Fox's modem editors, 
V. hen we inform him that this valiant martyr, this virtuous 
and trtie Christian^ professed his belief in the real presence 
of the sacrament of the Eucharist, and also many other 

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tenets of the Caibolic clmroli^ which Protestants deny? One 
of the editors of Fox, in his ectition^ remiu*king on the con- 
fessicm of &ith made bj Oldcastle, says, ''the sincere 
Lollards had rather eoitfused notions of (he gQspel ; and it 
appears from some remai^ of lord llale^.that (hey were 
not aU of the same sentiments." Men of common sense, 
what do you think of this ! The sincere Lollards had con- 
fnsed notions^ Well, then, what were they but men tossed 
to and fro with every wind of doctrine, and not the disciples 
of that church built upon a rock, (hat was to remain un- 
changeable to the end of time. They were not all of the 
same sentiments ; then they had none of the marks of TRUTH 
with them, which is always the same, and ever will be the 
same, as long as time endureth. To declare that men dis^ 
eigreed in their sentiments, thai they had confused notions^ 
and yet followed tbdih, is an outrage to common sense, and 
deserves universal reprobation. 

We have had occasion to speak of the reply of father 
FarsoBS to this lying c^nnpilation of Fox, who vrrote while 
John was living. On this subject of the Wickliffian heresy 
and Oldcastle's c<mfession, the learned father is so plain and 
argumentative, that we should not do justice to his memory 
and great talents were we not to record his remarks. Bj so 
doing too, we furnish a clear proof of the consistency of the 
defenders of the Catholic faith, who in every age and of every 
na(ion, followed the same rule, and consequently wrote with 
the same spirit, namely, that of Truth. Examine the works 
of the Catholic controvertists from the time of the apostles 
and evangelists to the present day, and you will find sincerity 
in their language, without any confusion of notions or diver- 
sity of sentiments, on whatever concern the revealed truths 
of religion. This test of unity is not to be found amongst 
sectarians, and therefore they can have no more claim to t je 
truths of the gospel than the heathen or publican. 

We have given a picture of some of the most prominent 
martyrs, as Fox calls them, of the Wickliffian faction, from 
which the reader has learned that they were traitors to their 

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kin^, and disturbers of the country ^s peace ; this picture is 
not only confirmed by father Parsons, but he goes further 
into the conduct of Sir John Oldcastle, and proves that he. 
was not only a traitor, but a self- convicted heretic. Parsons 
writes : — " But there i& yet another point worse than this ;. 
which is, that he (Fox) doth not only allow of the religion of 
these men, but defendeth also and Justifieth their life and 
actions in what case soever ; and though never so orderly and 
lawfully condemned by the church or state of those days, yea, 
though they were convmeed to have conspired the king^s 
murder, and ruin to the state, or had broken forth into opea 
war and hostility against the same. As dkd Sir John (Xd^ 
castle (by his wife called lord Cobham) Sir Roger Acton and 
many other their followers, in the first year of king Henry V. 
which story you may read in John Stow truly related out of 
Thomas Walsingham, and other ancient writers. 

'* He sctteth down also without blushing (I mean Fox) a& 
well the records of the Chancery, as the act of Parliament 
itself, whereby they were condemned of open treason, and 
confessed rebellion ; for which sixty-nine were condemned in 
one day by public sentence; and yet doth the mad fallow 
take upon htm to excuse and defend them all by a long 
discourse of many leaves together, scoffing and jesting as 
well at their arraignment and sentence given, as also at the 
act of Parliament holden at Leicester, ann(y2, Hen, 5, cap. 7.> 
and in the year of Christ 1415w And after i^ he setteth 
forth, in contempt of this public judgment,, a great painted 
pageant or picture of those that were hanged fcx that open 
fact of rebellion in St. Giles's Fields^ in London, a& of true 
saints and martyrs ; namely, of Sir Eoger Acton and others^ 
p. 540. And some leavea after that again, he setteth out. 
another particular pageant of the several execution ^ Sir 
John Oldcastle, with this title : 'The Description of the 
Cruel Martyrdom of Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham.' And 
more than this, he appointeth unto them their several festival 
days in red letters, (which were the days of their hanging) 
as unto solemn martyrs. The first upon the sixth of January^ 

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with tkiB title : * Sir Roger Acton, Knight, Martyr ; ' and ^ 
Qither upon the fifth of February, with this inscription in his 
tudendar: 'Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Oobham, Martyr.' 
Whereby we may see that these men do not measure things 
BB they are in themselres, but as they serve to maintain their 

^ And it is further to be noted, tliat albeit these two re-^ 
bellious knights (Acton and Oldcastle) besides all othar their 
convicted crimes, did make public profession of a far difi^Brent 
fiuth from John Fox {«s may be seen by the confessions and 
protestations set down by Fox himself) yea, and the latter of 
them also did openly recant all the errors and heresies that 
he had held before ; yet, notwithstanding, will not Fox so let 
th^n go, but perforce will have them to be of his church, 
whether they will or no. It would be over long to rehearse 
many examples — some few shall you have for a taste. 

" Page 612. Fox setteth down the protestation <rf Sir 
Jeha Oldcastle with this title ; * The Christian belief of the 
Lord Cobham.' By which title you may see that he liketh 
well of his belief, and holdeth it for truly Christian. Well, 
mark what followeth ! When, after other articles about the 
Blessed Trinity, and Christ's Deity, Sir John Oldcastle 
oometh to Ix^at of the sacrament of the altar, he protesteth 
thus : ' And forasmuch as I am falsely accused of a misbelief 
in the sacrament of the altar, I signify here to all m^n that 
this is my faith concerning that : I believe in that sacrament 
to be contained very Christ's body and blood, mider the 
similitudes of wine and lH*ead, yea, the same body that was 
conceived of the Holy Ghost, bora of the Virgin Mary, hung 
on the cross, died and was buried, arose the third day from 
Uie dead, and now is glmfied in heaven.' This was his con- 
fession, and is related here by Fox : and will Fox agree to 
this, think you ? It may be he will, for that he saith nothing 
agfunst it At all in this place. 

i_ " ]3ut some leaves after, repeating another testimonial of 
the said Oldcastle's belief, witnessed by his own friends, 
coDceming this articla^ he writeth thus : ' Furthermore^ he 


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106 HKVIEW OF Fort 

beltereth tbat the blessed sacrament of tiie altar is verllj ain]* 
truly Christ's body in the form of bread. Upon which 
words Fox maketli this commentary in the margin : ^. In form 
of bread, but not without bread, he meaneth.' Yea, John» 
is that his meaning? How, then, standeth Has with hk 
former words, * Under the similitudes of bread and wine V 
Is the similitude of bread, true bread ? VTho seeth not this 
silly shift of a poor baited Fox, that eannot tell whither to 
turn his head ? Bat mark yet a far worse shift ! 

** Sir John Oldcastle, shewing his belief about three sorts 
of men, the one, of saints bow in heaven^ the second, in 
purgatory, the third, here mlKttfnt upon earth, saith thus : 

* The holy church I believe to be divided into three sorts or 
companies ; whereof ihe first are now in heaven, <fec. ; the 
second sort wte in purgatory, abiding the mercy of God, and 
a ftiU deliverance of pain ; the third, upon earth, <fec.* To 
this speech of purgat^y. Fox thought best (lest if might 
disgrace his new martyr) to add this parenthesis of his own, 

* (if any such place be in the scriptures, <frc.)' And by this 
you may perceive how he proceedeth in all the rest, to wit, 
most perfidiously, like a Fox in all. 

** Furthermore, he settoth down at length a very ample 
and earnest recantation of the said Sir John Oldcasde, taken 
out of the records, as authentically made as can be devised. 
Wherein he thus protested : * In nomine Dei. Amen, I, 
John Oldcastle, denounced, detected and convicted of and 
upon divers articles favouring heresy and e^ror, <fec. I, being 
evil seduced by divers seditious preachers, have grievously 
erred, heretically persisted, blasphemously answered, and ob- 
stinately rebelled, &c.' And having recounted, at length, all 
his former condemned and h^^etical opinions, he endeth thus : 
' Over and besides all this, I, John Oldcastle, utterly for- 
saking and renouncing all the aforesaid errors and heresies, 
and all other like unto them, lay my hand here upon this 
book and evangel of God, and i^ear, that I shsdl never more 
from henceforth hold these aforesaid heresies, nor yet any 
other like unto thetn wittingly, &c,* All which recantation 

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and abjnratian being related bj John Fox, he saith nothing 
at all against it, but only that it was devised bj the bishops 
without his consent ; alleging no one author, witness, writing, 
record, reason, or probable conjecture for proof thereof, but 
f<^oweth the fond shift before touched by me against the 
Magdeburgenses of him that, being accused of heinous 
crimes, bringeth in first the best witnesses of all the city to 
prove the same ag^nst himself, and then answereth all 
with only saying, ' that they are liars, and know not what 
they say.' " 

In conclusion, we beg the reader to refer to the confession 
put into the mouth of Sir John Oldcastle, by the modern 
edit(»:s of Fox, and the declaration, quoted by father Parsons 
from the cniginal work of Fox, above. It will be seen by 
the latt^, that Sir John, this *^ virtuous and true Christian," 
held that the church was divided into three sorts or companies, 
the second sort being in a middle state or purgatory ; but 
this article of his belief is studiously left out of the latter, 
and he is made to name expressly but two sorts. This pal- 
pable contradiction ; this barefaced suppression of a material 
&ct in the original work, by the modem editors, is sufficient 
to stamp their character for veracity, and consign them to 
the too numerous company of falsifier b produced by the pre- 
tended Beformation. It is clear, fi'om the words of father 
Parsons, that when Wickliffe began to dogmatize, the belief 
of whole Christendom was that of the Catholic faith, and 
that he and his disciples were not Protestants, because they 
hdd doctrines which Protestants deny. The real presence, 
the invocation of saints^ purgatory, and the seven sacraments, 
were then, as now, articles of Catholic faith, though rejected 
by Protestants. Tithes, surplice fees, benefices, oblations, 
and every emolument pertaining to temporal aggrandizement 
are now maintained by Protestants of the church, as by law 
established, though these were disputed by Wickliffe and the 
Lollards ; yet are they ranked by Fox and his editors as 
virtuous and true Christians, and godly martyrs, while au- 
thentic history represents them as the most depraved and 

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108 HEVIBW OF fox's 

perfidious traitors. If to disturb the peace of society, by 
the propagation of seditious doctrines; if to rebel against 
the lawM authorities of the state, from motives of faction ; 
if to set father against son ; brother against brother; if to 
involve the country in murder and strife, and violate all tho 
princijJes of cliarity, be the essence of Chnstianity, why 
then Wickliffe and his disciples were tioie and virtuous 
Christians. But that flame could not be the light of the 
gospel, which only blazed like a meteor, and was heard of 
no more ; nor is its appearance known now but only by the 
evils produced by its exhalations. To sum up the true 
causes of Wiekliffe's doctrine, so highly extolled by Fox, 
they were, 1st. A desire of revenge against the bishops and 
the clergy, on the part of Wicklifle, in consequence of hiis 
being deprived of a benefice in Oxford, which he had possessed 
unjustly. 2dly- He was moved with envy agmnst monks^ 
together with a desire of gaining over the Duke of Lancaster^ 
who had an eye to the crown, and his followers, by teaching 
them that it was lawfnl to invade church livings at their 
pleasure ; and 3rdly. The duke and hb adherents w^e 
stirred up by the same motives of ambition, covetousness, 
and emulation against the bishops and clergy. These causes 
we gather out of Stow and Walsingham, and they are con- 
firmed by the general voice of all the world. The opinions 
of Wickliffe were condemned by the whole universal church 
as heretical; and the parliaments of Bichard II., and 
Henry IV., who best knew their lives, condemned Ina fol- 
lowers by their public acts, for " hypocrites, seditious, and 
pernicious people in manners/' Here, then, we close our 
remarks on the Wickliffites, having, we flatter ourselves, 
satisfactorily established the real' character of this class (^ 
Fox's martyrs. 


During the heresy of Wicklifie, the Christkn church was 
aliicted with schism, originating from the ambition of some 
<^ the cardinals, and the loose conduct of others, which pope 

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Urban YI. was desirous of reforming. This schism was 
noticed bj Fox, in his account of the proceedings against 
Wickliffe, but we passed it over, rather than interrupt the 
order of the subject Fox imputes this event to the provi- 
dence of God, in favour of the progress of truth, and lest 
it might be thought that there was some failure of the pro- 
mises of Christ in the churdi of Borne, we have cbemed it 
right to place the martjrologist's account upon record, and a 
counter-relation of the affair after it, that the reader may be- 
aUowed to judge for himself, how far Fox is entitled to 
credit. He writes, under the above head, — *' A circumstance* 
occurred at this period, by the providence of God, which 
greatly tended to facilitate the progresa of trutk This waa 
a great schism in the church of Borne, which originated aa 
foUowa: After the death of Gregory XI., who expired in the 
midst of his anxiety to crush Wickliffe and his doctrines, 
Urban YI. succeeded to the papal chair. This pope was so- 
proud and insolent, and so intent on the advancement of his^ 
nephews and kindred, which he frequently accomplished by 
injuring other princes, that the greatest number of his car- 
dinals and courtiers deserted him, and set up another pope- 
against him, named Clement, who reigned eleven years. 
After him Benedict XIII., who reigned twenty-six years. 
Again, on the contrary fade, after Urban YI.^ succeeded 
Boniface IX., Innocent YIIL, Gregory Xil., Alexander Y.,. 
and John XIII. To relate all the particulars of this miser- 
aUe schism, would require volumes ; we shall merely take 
notice of a few of the principal occurrences, from which the 
reader may form an idea of the bloodshed and misery brought 
on the Christian world by the ambition and wickedness of 
these pretended representatives of our blessed Saviour ; and 
niay judge how widely they departed from his blessed 
maxims of peace and good will to all men* Otho, Duke of 
Bmnawick and Pnnceof Tarentum, was taken and muidered.. 
Joan, his wife. Queen of Jerusalem and Sicily, who had 
senttopo'pe Urban, besides other gifts, 40,000 ducats in 
gold, was afterwards, by his order, committed to prison, and 

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there strangled. Many cardinals were racked, and tortured 
to death ; battles were fought between the rival popes, in 
which great multitudes were slain. 'Five cardinals were be- 
headed together after long torments. The bishop of Aqnilo- 
nensis, being suspected by pope Urban, for not riding faster 
when in his company, was slain on the spot, by the pope's 
order. Thus did these demons in human form torment each 
other, for the space of thirty-nine years, until tlie council of 

Fox here insinuates that it would require volumes " to re- 
late all the particulars of this miserable sdiism/' and he goes^ 
on to tell us that cardinals were racked and put to death, 
battles were fought, and murders committed by *' these demons 
in huma,n form,'' namely, the popes or anti-popes, for we are 
left to conjecture, as it cannot be supposed that all these hor- 
rible crimes are to rest upon Urban's shoulders, though he is 
the only pope accused by name. We cannot tell from whence 
Fox borrowed his testimony, as he has given us no reference, 
according to custom, but we have no hesitation in pronounc- 
ing the statement to be a tissue of falsehoods, excepting that 
a schism did exist. We have looked into the authorities 
within our reach, but we cannot find any allusion to the hor- 
rible transactions related by Fox, and we think it very im-. 
probable, that, had ^\e cardinals been beheaded together^ 
such a circumstance would have escaped their notice. Fox 
represents Urban as a monster of cruelty and injustice ; 
oth^ authors, who are more entitled to credit, give a differ- 
ent version to his character. The Eev. J. Eeeve, in his 
History of the Christian Churchy says of Urban, that he was 
'* famed for his knowledge of the canon law, devout, humble, 
and disinterested ; an enemy to simony, zealous for justice 
and purity of morals ; virtuous and learned himself, he en- 
couraged virtue and learning in others. The abuses com- 
mitted by the agents and officers of the court of Eome had 
long been the subject of complaint. A laudable zeal for 
effecting a reform, carried the religious pontiff to a degree of 
severity which was thought imprudent. In 1^ exhortation! 

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Mid reprimands, he spared not the cardinals themselves. 
They felt the justness of his animadversions, but rather than 
curtail their luxuries of life, thej chose to throw the whole 
church into confusion/^ Thus then, it appears that this schism 
did not arise from the injustices of Urban, but from his de*- 
sire, his too anxious wish, to have those abuses removed, 
which had crept into the court over which he presided. The 
cardini^s fled from him, not for his cruelty, but for his honesty. 
He was a reformer of real abuses, and therefore it cannot be 
wondered that he should meet with opposition from those wha 
stood in need of reform ; ^ nor can we be surprised that his 
meritorious intentions are misrepresented by those who de- 
light in calumny and falsehood. As to the murders of dukes 
and cardinals and queens, the falsity of these charges are too 
glajing to need refutation. That there was a schism in the 
church at this period is not denied, but a schism is not a 
failure of orthodoxy. Though there might be a doubt as to 
the canonical head of the church, there was not the slightest 
disagreement as to the articles of faith propounded. The 
fact is, there was a dispute among the clergy respecting who 
was the rightful head of the church, and some nations ad- 
hered to one claimant and sonie to the other ; but during 
the space of this contention about the headship, there was 
not a division on doctrine, save and except the heresy of 
Wickliffe, which was not of that nature to require the con- 
vening of a general council, the guardians of the church in 
England, that is, the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the kingdom, 
being deemed suflScient. Subsequently, the errors spreading 
on the continent, and the schism continuing, the council of 
Constance assembled to put an end to one, and give judg- 
ment on the other. 

This council met on the 5th day of November, in the year 
1414, and, like the other general councils of the Catholic 
church, was composed of the most eminent prelates and 
divines from Italy, Germany, France, Spain, and England. 
Here then we have a tangible proof of the existence of a 
ehurck/that should be a judge and a guide to those who 

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were unruly and in error. Our blessed Saviour told his disd* 
pies, as the gospel of St. Matthew informs us, that when any 
dissensions took place, as was natural to human £railty> an 
appeal was to be made to the chubch, and, when the 
church had decided, those who refused to hear her were to 
be considered as heathens or publicans ; that is, cut off from 
her communion, and deprived of the spiritual blessings her 
Divine Founder had commissioned her to dispense. Now, if 
there had been no authority to decide on this schism, it would 
have lasted till this day, and in all probability e^ibited the 
same features we now behold in Protestantism, — an endless 
division of sectarians, and an innumerable number of unbe- 
lievers. But here, as we before observed, we have a proof 
of the divine hand, in the protection of his church. She wa«^ 
threatened with a division c£ the seamlesa garment, but her 
guardians assembled, under the protection of the Holy Spirit, 
in the city of Constance; overtures were made to settle the 
matter amicably, the parties would not consent ; they were 
deposed, a new pope was elected; the whole universe acknow- 
ledged the choice, and a termination waa put to the jarrings 
that had too long distracted the peace of the church, but had 
never shook her faith. Thus then, by the providence of God, 
to use the wcNrds of Fox, that event which the enemies of 
Truth had anticipated would prove the downfall of the 
Church, was the means of establishing her solidity in the eyes 
of the world, and from that day to this moment, schism never 
infected the centre of supremacy. 

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We now enter upon the most imp(H*tant epocH of English, 
we may say general, History, that can interest the mind, and 
shall have to detail a series of eyents,— some highly expres- 
sive of the divine nature of the Catholic church, and others 
declaratory of the evils attending an unhridled sway of the 
human heart. It will also he our duty to detect the mancBu- 
vres jHractised hy the interested slaves of iiciction and irreli- 
gion, to draw the unsuspecting from the road to Heaven. 
We do not, however, intend to exclude from our history the 
great political changes that took place in the progress of the 
creeds, which have, in part, supplanted the ancient &ith. 
We have undertaken to examine and criticise the most mate- 
rial facts recorded of the Reformation in the late edition of 
hFW« Booh of Martyrs, and it' will he our duty to follow the 
author, step hy step, as we have hitherto done hy his preced- 
ing statements, through this eventful period. In l^e per-> 
formance of this task we shall meet with many facts so inter- 
woven with divinity and politics, that, it will he -impossible to 
separate them without making the history incomplete. We 
shall therefore endeavour to elicit the truth in the best 
manner we can, and rely upon the candour and good sense of 
the reader for our reward. 


Under this head or title, Fox ushers in his narrative of 
king Henry's reign. He commences with these words ; — 
'^ The reader will, doubtless, attend to the transactions re- 
corded in his reign, with peculiar interest. It was in this 
period that God, through the instrumentality of the king, 

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114 RBYIBW OF fox's 

lihetaUd tHis country ^m the Papal yoke, when England 
became, as it were, a religious wobld dependant on 
itself." He then goes on to notice the termination of the 
civil wars between the two houses of York and Lancaster, bj 
the accession of Henry the Seventh, who married the princess 
Elizabeth, heiress of the house of York, by whom he had 
Henry the Eighth, " the instrument under God," Fox says ; 
he should rather have said the great enemy of mankind, by 
which this country was separated from the universal Church 
of Christ. Fox then mentions the popular actions of the 
latter Henry on coming to the throne, his disgracing and 
punishing Empson and Dudley, the ministers of his father*s 
avarice, and his great acquirements in literature and the 
sciences. Amidst these many good qualities, Fox tells us he 
was open to flattery, and, with his usual malice towards the 
clergy of 4;hat day, he charges them with administering this 
BubUe poLBon in copious draughts. He abo records Henry's 
entering the list of controversy with Luther, by writing a 
work on the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic church, for 
which the pope bestowed upon him the title of Defender of 
the Faith, still retained by the sovereigns of these realms, 
though the modem editors say in a note, '' absurdly enough." 
This work of Henry is still in circulation, and is held in re- 
pute. Luther wrote an answer, but with such coarse language 
and invective, as gave scandal to his friends and joy to his 
enemies. Ass, blasphemer, liar, were some of the epithets 
bestowed upon the royal author. Henry complained to the 
German reformer's patron, and the princes of that country, 
considering Luther's work an insult to crowned heads, he 
was induced to write an apology, and offered to write a bo<^ 
in the king's praise. The apology, however, did not please 
the king, because Luther hinted that Henry was not the author 
of the Defence of the Seven Sacraments, and that he was be- 
ginning to favour the new doctrine. He accordingly wrote 
an answer to Luther, and avowed himself the author of the 
work which bore his name. This exasperated Luther, and 
in a boiling rage, he publicly announced his regret that he 

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had stooped to apologise to Henry. Such was the result of 
the dispute between Henry and Luther. Fox next gives us 
a " character of cardmal Wolsey,** and ** the manner of pro- 
motion to bishoprics and abbeys : " the latter having but 
little relation to the main subject, we shall pass over. Wolsey 
may certainly be considered the first instrument of the Elefor- 
mation, as it is called, he being the principal instigator of 
that coldness which ensued between Henry and his virtuous 
queen Catharine, after nineteen years affectionate cohabita- 
tion. The cardiiial was proud, aspiring, ambitious, witty, 
revengeful, and malicious. Catharine, who was woman of 
irreproachable conduct, devout without ostentation, and en- 
dowed with skill and penetration, could not endure the car- 
dinal ; and her nephew, Charles V., refusing to grant this 
ambitious churchman the archbishopric of Toledo, to which he 
aspired, as well as to the popedom, Wolsey determined to be 
revenged of the nephew, who was out of his reach, by seek- 
ing the ruin of the aunt. He therefore, Camden says, 
** caused a scruple to be put into the king's head that his 
present marriage with queen Catharine, who before had been 
his brother's wife, was forbidden by the law of God." 

It was Wolsey, too, who first set the work of dissolution on 
foot, by obtaining several grants from the king and the pope, 
to suppress about forty monasteries, and to appropriate their 
revenues to the erecting and supporting two noble colleges he 
had projected at Ipswich and' Oxford. Although there was 
a sensible difference in the motives of this measure, and the 
general destruction of the religious houses, which af(;erwai:ds 
followed, yet if jre may be allowed to hazard an opinion on 
the dispensations of Providence, the proceedings of Wolsey 
were offensive to the throne of Heaven. 

Stow says, the monasteries suppressed by the cardinal were 
of '' good fame and bountiful hospitality,'' and he relates the 
followmg disastrous consequences which befell the principal 
actors in this woi^ of suppression. ^' In the executing of 
this business, five persons were his chief instruments, who on 
a time made a demand to the priory and convent of tho 

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monastery of Daventry, for occupying of certain of their 
grounds, but the monks refusing to satisfy their requests, 
straightway they picked a quarrel against the house, and gave 
information to the cardinal against them, who taking a small 
occasion, commanded the house to be dissolved, and to be con- 
▼erted to his new college, but of this irreligious robbery done 
of no conscience, but to patch up pride, which private wealth 
oould not furnish, what punishment hath since ensued at 
God's hands (says mine author) partly ourselres have seen, 
for of these ^ve persons, two fell at discord between them- 
selves, and the one slew the other, for the which, the survivor 
was hanged ; the third drowned himself in a well : the fourth 
being well known, and valued worth two hundred pounds, 
became in three years so poor, that he begged till his dying 
day: and the fif^, called doctor Allan, being chief executor 
of these doings, was cruelly maimed in Ireland, even at such 
time as he was a bishop : the cardinal falling afiter into the 
king's greviouB displeasure, was deposed, and died miserably : 
the colleges which he meant to hare made so glorious a build- 
ing, came never to good effect ; the one at Ipswich clean 
pulled down, and the other in Oxford unfinished ; and pope 
Clement himself, by whose authority these houses were 
thrown down to the ground, was after inclosed in a dangerous 
siege within the castle of St. Angelo in Borne, by the impe- 
rials, the city of Bome was pitifully sacked, and himself 
narrowly escaped with his life." Such was the beginning of 
the work of Beformation, as it is called, but which is more 
properly styled the deeds of devastation, and such was the 
end of the performers of this first scene of the drama. 

The next subject we find in Fox is the imprisonment of 
Hun for heresy, and his murder, as he terms it. This cir- 
oumstanoe is not connected wiUi the Beformation, still we 
must notice it, as it shows the glaring disregard of truth in 
this instance as in numerous others, which we have detected. 
Fox says, — ^^'Not long after this, (alluding to a pretended con- 
test concerning ecclesiastical immunity), an event occurred, 
thai was productive of great consequences. Bichard Hun^ i^ 

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tnetchant in London, was sued bj bis parish-priest for a 
mortuary in tbe legate's court ; on this his friends advised 
him to sue the priest in the temporal court for a preemunire 
for bringing the king's subjects before a foreign and illegal 
court. This incensed the clergy so mudi that they oontnYed 
his destruction. Accordingly, hearing that he hfid Wick- 
liffe's bible in his house, he was upon that put into tbe 
bishop's prison for heresy ; but being examined upon sundry 
ftrticles, he confessed some things, and submitted himself to 
mercy ; upon which they ought, according to law, to have 
enjoined him penance, and discharged him, this being his 
first crime ; but he could not be prevailed upon by the terror 
of this to let his suit fall in the temporal court ; so one night 
his neck was broken with an iron chain, and he was wounded 
in other parts of his body, and then knit up in his own girdle, 
and it was given out that he had hanged himself; but the 
coroner's inquest, by examining the body, and by several 
other evidences, particularly by the confession of the sumner, 
gave their verdict that he . was murdered by the bishop's 
chancellor. Dr. Horsey, and the bell-ringer. The spiritual 
court proceeded against the dead body, and charged Hun 
with ail the heresy in Wickliffe's preface to the bible, because 
that was found in his possesssion ; so he was condemned as 
an heretic, and his body was burnt. The indignation of 
the people was raised to the highest pitch against this action, 
in which they implicated the whole body of the clergy, whom- 
they esteemed no more iheir pastors, but barbarous murderers. 
The rage went so high that the bishop of London complained 
that he was not safe in his own house. The bishops, chan- 
edlOT, and sumner were indicted as principals in the murder. 
In parliament an act passed, restoring Hun's children ; but 
ihe commons sent up a bill concerning his murder, which 
was laid aside by the peers, where the spiritual lords had the 

This account, we find, is not Arom Fox, reader, though it 
is fastened upon him by the modem editors ; but is extracted 
fioom *' Tbe Abridgment of the History of the Eeformation 

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of the Church of England, by Gilbert Burnet, D. D.," 
an author of equal yeracitj as Fox, and as great a falsifier 
and forgerer. The event is here said to have been productive 
of great consequences, yet so little was the death of Hun 
thought of by our most popular historians, that Kapin, who 
was a Oalvinist, and has enlarged a great deal on the sup- 
posed persecutions of the Catholic clergy, takes no notice of 
the circumstance at all ; neither does Mr. Echard, who was 
a divine of the established church, make mention of Hun's 
death; and Dr. Lingard, in his recent admirable history, 
notices it but slightly, as a legend unauthenticated. Stow 
says nothing of the barbarous circumstances narrated by 
Burnet, nor of the trial of the bishop, <fec. He merely says, 
— ** Kichard Hun, a merchant tailor, of London, dwelling 
in the parish of St. Margaret, in Bridge-street, who (for 
denying to give a mortuary, such as was demanded by the 
parson for his child being buried) had been put in the Lol- 
lai'd's tower, about the end of October last, was now, the 6th 
of December, found hanged with his own girdle of silk, in 
the said tower, and after, he was burned in Smithfield." 
This was in the year 1514, and the 6th of Henry's reign. 
We are not going to justify the treatment of this man, 
because the circumstances are not clearly before us, and the 
authority of Burnet^ who, by the bye, was a bishop of 
William the Dutchman*s making, we believe, and the origi- 
nator of that huge debt which now presses the country to 
the ground, and steeps the people in misery and poverty, is 
no authority at all, seeing he neither gives dates nor names. 
Is it to be supposed that a murder so circumstantially related 
by Burnet, and attended with such horrid cruelties, woidd 
not have been more minutely detailed by Stow, if the cir- 
cumstances had been true ? There cannot be a doubt but 
he would have noticed it more fully, especially if the indig- 
nation of the people had been so great as to implicate the 

' WHOLE BODY of the dergy. The story is evidenUy a tissue 
of falsehoods, interwoven with a simple &ct, and fabricated 

for the express purpose of inflaming the people against the 

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ancient religion of tbe country. That onr conjecture is true, 
there is every reason to suppose, and we are sure the reader 
will agree with us when he has read the following article from 
this Book of Martyrs. 


" In the beginning of this reign, seyeral persons were 
brought into the bishop's court for heresy, or LoUardism. 
Forty-eight were accused : but of these, forty-three abjured, 
twenty-seven men and sixteen women, most of them being 
of Tenterden ; and five of them, four men and one woman, 
were condemned ; some as obstinate heretics, and others as 
relapses; and, against the common laws of nature, the 
woman's husband, and her two sons, were brought as wit- 
nesses against her. Upon their conviction, a certificate was 
made by the archbishop to the chancery : upon which, since 
there is no pardon upon record, the writs for burning them 
must have been issued in course, and the execution of them 
is little to be doubted. The articles objected to them were, . 
that they believed that in the eucharist there was nothing 
but material bread ; that the sacraments of baptism, confir- 
mation, confession, matrimony, and extreme unction, were 
neither necessary nor profitable ; that priests had no more 
power than laymen ; that pilgrimages were not meritorious, 
and that the money and labour spent in them were spent in 
vain ; that images ought not to be worshipped, and that they 
were only stocks and stones ; that prayers ought not to be 
made to saints, but only to God ; that there was no virtue in 
holy water, or holy bread. By this it will appear, that 
many in this nation were prepared to receive those doctrines 
which were afterwards preached by the reformei^, even before 
Luther began first to oppose indulgences." 

This is as pretty a piece of trickery as we have met with 
in the course of our review of this Book of Martyrs^ and 
proves the shifts to which our modem editors are reduced to 
make out their charge of persecution. This extract we find 
in BumeVa Ahridyment^ almost verbatim, with the following 

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120 REVIEW OF fox's 

passage, however, suppressed. "Those who ahjured, did 
swear to discover all that held those errors, or were suspected 
of them ; and they were enjoined to carry a fagot in proces-i- 
sion, and to wear on their clothes the. representation of one 
in flames, as a puhlic confession that they had deserved to be 
burnt. There were also four in London that abjured almost 
the same opinions ; and Fox says, that six were burnt in 
Smithfield, who might be, perhaps, those whom Warham 
had condemned ; for there is no mention of any that were 
condemned J in the registers of London J* This passage should 
come in between the words, ** holy bread." and " By this," 
in the fourth line of the extract above, from the bottom. So, 
then, here are charges made of proceedings "against the 
common laws of nature," and burnings taking place, upon 
mere conjecture. There are no registers in the regu- 
lar courts, and yet they "might be, perhaps,'* 
burned, because Fox says there were six that suffered in 
Smithfield. Dr. Lingard writes, — "In Henry's third and 
thirteenth years the teachers of Lollardism had awakened 
by their intemperance the zeal of the bishops ; and the 
king, by proclamation, charged the civil magistrates to lend 
their aid to the spiritual authorities. Of the numbers brought 
before liie primate and the bishops of London and Lincoln, 
almost all were induced to abjure ; a few of the more obsti- 
nate forfeited their lives." And the authorities the doctor 
relies upon are Fox and Bumet, as we judge by a reference, 
fio that, on the whole, we may conclude, for want of better 
evidence, that the number of sufferers, while the bishops 
continued faithful to their creed, were trifling indeed. Here 
let it be understood that we are not justifying the act of 
burning for heresy, but only detecting the extravagant and 
unfounded tales, so basely coined by Fox and his followers, 
to delude the credulous, and excite hatred against truth. 
What can we think of the veracity of the writer, and the 
gullibility of his readers, when such narratives as we have 
just recorded are published and believed, and believed too by 
a people hitherto professing to be the most enlightened 

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m the world I Here, as we have frequently remarked, are 
neither dates nor names, wherehj the accuracy of the cir- 
cumstances can be ascertained or detailed ; it is even con- 
fessed by the original writer, though that fact is suppressed 
by the modern editors, " a few plain Christians,*' that there 
is no mention of any persons being condemned in the regis- 
ters of London ; it is stated, that there is no rscord of par^ 
don, and yet it is brazenly insinuated, that because there is 
no pardon there mmt have been execution^ I / But we trust 
the time is now come, when the people of England will think 
for themselves, and not take every shallow and inconsistent 
narrative that dwells upon the supposed cruelties of ancient 
Catholic times for gospel truths. Is it not more probable, 
that since there were no regist^^ of executipns, and no re- 
cord of pardon in the chancery, and the authors and editors 
were unable to give a name to the sufferers, that these 
martyrs are only victims of straw — phantoms of the imagi- 
nation^ conjured up for the basest of purposes, and reflecting 
indelible disgrace on those who have been so besotted as to 
give credit to such villanous fabrications ? 

With regard to the doctrinal articles which are here ob- 
jected to, we have proved beyond dispute, in our first volume 
of this work, from the testimony of the fathera of the first 
five ages of the church, when she is allowed by Protei^tants to 
have been pure, that they were taught and believed by that 
church, as derived from the apostles ; they were received by 
the Saxons, when Cathdicism was first planted in the island, 
by St. Augustin ; they continued to be believed by the people 
from that time to Henry's reign ; and is it consistent with 
common sense, that a few ignoi-ant men, unversed in history, 
uninformed of the real sense of scripture, and unacquainted 
with the sentiments of the fathers and doctors of the church 
whose writings were then confined to the libraries of the 
colleges and bisl)ops — is it consistent, we say, with common 
sense, that t^ese illiterate people should set up their silly and 
rain notions in opposition to the general voice of the king- 
dom? Is it consistent with common sense to believe that 

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123 HEVIEW OF fox's 

they only were rigbt, and all the rest of the world were 
wrong? But what shall we think of sueh men as Fox and 
Burnet, who both held benefices in the Church of England, 
applauding fanatics who held, among other opinions, *^ that 
priests had no more power than laymen ? " If this were 
true, why did Fox and Burnet officiate as clergymen ? We 
will not say as priests, because they were not entitled to that 
sacred character, as both disaTowed the great Christian 
sacrifice of the Mass, which was celebrated by the apostles, 
by the command of their Divine Master, and has been cele- 
brated by the priests of the Catholic church from that time 
to this. These two worthies, would, no doubt, haye sent 
Master John Wickliffe to ih& stake with very little c^emony, 
had he been alive in their time ; but as he was opposed to the 
then order of things, that is, to a Catholic establishment and 
some doctrines of the Catholic church, though he held the 
chief of what Fox and Burnet deny, these rogues in grain 
seized the opportunity of making him an instrument to blind 
the people of England by misrepresenting facts, and making 
him the apostle of truth, when he was the preacher of error. 
For example : the Lollards are represented as objecting to 
the sacrament of baptism, as being neither profitable nor 
necessary. Now Fox and Burnet's church, by law established, 
expressly says in her catechism, that baptism is necessary to 
salvation. Could then these Lollards preach a true doctrine, 
and the church of England be right at the same time? But 
enough has been said to shew the palpable discrepancies 
amongst these reformers, or rather deformers, of religion, and 
pretended martyrs to truth. 

We must hwe remind the reader that we are not now re- 
viewing the work of John Fox, but of the right, reverend 
father in God, Gilbert Bcjrnbt, bishop, of Sarura, who 
wrote a history of his own time, which work for lying and 
misrepresentation was a counterpart of John Fox's notorious 
AeU and Manumenii of the Church, commonly called the 

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SooJe of Martyrs, This historj by Burnet, being too bulky 
and expensive for general circulation, he made an abridge 
ynetU of it, and it is from this abridgment the ** few plain 
Christians " have extracted the account of the " progress of 
the Reformation,'* as coming from Fox's pen. These things 
premised, let us now see what this famous, or rather infamous, 
writer and church of England bishop had to say on Luther's 
preaching. ** The rise and progress of the doctrines of 
Luther," he says, '< are well known ; the scandalous sale of 
cndulgences gave the first occasion to all that followed be- 
tween him and the church of Rome ; in which, had not the 
corruptions and cruelties of the clergy been so visible and 
jscaudalous, so small a cause could never have produced so 
great a revolution. The bishops were grossly ignorant ; they 
seldom resided in their dioceses, except on great festivals ; 
And all the effect their residence at such times could have, 
was to corrupt others by their ill example. They attached 
themselves to princes, and aspired to the greatest offices* 
The abbots and monks were wholly given up to luxury and 
idleness; and their unmarried state gave infinite scandal to 
the world : for it appeared that the restraining them from 
having wives of their own made them conclude that they had 
a right to all other men's. The inferior clergy were no better; 
Aod not having places of retreat, to conceal their vices in, 
as the monks had, they became nM>re public. In short, all 
ranks of churchmen were so universally despised and hated, 
that the world was very easily possessed with prejudice against 
the doctrines of men whom they knew to be capable of every 
vice ; and the worship of God was so defiled with gross super- 
stition, that all men were easily convinced, that the church 
•tood in great need of a reformation. This was much in- 
ereased when the books of the fothers began to be read, in 
which the difference between, the former and latter ages of 
the ehurch did very .evidently appear. It was found that a 
ykkd superstition came first in the room of true piety ; and 
mb&a by its means the wealth and interest of the clergy were 
lugUy achrano^dy ^ popes had upon that established their 

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124 HEVIBW OF fox's 

tyranny ; under which all classes of people had long groaned* 
All these things concurred to make way for the advancement 
of the Beformation ; and, the books of the German reformera 
being brought into England, and translated, many were pre- 
vailed on by them. Upon this, a furious persecution was set 
on foot, to such a degree, that six men and women were burnt 
in Coventry in passion -week, only for teaching their children 
the creed, the Lord's prayer, and the ten commandments in 
English. Great numbers were everywhee brought into the 
bishops' courts ; of whom some were burnt, but the greater 
part abjured." He tl.en mentions Henry's book against 
Luther, and continues,^'* Tindal's translation of the New 
Testament, with notes, drew a severe condemnation from the 
clergy, there be ng nothing in which they were more con- 
cerned, than to keep the people unacquainted with that book. 
Thus much may serve to shew the condition of afiVnrs in 
England, both in church and state, when the process of the 
king's div<Nrce was first set on foot.'* 

So much for the affairs of England, both in church and 
state, when the divorce was set on foot, according to Burnet's 
atory ; we shall, however, be able to place them in a very 
different light, and upon the testimony of unimpeachable 
witnesses^ which Burnet scorns to produce, but contents him- 
self with his own bare assertions. In the first place, it was 
not the sale of indulgences that first set Luther to oppose the 
church, but a supposed neglect of the pope, in a^^inting the 
Pominican order of the church to preach these indulgences* 
instead of the Augustinian order, of which latter Martin 
Luther was then a prominent member. Martin conceived his 
pride to be wounded, and from this spirit of pride and jealousy 
arose the disputes which afterwards followed between him and 
the church of Home. That there was a laxity of discipline 
among some of the clergy cannot be denied, but the doctrine 
was unimpaired, and continued the same as it ever had been, 
and ever will be. That there was gross ignorance in the 
higher order of the clergy, or lasciviousness among the monka, 
is a base insinuation^ as we shall shew by and by ; that r^potU 

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of such a nature were industriously circulated to screen the 
designs of Henry and his courtiers in their invasion of church 
property is true enough, hut they were mere reports; not a 
single charge of the kind was ever suhstantiated^ while nu-* 
merous instances occurred where learned and pious men laid 
down their lives rather than samfice their conscience. That 
the unmarried state of the clergy gave infinite scandal to the 
world is clearly contradicted hy the English act of parliament 
passed in the reign of Edward VI., which allowed the new 
order of parsons to marry, yet nevertheless declared that it 
would he more edifying to the people, if they remained single. 
That all ranks of churchmen were universally despised and 
hated, is contradicted hy the &ct that the people rose in many 
parts of England in defence of the clergy and the monas- 
teries, which may he seen hy consulting the historians of the 
country. Of superstition and the tyranny of the popes we 
shall say nothing — the supposed tyranny of the pope was 
changed for an ahsolute despotism in the monarch, and Eng- 
land's liherties were hartered when a hase parliament gave 
spiritual supremacy to Harry. The furious persecution set 
on foot, in consequence of the translation of German books 
into English never existed, except in the brain of Fox or 
Burnet ; and the execution of the six men and women for 
teaching their children the creed, the Lord's prayer, and the 
commandments in English, is one of the most brazen false- 
hoods ever told. The people of all countries were, from the 
commencement of Christianity, aZ/ taught to repeat the Lord's 
prayer, and instructed in the commandments and creed in 
thdr vernacular tongue, and parts of Scripture were explained 
to them by the clergy in the same familiar may. To repre- 
sent^ therefore, that men and women were burned for per- 
forming a duty to their children enjoined them by the Catho- 
lic church, (for such was the cas3) — the clergy taught both 
parents and children, and the parents were exhorted to aid 
the clergy by reminding them of their duty — to represent, 
we say, men and women as being burned for such an act, 
is one of the most frontless, most malignant, and most diabo« 

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126 EBVIEW OF fox's 

. lical^alsehoo Js, ever invented to blacken and defame the oldee^t 
class of Christians in the world. 

We must now say a word on the morals of the worid, when 
Luther began to preach his doctrines, and the state thej were 
in after his doctrines had taken root. Burnet states the 
bishops were grossly ignorant, the regular clergy absorbed 
in luxury and debauchery, the inferior clergy public scandal- 
izers by their unblushing immorality, and the people groan* 
ing under a system of despotism and blind superstition. We 
have admitted that, there was a laxity of morals among both 
clergy and people, but certainly not to that extent hero de- 
scribed. Had there n6t been a debasement of conduct among 
the clergy, we should not hare had such a crew of beastly 
reformers as sprung up afler the example set them by Luther*- 
What the ^eets of their pretended reforms in religion pro- 
duced let them bear testimony themseWes, and in so doing 
we shall see them contradicting the description given by 
Burnet of the state of Catholicism at that period. ^ Here- 
tofore,'' bays Luther, that is, in the days of Catholicbmy 
*' heretofore, when we were seduced by the pope, every man 
willingly performed good works, but NOW no man says or 
knows any thing else but how to get all to himself by exac- 
tions, pillage, theft, lying, usury, (fee," Postih super Evemg. 
Dom, 26. post 7}rm, Here then we have the acknowledgment 
of Luther himself, that, before he began to preach, every maai 
was occupied in performing good works, and surely th^ ex- 
ercise of good deeds eould not be productive of ignorance and 
immorality. He may calt it being seduced by the pope, but 
who is the man, who is the Christian, that would not be 
seduced to perform the works of charity, rather than be 
charmed by some evil spirit to delight in the ways ^ the 
devil, as Luther confesses was the case with those who em- 
braced his doctrines. A great outcry has been raised against 
the sale of indulgences in the Chureh of Rome ; now that no 
ill effects were derived from this traffic, allowing for the sake 
of argument that such a mart was established, is proved by 
the testimony of Luther, who says, that men then delighted 

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.in the performance of good works, an indulgence certainly 
verj commendable, and liighlj conduoive to the happiness of 
a people. But the moment Lutber began to preach against 
the sale of indulgences, he gave such a gratuitous license to 
his followers to indulge in all the base passions of human 
nature, that shortly after, he tells us, every kind of good 
doings was totally obliterated from their minds, and the sole 
study of every individual was '* how to get all to himself by 
exacUons, pillage, theft, lyings usury, <&c.*' And he further 
states, ^' that men were then more rev^igeful» covetous, and 
licentious tiian they ever were in the papacy." But need we 
wonder that such should be the result of the progress of 
liutiier's doctrines, when the preacher himself was a prey to 
his own lust luid intemperance ? We have it from his own 
pen that he had conferences with the devil, and in the preface 
to the first tome of his works he thus describes the state of 
his own mind, and his dispo^tion towards God, previous to 
his commencing reformer. ^<I was mighty desirous/' he 
Bay8> '* to understand Paul in his Epistle to the Eomans ', 
but was hitherto deterred, not by any faintheartedness, but by 
one single question in the first chapter, viz., therein is the 
rigJUeousnese of God revealed. For I hated that word, the 
righUoueness of Ood: because, I had been taught to under- 
stand it of that formal and active righUoumees, by which 
God is righteous and punishes sinners and the unrighteous. 
Now knowing myself, though I lived a monk of an irreproach- 
able life, to be in the sight of God a sinner, and of a most 
unquiet conscience, nor having any hopes to appease him 
with my own satisfaction, / did not love, nay, / Tiated this 
righteous God, who punishes sinners, and with heavy mut- 
tering, if not with silent blaspTiemy, I was angry with Ood, 
and s^d, as if it were not enough for miserable sinners, who 
are lost to all eternity by original sin, to suffer all manner 
. of calamity by the law of the Decalogue, unless God by the 
gospel adds sorrow to sorrow, and even by the gospel threatens 
UB with his righteousness and anger. Thus did I rage with 
a fretted and disorded conscience,*' What a fit apostle to^ 

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128 HBVIEW OF fox's 

reform religion ! What precious marks of a divine commis- 
sion ! What charming fruit must such a tree produce ! Here 
we have a man declaring that he hated a righteous God ; 
that he raged and fretted with a clisordered conscience : that 
he muttered against the will of heaven, and silently hlas- 
phemed his justice — and yet this man, this impious wretched 
hlaspheroer, is held up as the pattern of excellence, and the 
reformer of that system which its Divine Founder said should 
never he reformed. This lihidinous monk taught that, adul- 
tery was lawful, notwithstanding one of the commandments 
of God is so positive against that crime ; he said that, ** a 
person that is haptized could not, though he would, lose his 
salvation hy any sins how grevious soever, unless he refused 
to helieve. For no sin could damn a man hut unbelief 
alone.*' Capt, Bah, tom. ii. fol. 74, 1. Where is the wonder 
that men should be guilty of lying, iheft, usury, exaction, and 
the like, when they had such a blessed counseUor in this 
I'eformer of religion ? Again he says, ** The Papists teach 
that faith in Christ justifies indeed, but that God's command- 
ments are likewise to be kept. Now this is directly to deny 
Christ and abolish faith." In Ep. ad Qah tom. v. fol. 31), 
2. An excellent mode of reasoning, if such it can be called. 
If the commandments are not to' be kept why were they en- 
joined ? Before we take leave of Luther we will just men- 
tion his golden rule for the interpretation of scripture, whicli 
can be considered in ro other light than a general indulgence 
to commit every degree of enormity that a man's inclinations 
may lead him to. ** Let this," he says, ** be your rule ; 
where the scripture commands the doing a good work, under- 
stand it in this sense, that it forbids thee to do a good work, 
because thou canst not do it." Tom. iii. fol. 171, 2. 

What the " few plain Christians " will say to this rule of 
interpreting scripture, we cannot divine ; the effects of it, 
however, have been dreadful, as we gather from the page ©f 
history, and the writings of the reformers themselves. 
Calvin wrote in similar strains to Luther, on the increase of 
iniquity among the disciples of the Beformation, so called. 

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'^ Of the many thousands/* he said, ^^ who, renounoiDg 
Popery, seemed eagerly to embrace thegospel, how few have 
amended their lires ! Nay, what else did the greater part 
pretend to, but by shaking off the yoke of superstition, give 
themselves more liberty to follow all kinds of licentiousness." 
— Lib, de seandaUs. Erasmus, who was no advocate for 
the Catholics, lamented the degeneracy of morals brought 
on by the change of religion. " Take a view," he says, " of 
this evangelical people," — <he Protestants — ^** Perhaps *tis 
my misfortune ; but I never yet met with one, who does not 
appear changed for the worse." — Epist, ad VuUur. Neoc. 
And again : '^ Some persons," says he, <' whom I knew for- 
merly innocent, harmless, and without deceit, no sooner have 
I seen joined to that sect, (the Protestants), but they begun 
to talk of wenches, to play at dice, to leave off prayers, 
being grown extremely worldly, most impatient, revengeful, 
▼ain, like vipers tearing one another. — I speak by experience. *' 
Ep, ad Fratres infer, Germant€B, " The greater part of 
the people," adds Bucer, ** seem to have embraced the gos- 
pel, only to live at their pleasure, and enjoy their lusts and 
lawless appetites without control. Hence they lend a willing 
ear to the doctrine, thai we are juetified by faith onlyy and 
not by good works, for which they have no relish." — Burde 
Regn. Christ, b, 1. c, 4. There is one more witness we 
shall produce, because his testimony goes to shew that lying, 
and perjury, and forgery, were the instruments by which the 
reformers midntaiued their ground, and cheated the people 
out of their senses. '^ I am indignant " says the Protestant 
professor Zanchlus, '< when I consider the manner in which 
most of us defend our cause. The true state of the question 
we often, on set purpose, involve in darkness that it may not 
be understood ; we have the impudence to deny things the 
roost evident; we assert what is visibly false ; the most im- 
pious doctrines we force on the people as the first principles 
of faith, and orthodox opinions we condemn as heretical ; 
we torture the scriptures till they agree with our own fancies ; 
and boast of being the disciples of the fathers, while we 

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130 RETIEW OP pox's 

refase to follow tbeir doctrine ; to deceive, to calumniate, tb 
abuse, is our familiacr practice ; nor do we care far any thing, 
provided we can deferid our cause, good or bad, right or 
wi*ong. O what times! what manners r'*—Z(incA«if ad 
Slormium, torn. viii. col. 828. 

We have advanced enough to shew " the rise and progress 
of Luther's doctrines " in a different light than what Burnet 
has pourtrayed them. He has, with the same dexterity as 
Fox, and other reformed writers, followed the course comf- 
plained of by Zanchius. The true question is studiously 
involved in darkness, that it may not be clearly seen ; facts 
the most evident are denied or suppressed ; the most impious 
doctrines are imposed upon the people as divine truths ; and 
the scriptures are tortured and twisted to suit the notions of 
every cobbler or coalheaver that feneies himself inspired. 
How dtflSerent are the ways of the Catholic church. Eegtt- 
lated by one system of divine jurisprudence, and governed 
by the Spirit of Truth, she, in case& of difficulty, assembles 
the guaixlians of faith from the different quarters of iho 
worid, to pronounce on the novelties^ that may arise, and de- 
clare what is, has been, and always was, the faith of the- 
church, received by her from Christ, through the apostles. 
This done, canons or laws were devised for the repressing <rf 
abuse, and the correction of morals, and thus her unity, holi- 
ness, apostolicity, and Catholicity have been made manifest 
to the world. The last of these general councils was held at 
Trent, during the progress of the Eeformation, and in the 
seventh session the fathers of that assembly decreed as fol- 
lows ; — To " those tvho persevere in good works to the endy' 
and trust in God, eternal life is to be proposed, both as a 
grace mercifully promised to the sons of Qodi, through Jesus 
Christ, and as a reward which, according to the promise of 
God, will be faithMly rendered to their good works and 
merits.'' Let the reader compare this doctrine with the 
. iiTeligious preachings of the lustful reformers, and say 
whether the superstition of the fonner, as it is called, is not 
to be preferred to the libertinism of the latter. 

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The ^' few plain Christians " usher in Hiis marriage with 
the following ohsenrations : <' As this incident is so replete 
with consequences, a piuiicular relation of its cause will not, 
it is presumed, he unaceeptahle to the reader ;'* and they 
then proceed with extaracts from Burnet's Abridgment^ under 
the name of Foz« Burnet states the marriage of Catharine 
ynih. prince Arthur, and their heing hedded together. He 
also insinuates that the marriage was consummated, though 
it is well known that Arthur was a sickly prince, and died 
soon after the marrii^e, and that Catharine always declared 
that she was a virgin when she came to Henry's hed. He 
lur^er says, ^t ^e second match, between Henry and 
Catharine, originated from tha avarice of Henry*s father ; 
that Warham, archbishop of Canterbury, objected to the 
second marriage, and Fox, bishop of Winchester, was for it ; 
that ** Uie pope's authority was then so well established that, 
it was thought, a dispensation was. sufficient to remove all 
objection," and accordingly one was obtained. The two 
paragraphs following we quote verbatim from the Book of 
Martyrs, and we beg the reader's partibular attention to the 
words we have put in italic characters : — 

** The pope was then at war with Lewis XII. of France^ 
and so would refuse nothing to the king of England, being, 
perhaps, not unwilling that princes should contract such 
marriages, by which the legilimati<ni of their issue depend- 
ing on the pope's dispensation, they would be thereby obliged 
in interest to support that authority. Upon this, a marriage 
Jollowedf the prince get being under age ; but, the same dag 
in which he came to be of age, he did, by hie father's 
orders, make a protestation that he retracted and annulled 
his marriage^ 

•* Henry YIl., on his deathbed, charged his son to break 
it off entirely, being, perhaps, i^prehensive of such a return 
of confusioa upon a controverted succession to the crown, as 
had been dming the wai^ of the houses of York and Lan- 

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132 REVIEW OF fox's 

caster ; but, after his father's deaihy Henry VIII., hein^ 
then eighteen years of age, married her ; she bore him two 
BODS, who died soon after they were bom ; and a daughter, 
Mary, afterwards queen of England. After this, the queen 
contracted some diseases that made her unacceptable to the 
king; who, at the same time, beginning to have somie 
scruples of conscience with regard ta the lawfulness of his 
marrixige, determined to have the affair investigated ! /*' 

Did the world ever before see such a specimen of bare- 
faced lying as this bishop of the Church of England, this 
Gilbert Burnet, D. D., has here furnished. In the first para- 
graph he says a marriage followed the dispensation, while 
the prince was under age, but as soon as he came of age, 
obeying his father*s orders like a duti&l child, he made a 
protestation that he retracted, and annulled his marriage. 
Now what are we to understand by this protestation, and the 
order of Henry's father ? If his father ordered him ta annul 
the marriage when he came of age. how came he to permit 
the marriage to be contracted : and if it were in the poww 
of Henry, on coming of age, to retract and annul the mar- 
riage, why was a dispensation required to allow him to con- 
tract the marriage, and why did he seek, twenty years after, 
for a dispensation from the same authority, but another person, 
to have the marriage annulled ? But mark, reader ; having 
married Henry under age, and made him when of age, 
according to lus father's orders, protest, retract, and annul 
the marriage, he nejt marries Henry at eighteen years gf 
age, after his father's death, and in opposition to his father^s 
dying request, lest civil war and confusion should ensue, and 
he continues to live with this same wife, in connubial happi- 
ness we si^pose, till disease renders her unacceptable, and 
then, the moral Henry begins to have sotne scruples of con- 
science / So we may suppose that had Catharine remained 
buxom and gay, instead of waxing old and infirm, Harry 
would never have had any scruples of conscience about his 
brother's wife, nor called for an investigation. Eeally when 
we see such gross imposture a^ this permitted to be circulated^ 

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and that too for a long series of time, without coiilraclictioi], 
and bdieved bj a people claiming to themselves a superiority 
of intellect over other nations, we feel abashed and vexed for 
the honour of our country. Another insinuation to notice is, 
l^t of the readiness o£ the pope to grant the dispensation to 
Henry's father, because he was at war with the king of 
France, and could refuse Flenry the Seventh nothing. Now 
is not this pliant disposition contradicted by the conduct of 
this pope's successor, who, when applied to by Henry the 
Eighth to annul the contract Altered into under this dispensa- 
tion, would not comply with Henry *s wishes, though he (the 
pope) was then shut up in the castle of St. Angelo, in Rome, 
by the emperor Charles Yth, the nephew of Catharine, and 
Henry was able to assist his holiness in his difficulties ? 


Burnet says, ** He (the king) seemed to lay the gi'eatest 
weight on the prohibition, in the levitical law, of marrying 
the brother's wife, and bebg conversant in Thomas Aquinas' 
writings, he found that he and the other schoolmen looked 
upon these laws as moral, and for ever binding ; and conse- 
quently the pope's dispensaticm was of no force, since his 
authority went so far as to dispense with the laws of Gcd. 
All the bishops of England, Fisher of Kochester only ex- 
cepted, declared under their hands and seals, that they 
judged the marriage unlawful. The ill consequences of wars 
that might follow upon a doubtful title to the crown, were 
also much considered. It is not probable that Henry's affec- 
tion for any other lady was the origin of these proceedings ; 
but rather, that, conceiving himself upon the point of being 
freed from his former marriage, he gave iiee scope to his 
affections, which settled on Anne Boleyn.** Harry was 
certainly conversant with the writings of Thomas Aquinas, 
as he is said to have been intended for the church by his 
father, previous to the death of his brother Arthur, and was 
educated accordingly. This will account for his eagerness 
and ability in taking the. lists against Luther. We will also 

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admit that the pope had no authority to dispeiiBe with the 
laws of God, and consequently that a papal dispensation to 
that effect was of no force. Yet we doubt much that Harry 
ever laid any great weight upon the prohibition of the levitical 
law, since the leTitical law was superseded by the Christian 
law> and the levitical enjoined the marriage of a brother to a 
brother's wife, if he died without issue. But if Harry had 
been so fond of the levitical law, why did he not turn Jew, 
that he might, without scruple of conscience, have followed 
this law to the very letter, without all that mass of hypocrisy 
and dissimulation which covered his cruel and detestable 
actions ? Burnet further says, that " all the bishops of Eng- 
land, Fisher of Hochester only excepted, declared under 
their hands and seals, that they judged the manriage unlaw- 
ful/' Thiais another mi&take, since it is declared by Dr. 
Bailey, in his Life of Bishop Fisher, that the seals and signa- 
tures of many of the bishops were affixed to the instrument 
of dissent without their privity y though they had not the 
courage to make that dedaration as Fisher did. 

Burnet also insinuates that it is not probable that Harry's 
affections for any ** other lady, was the origin ci these pro- 
ceedings ; but rather that, conceiving himself upon the point 
of being freed of his former marriage, he g&yefree scope to 
his affections, which settled on Anne Boleyn.'* It may be 
that Hany's lust for young Anne was not the original cause 
of his seeking a divorce from his virtuous queen, but it is a 
somewhat singular way of pleading an excuse for a lecherous 
monarch, though well suited to a Protestant bishop, to talk 
of his giving scope to his affections (read passions) which at 
length fixed on Anne Boleyn. The plain fact is, Hwry gave 
way to voluptuousness Mid debauchery, after Wokey had 
gained such an ascendency over him. Before this he at- 
tended to the royal duties, now he left business to his favourite, 
and courted the embraces of loose women. When he married 
Catharine, he was only eighteen years of age, she was twenty- 
six. At that time she was beautiful and lovely, as well aa 
adorned with every amiable quality. Twenly yearS; attended 

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with delicate health, had made ravages in her person, though 
her mind was as pure and exalted as in her youth. The 
infirmities of age weaned the affections of Harry, hut could 
not eradicate his regard for her, so powerful were the graces 
of her soul. While he was attached to Catharine, he pre- 
served decency in his amours, hut he was not without his 
mistresses I Of these Pr. Lingard enumerates as the first, 
Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir John Bbunt, and relict of Sir 
CHlbert Tidbois, by whom he had a son. To her succeeded 
Mary Boleyn, daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, and sister 
to the famous Miss Nancy, afterwards queen of England. 
So that Burnet was not much out when he said that Harry 
gave ** fte^ sc(^e to his affections '' (passions), even before 
he considered hifmsolf on the point of being freed from his 
marriago wi^ Catharine. The origin of the divorce, we 
have said, may be laid to Wolsey's account,, who put the 
scruple into Harry's head^ with a view to strengthen his- 
interest with the French court, by engaging the king to 
marry a sister of the king of France, and thus revenge him- 
self the eniperor Charles and his aunt Catharine;, but the 
devil put it into Harry's head ta take a liking to Anne 
Boleyn^ that the ambitious minister might be thwarted. Anne 
was more- cunning than her sister Mary, and would not con- 
sent to the king's wishes without she* became his wife. She 
took core to throw out her allurements in the king's presence- 
so artfully, that she enkindled a raging fire inHuTy^s breast, 
who resolved to have her, cost what it would. 

Here let us examine a Iktle closer into the scrhples of this^ 
very scrupulous monarch, the first head of the church, as by 
law established. Burnet says lie laid great stress upon the 
kvitical law, and that he felt great repugnance at living 
with his Iw^ther's wife. But if Harry was so conscientious 
in this affair after having lived with Catharine twenty years ,^ 
why was he not equally scrupulous in cohabiting with Anne 
Boleyn, her own sister having been his mistress? The stress 
of the divorce with Catharine laid upon prince Arthur having 
carnal knowledge of her, which she most solemnly denied; 

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136 BEYIBW OF vox's 

but it cannot be denied that Harry had carnal knowledge of 
Anne's sister, jet he scrupled not to make Anne in appear- 
ance his wife. The relationship between brother and brother 
could not be nearer than sister and sister, it is therefore 
evident that Harry's scruples were a naockery and cloak for 
his lustful passions. Another fact, too, we may notice here^ 
to shew what Harry himself thought of his scruples, when 
threatened with the danger of mortality. In the year 1528, 
when the king was deep in love with Miss Boleyn, the court 
was affected with a sweating sickness, which first made its 
appearance among Anne's attendants. By the king's orders 
she was immediately packed off to her father *s seat in Kent, 
where she was attacked with the disease, but recovered. 
Harry, finding the contagion spreading among the gentlemen 
of his privy chamber, took the alarm, and, forgetting all his 
scruples of conscience, fled to his virtuous queen, whom he 
joined in her devotional eisercises, confessing himself every 
day, and communicating every Sunday and festival. These 
particulars, Pr. Lingard tells us, may be found in the Letters 
of the bishop of Bayonne. Hero then we find the king 
laying aside his '< scruples," when under the fear of death, 
and joining the society of that woman whose marriage with 
whom he is represented to have considered incestuous. Nay, 
what is still more corroborative of the hypocrisy of these 
scruples, when cardinal Campegio, who was sent as joint 
legate with Wolsey by the pope, arrived in London, Harry 
sent the lady Anne away, for decency sake, and again joined 
the company of his queen. "He lived with her,*' writes Dr. 
Lingard, " apparently on the same terms as if there had been 
no controversy between them. They continued to eat at the 
same table, and to sleep in the same bed. Catharine care- 
fully concealed her feelings, and appeared in public with that 
air of cheerfulness which she used to display in the days of 
her greatest prosperity. The arrival of Campegio had added 
to the popularity of her cause, and though Wolsey had taken 
every precaution to prevent disturbance, he could not silence 
the common voice of the people, who publicly declared, that^ 

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let the king marry whom he pleased, the hushand of the 
princeas Mary should he his successor on the throne." We 
mention this last circumstanee with feelings of pleasure, as it 
reflects the highest credit on the character of the people of 
England, who on all occasions have heen found on the side of 
rirtue, and have taken part with the persecuted and op~ 
pressed. We say on all occasions, heoause in those doys of 
frenzy and lawless outrage, when the perjuries of Oates led 
innocent victims to the scaffold, and the ravings of lord 
George Gordon threatened destruction to the metropolis, the 
people were misled by interested villains, and taught to look 
upon the Catholics as dangerous and perfidious men. Had 
the people heen rightly informed ; had they known the real 
diaracter of those who were deluding them, we have no doubt 
hot their vengeance would have been turned upon the base 
ccmspirators against truth and justice, and the same feeling 
have been manifested for the oppressed Catholics as was 
shewn in favour of the unfortunate but magnanimous 

To enter into all the details concerning the king's mar- 
riage with Catharine, and his divorce from her, as related by 
Burnet, and introduced by the ^' few plain Chrbtians," into 
the Book of Martt/rs, would swell our Eeview to an enor- 
mous bulk, and tire the patience of the reader ; we shaJl 
tiierefore pass over many of the subtleties of Burnet, and 
supply a few of the omissions he has made of most material 
facts to give a f&he cdour to his relations. But first we must 
notice his insinuations against the election of popes. Speak, 
ing of the illness of pope Clement, who filled ihe papal chair 
during the agitation of the divorce, Burnet says, ** About this 
time the pope was taken suddenly ill, upon which the imperi- 
alists b^an to prepare for a conclave ; but Famese, and the 
cardinal of Mantua, apposed them, and seemed to f&vour 
Wolaey; whom as his correspondent wrote to him, 'they 
reverenced as a Deity.' Upon this he dispatched a courier 
to Gardinar, then on his way to Home, with large directions 
how to manage the election ; it was reckoned, that on tiie 

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138 SEVIBW OF FOl/8 

kiiig of fVance joiniDg beartilj with Harry, of whidi be 
seemed confident, there were only six cardinals wanting to 
make the election sure, and besides sums of money, and other 
rewards, that were to be distributed among them, be was to 
give them assurance, that the cardinal's preferments should 
be divided among them. These were the secret methods ef 
attaining that chair : and indeed it would puzzle a man of 
an ordinary degree of credulity to think that one chosen by 
such means could presume to be Christ *s vicar, and the in- 
fallible judge of controversies. The recovery, however, of 
the pope put an end to these intrigues." 

When Burnet w^as casting his slanders against the con- 
clave, he should have reflected on the way he obtained bis 
prelacy, for it would puzzle a man of more than ordinary 
credulity to think that men diosen as he was were filled with 
the Holy Ghost, though they swear it to be so with might 
and main. To prevent ambitious men from intriguing is 
impossible, while human nature remains as it is ; to guard 
therefore against these intrigues, every precaution has been 
devised in the regulation of the oondave, and no pope is 
elected until two-thirds of the votes are given in favour of 
• the cardinal elected. To obtain this number of votes is 
frequently a work of time, and as there is no communication 
whatever with the electors after the conclave is once closed, 
thei'e is no election, we feel convinced, so pure and free from 
suspicion as that of the head of the Catholic diuroh. We do 
not wonder that Burnet should sneer at the belief held by all 
Catholics, that the pope is Christ^s vicar on earth ; but it is 
to be observed, that this belief has been held by all the world 
at one time, and is now by the greatest part of Christendom, 
including many monarchs and eminent statesmen ; and we 
cannot help feeling, that there is more of presumption in 
those who reject this tide of the pop^, so long and so univer- 
sally credited, than there is of credulity in those who main- 
tain it. As to the secret method of attaining the papal chair, 
we have said before, that ambitious men, like Wolsey, cannot 
be prevented from aspirtru; to, and vntrig^ng ioXy so high a 

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-dignity ; bnt kistory tells us, that those who resorted to such ub- 
justtfiable practices, like W olsiBy» invariably met with a defeat. 

** In October," Burnet says, ** Campegio arrived in Eng- 
land, and advised the king to relinquish the prosecution of 
his suit ; and then counselled the queen, in the pope's name, 
to enter into a religious community ; but both were in vain ; 
and he, by affecting an impartiality, almost lost both sides." 
And why was Campegio *s advice unavailing with the queen ? 
This Mr. Burnet has not thought proper to inform his 
r^ulers, lest they should see too much into this scene of 
iniquity and injustice, which led to the deformation of re- 
ligion, and paved the way fur his promotion ; which would 
never have been the case had the old faith not been subverted. 
Catharine, we are told by Dr. Lingard, listened to the legate 
with modesty and firmness, and then gave him for answer, 
^ that it was not for herself that she was concerned, but for 
one whose- inter^ts were more dear to her than her own ; 
that the presumptive heir to the crown was her daughter 
Mary, whose right should never be prejudiced by the volun- 
tary act of her mother ; that she thought it strange to \^e 
thus interrogated without previous notice, on so delicate and 
important a subject ; that she was a weak, illiterate woman, 
a stranger, without friends or advisers, while her opponents 
were men learned in the law, and anxious to deserve the 
favour of their sovereign ; and that she therefore de- 
manded as a right, the aid of counsel of Tier own choice^ 
selected from the subjects of her nephew." Thus spoke this 
noble-minded and persecuted woman to the legate of the 
pope, and this dignified conduct she pursued throughout the 
whole of her cruel and .unmanly case. Her request was par- 
tially granted. In addition to nine English counsellors, 
eomposed of prelates and canonists, the queen was permitted 
to choose two foreign advocates, provided they were natives 
of Flanders, and not of Spain. The two counsel came from 
Flanders^ but left England before the trial began. 

These proceedings against so virtuous and unprotected a 
woman occasioned loud murmurs and discontents among the 

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140 BEVIEW OF fox's 

people. *' Of the coming of this legate/' Stow writes, **the 
people, especially the women, talked largely, and said, that the 
king would for his own pleasure have another wife, and had sent 
for this legate to he divorced from his queen, with many foolish 
words, insomuch, that whoever spoke against the marriage was 
of the common people abhorred and reproved, which common 
rumour was related to the king." Such an ebullition of 
popular feeling was by no means agreeable to a monarch of 
Harry's temperament, so he caused all the nobility, judges, 
counsellors, the lord mayor, aldermen, and principal citizens, 
to come to his palace of Bridewell, on Sunday, the 8th of 
November, 1528, before whom he entered into an explana- 
tion of his conduct, and the reasons which induced him to 
have his marriage with Catharine examined into. The speech 
of the king is given at length in Stow, and is so full of 
hypocrisy that we give the conclusion, to shew how Harry 
could dissemble as well as play the tyrant. After noticing 
the civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, 
about the succession of the crown, and the necessity of 
guarding against such calamities for the future, he 
touched on the rumours which were afloat doubting the 
legitimacy of the princess Mary, his daughter, in conse- 
quence of her mother having been his brother's wifo, which 
he said, was directly against God's law and his precept. 
He then goes on : — '' Think you, my lords, that these words 
touch not my body and soul ; think you that these doings do 
not daily and hourly trouble my conscience and vex my 
spirits ; yes, we doubt not but if it were your own cause, 
every man would seek remedy, when the peril of your soul 
and the loss of your inheritance is openly laid to you. For 
this only cause I protest before Qod, and in the word of a 
prince, I have asked council of the greatest clerks of Chris- 
tendom, and for this cause I have sent for this legate, as a 
roan indifferent, only to know the truth, and to settle my 
conscience, and for none other cause, as God can judge. 
And as touching the queen, if it be judged by the law of 
God, that she h my lawful wife, there was never thing nMure 

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acceptable to me in mj life, both for the discharge of mj 
conscience, and also for the good qualities and conditions 
which I know to be in her ; for I assure you all, that beside 
her noble parentage of the which she is descended, (as yoa 
all know), she is a woman of most gentleness, of most hu- 
mility, and buzomness, yea, and of all good qualities apper- 
taining to nobility, she is, without comparison, as I these 
twenty years almost have had the true experiment, so that if 
I were to marry again, if the marriage might be good, 1 
would surely choose her above all other women ; but if it be 
determined by judgment, that our man'iage was against 
Gt>d's law, and clearly void, then I shall not only sorrow the 
departing from so good a lady and loving companion, but 
much more lament and bewail ray unfortunate chance, that 
I have so long lived in adultery, to God's great displeasure, 
and have no true heir of my bo<iy to inherit this realm. 
These be the sores that vex my mind, these be the pangs 
that trouble my conscience, and for these griefs 1 seek a 
remedy; therefore 1 require of you all, as our trust and 
confidence is in you, to declare to our subjects our intent, 
according to our true meaning, and desire them to pray with 
us, that the truth may be known, for the discharge of our 
conscience, imd saving of our soul ; and for declaration hereof 
I have assembled you together, and now you may depart." 
This speech shewed the king to be as consummate a hypo- 
crite, when he thought he could carry his cause with a 
plausible share of religion, as he proved a despot and cdd- 
blooded murderer, when he found himself disappointed in 
these vieiirs. What can we think of the man who here made 
such a parade about conscience, and his scruples at living 
witii a virtuous woman, because she had been married to his 
brother, but remiuned 4 virgin, when he was meditating to 
be married to a wanton, whose sister he had kept as a mis- 
tress? Out upon such a conscience as this. We learn , 
however, this fact, from the king and nobles, that it was then 
as it long had beenj the belief of the whole kingdom, that 
die pope was the only legitimate authority to decide on 

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142 REVIEW OF fox's 

spiritual questions, which was the case between Henry and 
Catharine. The king and the people knew that the pope 
held this authority by di?ine right, for nothing but a divine 
commission could have preserved it so long, or extended it 
so universally as it then was, every monarch and nation ia 
Christendom voluntarily yielding obedience to it. 

On recomparing Burnet's abridgment with the account 
given by the " few plain Christians," we find that the latter 
have suppressed many facts related by the former. Now 
this suppression of facts is a strange way of instructing the 
people in the " knowledge and love of the genuine principles 
of Christianity." It may tend to excite " a hatred of the 
(supposed) crimes and corruptions of popery," but it cannot 
convey to the reader the least perception of truth. The ac- 
count of the " Progress of the Keformation," is a garbled 
and unfair extraction from a partial historian, and conse- 
quently carries with it the design of misleading, instead of 
instructing, the people on the important matters under con- 
sideration. For example, we have a title of the coming of 
Campegio into England ; but, from this circumstance, and 
the illness of the pope, which we have before noticed, the 
^^ few plain Christians " pass over to the ** queen's appeal to 
the pope," leaving out the commencement of the process of 
divorce, whidi occasioned the ill-fated Catharine to appeal to 
the common falJier of Christendom. By the bye, we should 
have noticed, that the king and his prime minister, Wolsey^ 
left no means untried to obtain the consent of the pope, who 
as firmly resisted every sinister measure to seduce him from 
his line of duty. Involved in a dispute with the •emperor, 
money and troops were profiered him, but Ciemeat regarded 
them not. Threats were then appKed with as litUe success. 
Even his sidL bed was no security to him from the imp<M-ta- 
fiities of the emissaries of Henry, who went so far as t6 
accuse the pontiff of ingratitude to his best friend, and of 
indifierenoe to the prosperity of the drareh. ** To all ^tmt 
remonatranoeB," writes Dr. Lisgafrd, <Mie ntemed the aniie 
muiwer, that he ooold not nftne to Catfattriiie wlat tbeoEfB«> 

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nary forms of justice required ; that he was devoted to the 
king, and eager to gratify him in any manner conformably 
with honour and equity ; but that he ought not to require 
from him what was evidently unjust, or they would Hud that 
wheft his conscience was concerned, he was equally insensible 
to considerations of interest or danger." Burnet and the 
" few plain Christians '' may attempt to throw a stigma on 
the election of popes, but the words and resolution of this 
bead <^ the church reflect no disgrace upon either the chm'ch 
or himself. 

The "few plain Christians,'* quoting from Burnet, say, 
^* At length tiie legates began the process, when the queen 
]HX)tested against them as incompetent judges. They, how- 
ever, proceeded accordiug to the forms of law, although the 
queen had appealed from them to the pope, and objected both 
to the place, to the judges, and her lawyers : yet they pro- 
Rounced her coptomacious, and went on to examine witnesses, 
chiefly as to the consummation of her marriage with prince 
Arthur." This part of the affair is so very interesting, the 
conduct of the oppressed queen so truly heroic, and her 
appeal so pathetically touching, that we should be doing 
injusUoe to the cause of religion, and leave our readers in the 
dark^ did we not give her defence in full. The same arts 
practised upon the pontiff were tried upon the queen. Burnet 
says, (but this passage the " few plain Christians *' have 
also omitted), <' Endeavours were used to terrify her into some 
comi^iaQce ; it was given out that some had intended to kill 
the king or the cardinal, and that she had some hand in it ; 
that she earned herself very disobligingly to the king, and 
usied many indecent arts to be popular ; that the king was in 
danger of his life by her means, and so could no more keep 
her company neither in bed nor at board : but (continues 
Bmiiet) she was a woman of so resolute a mind that no 
threatenings could daunt her." While tiiese intrigues and 
meDaeea were being carried on against the queen, Anne 
Bdey^ was gaining a complete ascendency at court, and at 
length obtained tho supreme iM>iitrol of the ministij. Harry 

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144 REVIEW OF fox's 

allowed her a princely establishment, ordered his coartiers to 
attend her daily levees, the same as they had done those of 
the queen, who was now banished to Greenwich. 

Seven months had now elapsed since the arrival of Cam*- 
pegio, which time had been spent in fruitless negociations 
with Eome, when it was deemed necessary that some public 
proceeding should take place, to bring the question to an 
issue. Accordingly, a court was held at the Blackfriars, the 
first session of which began on 3 1 st May, 1529. Wolsey anc( 
Campegio sat as judges, being joint legates of the pope ; thci 
chief managers on the part of the king were, Ihr. Sampson, 
Dr. Hall, Dr. Petre, and Dr. Tregonel ; those that pleaded 
for the queen were, Dr. Fisher, bishop of Eochester, Dr; 
Standish, bishop of Asaph, and Dr. Ridley, a very learned 
civilian. Before this court the king and queen appeared, but 
previous to their being called, the bishop of Eochester pre- 
sented the legates with a book, which he had composed ia 
defence of the marriage ; making therewith a grave and 
learned speech, in which he cautioned them as to what they 
did in so important an affair, calling to their minds the many 
dangers and inconveniences that might ensue, not only ttf 
the realm, but to the whole of Christendom, by their decision^ 
The bishop having concluded, the king was called by name, 
who answered, Here ; and repeated in sfibstanee, what bo had 
said before the assembly of the nobility. Then the queen- 
was called, who made no answer, but rising from her ehair, 
she kneeled before the king, and in sight of the legates and 
the whole court, thus addressed him : — " Sir, I ^beseech yoa 
do me justice and right, and take some pity upon me I f<Mr I 
am a simple woman, and a stranger bom out of your domin- 
ions, and have no friend but you, who now being become my 
adversary, alas ! what friendship or assurance of indiffn^moy 
in my council can 1 hope to find amongst your sabjeoto t 
What have I done ? Wherein have I offended you ? How 
have I given you any occasion "of displeasure? Why Will 
you put me from you in this sort ? I take Qt>d to be my 
judge, I have been a true, humble, and faithful wife imto 

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jou ; alwaj^ cwiformable t% your will and pleasure. Wherein 
did I ever centradict or gainsay whatever you said ? When 
was I ctiseontented at the thing that pleased you? 
W^om did £ love but these whom yon loved, whether I had 
cause or not ? I have been your wife these twenty years ; 
jou have had divers children by mo : when you took me first 
onto your bed, I tidce GFod to be »y witness, I was a virgin ; 
and, whedier that be true or mot, I put it to your oonseience. 
^ow, if tl^re be any just cause that you can allege against 
me, either of dishonesty or the like, I am contented to depart 
the realm and yeu, with shame and in^uny ; but, if there be 
no audi cause, then I pray you let me have justice at yeur 
hatids. The king your father was in his time ^of such an 
excellent wit, as that for his wisdom he was accounted a 
seepnd £lolomon ; and Ferdinand my ftitber was reckoned to. 
t)e 'One of the wisest princes that reigned in Spain for many 
yeafs befisre his days. These being both so wise princes, it 
is not to be doubted but they had gadiered unto them as 
wise counsellors of both realms, as they in their wisdoms 
thought most meet ; and, as I take it, there were, in those 
days, as wise and learned men in both kingdoms, as there are 
now to be found in these our times, who thought the marriage 
between yoa and me to be good Mid lawful; but for this I 
may thftnk you, my lord cardinal of York, who have sought 
to make this dissension between my lord the king and me, 
because I have so often found fault with your pompous vanity 
and aspiring mind. Yet I do not think that this your malice 
proceeds fwm you merely in respect of myself; but your 
aiuef displeasure is against my nephew the emperor, because 
you could not at his hands attain unto the bishopric of Toledo, 
whidi you greedily desired; and, after that, was by his 
means put by the chief and high bishopric of Home, where- 
unto yon most ambitiously, aspired; whereat being sore 
offended, and yet not able to revenge your quarrel upon him, 
the heavy burthen of your indignation must fall upon a 
female weakness, for no other reason but because she is his 
aont. And these are the manly ways you take to ease your 
VOL. ir. H 

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146 ; REVIEW OF pox's 

mind: but God foirgire joul Wherefore, sir, (sppljin^ 
herself to the king), it seems, to me, to be no justice that I 
should stand to the order of this court, seeing one of my 
judges to be BO partial ; and, if I should agree to stand to 
the judgment of this court, what cotmsdlors hare I but such 
as are jour own subjects, taken from your own council^ to 
which they are priyy, and perhaps dare not go against it ? 
Wherefore I re^se, to stand to their advice or plea, or any 
judgment that is here^ and do i^peal unto the see apostolic, 
b^ore our holy father the pope ; humUj beseediing you, by 
the way of charity, to spare me, till I may know* what 
further course my friends in Spain will advise me to ; and, 
if this may not be granted, then your pleasure be fulfilled." 
Having concluded this tender and . moving remonstrance, 
she rose, and making her obeisance to the king, she left the 
court, the members of which were extremely affected, many 
of th«9 bedding tears. After it was discovered that sh^ 
had taken her departure, for it was imagined that she would 
haye returned to her place after a time, the king commuided 
that she should be called back again; but she resolutely re^^ 
fused to appear, saying to her attendants, — '* This is no place 
for me to expect equity ; for they are all agreed what Ihey 
will do, and the king is reserved what shall be dime." The 
king finding that she would not return, and that her address 
had made a strong impression on the court, delivOTed himself 
as follows: — '< For«smuch as the queen is now gone, I will do- 
dare in her absence, before you all, that she hath ever been 
to me, as true, obedient, and eonformahle a wife as I could 
wish, or any man desire to hare, as having all the virtuous 
qualities that ought to be in a woman of her dignity : she is 
high bom, (as the quality of her conditions do declare,) yet 
of so meek a spirit, as if her humility had not been aeqoainted 
with her birth ; so that if I sought all Eurc^ over, I should 
never find a better wife ; and therefore how willingly I would, 
if it were lawful, continue her to be my wife till death make 
the separation, ye may all guess ; but consdence, conscience 
is such a thing,— who can endure the sting and prick of con- 

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scienee, always stinging and piioking within his breast? 
Wiierefore, my lords, this woman, this good woman^ I may say, 
«ometime hcing nay brother's wife, as ye all know, or hare 
heard, hath bred such « temple within the se(»et6 of my breast, 
as daily doth torm^it. cumber, «nd disquiet my mind, fearing 
and mistrusting that I am in great danger of God's indtgna- 
tion ; and the rather, because hi) hath semt me no issue male 
but such as c^ed incontinently after they were bom. Thus, 
my censoieace being tossed to and fro upon these nnqniet 
wares, {idmost in despair of h&THig any •ther issue by her,) 
it 'behoveth me, I think, to look a litde fat ther, and to •eon- 
fiider now the wdfare of this realm, and the great danger 
Ihat it staadeth in for lack of a prince to succecKl me in this 
office; and Uierefore I thought good, in respect to the dis- 
charging of my conscience, and for the quiet state of this 
noble realm, to attempt tJie law herein, that is, to know by 
your good and learned counsel, whether I might lawfidly take 
another ynie, by whom God may send me issue male, in «ase 
this, my first marriage, should appear not warrantable; and 
this is the only cause hr which I ha^e sought ^htis far unto 
you, and not for any displeasure or disliking of the queen^s 
person or age, wit^ whom I could be as well contented to 
lii^, and continue (if our marriage may stand with the laws 
of God) as with any woman living: and in this point consist- 
eth all the doubt, wherein 1 would be satisfied with the sound 
learning, wisdom, and judgments of you, my lords, the pre- 
lates and past<Mrs of this realm, now here assembled for that 
pmrpose ; and according to whose determination herein, I am 
contented to submit mysdf wiih all obedience; and that I 
meant not to wade in so w^ghty a matter {of myself j with- 
out tiie opini<m and judgment of my lords ^ spiritual it may 
appear in this, that shortly after the coming of this scruple 
into my conscience, I moved it to you, my lord of Lincoln, 
my ghostly father : and forasmuch as you yourself, my lord, 
WM« then in some doubt, you advised me to ask the counsel 
of the rest of the bit^M^ ; whereupon I moved you^ my lord 
of Canterbury, first, to have your lieeuse (inasmuch as you 

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1^ REVIEW OF fox's 

were the raetropoUtan) to put this matter in question, as I 
did to all the rest ; the which jou have all granted under 
ywir seals, which I hare here to shew/' 

Here we hare the king again appealing to conscience, as 
if be were the most scrupulous man in his kingdom ; and 
we have him solemnly protesting his regard and afiectimi for 
his amiable queen, whose yirtues he could but extsA, and 
whose conduct towards him had been irreproachaUe. A^'e 
hare him also protesting his obedience to spiritual authoritj 
in this case as one of conscience, and aduiowledging thai 
authority against which he afterwards protested, when he 
found he could not gain his ends. Let us now then enter 
farther into the proceedings of the diyorce, and see if the 
protestations of Harry were sincere. The king had won the 
archbishop of Canterbury to his design, and the archbishop 
had got as many of the bbhops as he could to consent to the 
divorce under their hands and seak, and (^ those he could not 
prevail upon to give their finrmal consent, he took the liberty 
of consenting for them, and added their signatures to an 
instrument which had been drawn up for the purpose. Bishop 
Fisher, however, undauntedly denied before the king, that 
he had ever consented to have his hand and seal to the deed; 
nor could the archbishop disprove his denial. The king, w1k> 
was all submission before, now proceeded to try another line 
of conduct. He browbeat Fisher, and threatened him, to 
make the bishop come into his views. What now became of 
Harry's conscience? Finding Fisher resolute, and the other 
bishops, who had been trepanned, silent from fear, the king 
consoled himself with these remarkable worcb :— •'' Well, well» 
my lord of Bochester, it makes no great matter ; we will n<^ . 
stand with you in argwnent ; you are but one man amongst 
the rest, if the worst fall out.'' So we see it was not the 
force of truth and reason that Harry wanted, but numben to 
blind the ignorant and unthinking. 

The coiurt, lliough thus thrown into confusion by the dis- 
appearance of the queen, was not dissolved, and upon the 
next meeting there was much matter propounded. Wit- 

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Book of mabtyrs. 149 

nesses were heard touching the consummation of the marriage, 
and when their depositions had been taken, bishop Fisher, 
who, it will be remembered, was one of the queen's counsel, 
spoke as follows : — ** All that has been said is no more than 
what hath form^lj been deposed, examined, thoroughly 
debated, and scanned by the best and most learned divines 
and lawyers that could possibly be got ; which time I do 
very well remember, and am not ignorant of the manner of 
their proceedings, when and where all the allegations (in re** 
spect of what was then produced to the contrary) were then 
adjudged vain and frivolous ; whereupon the marriage was 
ooncluded ; which marriage was afterwards approved, and 
ratified by the see apostolic, and that in such large and 
ample manner, as that I think it a very hard matter now 
again to call the same question before another judge." 

After him stood up another of her majesty's counsel, Dr. 
Kidley, who is described as a litUe man, but of great spirit 
and profound learning. He said : — ^' My lords, the cardinals, 
we We heard how Uie queen herself, here in the face of the 
whole court, and in the presence and hearing of the king 
himsdf, called the great God of heaven and earth to witness, 
that she was a pure virgin when she first came into the king's 
bed, and how she put it to his conscience, speaking unto him 
face to face : and, if it were otherwise, we cannot imagine 
that either the queen durst so appeal unto him ; or the king, 
so spoke unto (if unworthily), would not have contradicted 
her. Besides, we have here the testimony of a most reverend 
&ther, who hath deposed upon his oath how the queen had 
ofteh, 8uh testimofUo eonsenticB iWBy said unto him, how that 
she never had any carnal knowledge of prince Arthur. Now, 
my lords, that such a frolic, or a jest (as that about a cup 
of ale, which, together with all the rest that hath been said, 
are but mere conjectures and presumptions,) should stand in 
competition with so great a testimony as a soyereign prin- 
eeas's solemn attestation of her cause upon the king's con* 
science, and that conscience clearing her from such presump- 
li<m by its own silence ; should cause us to lay aside all 

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150 REVIEW OP fox's 

reverence which we owe to former power and authontry, ^is 
that all the determinations, consultations, approbations, ccm- 
firmations of all former powers, even of the see apostoHc itself, 
should become yoid, by your calling this matter again into 
question ; ia a thing, in my conceit, most detestable to be 
rehearsed, and a great shame to this honourable court to hear 
such stuff ripped up to other purpose but in contempt of 
former power, and calling the wisdom of our ancestors and 
predecessors, together with our own, into question and deri- 

This defence annoyed one of the judges (Wdsey), who 
was supposed to be the originator of the scruple, while Cam- 
pegio was intent on doing justice. He desired that Dr. 
Tonstal, bishop of London, should be called. This was a 
man of profound judgment and great erudition, and liAd 
written an excellent treatise in -defence of the queen's mar- 
riage, which was intended to have been read in court, but 
Harry, the conscientious Harry, though professing to rely 
on the sound learning oi the prelates, took care to have this 
able advocate of justice out of the way, by sending him on 
an embassy into Scotland. The general opinion entertained 
was, that if the queen had not appealed to Borne, the mar- 
riage would have been confirmed in this session of the court ; 
but the appeal being carried to a higher .tribunal, on the 
motion of the bishop of Ely, another of the queen's counsel, 
the legates determined to hear no further pleadings. 

The king, who thought all was going right, found himself 
thus disappointed, upon which he intrigued, good conscien- 
tious man, with the cardinal of York, to g^ the queen to 
consent to Ihe jud^ent of the court, but she was not t« be 
persuaded from her first determination. The king was now 
growing impatient, and to bring the matter to an issue, he 
directed that another session should be held, at whidi he 
attended in person and urged a final sentence. The pro- 
ceedings of the court having been read, the king's counsel 
called for judgment ; on which Oampegio replied in these 
words: — ^^ Not so; I will give no sentence before 1 ba^e 

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made a relation of the whole transactions of these affairs 
unto the pope, whereunto I am obliged by virtue of the 
queen *8 appeal, considering whose commissioners we are, and 
by whose anthority we here sit. I como not hither for favcmr 
or dread sake, to pleasure any person living, be he king or 
subject ; neither for any such respect sake will 1 offend my 
con&cieBee, or displease my God. I am now an old man, 
both weak and sickly ; and should I now put my soul in 
danger of God's displeasure and everlasting damnation, for 
fear or favour of any prince in this world, it is not all the 
lances in this world can give me comfort. I come hither to 
do justice according to my conscience ; I have heard the alle- 
gations, the party hath appealed from our sentence, as sup- 
posing us to be unfit judges in her cause, being subjects 
(under so high authority, and in his own realm), that dare 
not do her justice, fearing the king*s displeasure ; wherefore 
I will not do an act which I cannot answer to God, nor my 
superior; and therefore I adjourn the court for this time.*' 
Thus the court was dissolved. 

To iUustrt^ the question we will digress from the present 
proceedings, and notice a precedent in the history of France, 
, in which the pope's authority was more successful than in 
the case of Catharine. Harry's divorce is not the only in- 
stance in the annals of our own country, of royal separations, 
as John was divorced from his wife Avisa, by some unprin- 
cipled churchmen, in order that he might marry Isabella of 
Angouleme, with whose beauty he was captivated. But as 
the repudiated wife did not seek the restoration of her con- 
jugal rights by an appeal to Kome, the holy see did not take 
cognizance of the matter. It was not so, however, with the 
cause of Ingelburga, queen of France, about the same period. 
Philip, the French king, on his return from I^estine, found 
himself a widower, by the death of queen Isabella, and not 
liking a state of smgle blessedness, he wished to marry again. 
Accordingly he deputed the bishop of Noyon to the king of 
Denmark, with proposals to marry his sister Ingelburga. The 
Danish monarch assented; the princess was sent off with a 

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152 BETIEW OF F0(X*8 

suitable tram of attendants ; she arriTed in France, and was 
married to Philip by the archUshop of Amiens. On the 
next day she was solemnly crowned qneen of France, but by 
some ynaecountable cause, during the ceremony Philip coa- 
ceived an utter aversion for the person of his queen, and at 
the end of three months measures were concerted to obtain a 
divorce. No reason was assigned for Ihis strange change in 
the king's mind ; Ingelburga was lovely and virtuous ; but 
a m<Hiarch's taste must be indulged. 

The doctrine of the Catholic church is, that when a mar- 
riage is lawfully contracted, no pow^ on earth can dissdve 
it. Even adultery is not a sufficient ground for a divorce, 
though it may be for a separation. Since the Beformation 
so called, however, it has been discovered, in this country at 
least, that parliament can dispense with that ordinance of our 
Maker, — " What God hath joined together let no man put 
asunder." It has been found, since Harry the Eighdi esta- 
blished the precedent, that adultery is sufficient cause to 
dissolve the marriage contract ; so that a married coi^de, 
rich enough to pay for an act of parliament, if tired of each 
other's company, have only to commit an offence which God 
ordered the Israelites to punish with death, and they can 
have a pailiamentary indulgence to engage in a second mar- 
riage, during each other's life. 

Such a license to commit sin is not legally known in the 
Catholic church. There have been, and there alvrays will be, 
men ready to barter the sacred functions of their office to 
gmtify the ambition, or feed the lustful appetite of monarchs; 
but the abandonment of individual duty cannot be fixed on 
the church collectively, unless, indeed, it can be proved that 
she has sanctioned by her laws and councils any such unholy 
doings. Thus in the case of Philip and Ingelburga, the ardi- 
bishop of Eheims, who was undo to the king, and had married 
him to the unfortunate queen, was weak enough to become 
the tool of Philip, and declared the marriage null, on the 
ground of consanguinity. For observe, in this case a plea 
was set up, to shew that the marriage was not originallj 

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tawifil, &nd therefore could not be blading. Tbe proceedings 
were communicated to Ingelburga, who had been kept ig- 
norant of the king's intentions, and was confined in a convent. 
Though ignorant oi the French language^ she was not ig- 
norant of her religion. With the spiritual instructions she had 
received, she was taught to look upon the pope as the common 
father of all Christendom, and therefore as soon as she had 
recovered from the shock given her by the intimation, bursting 
into tears, she intimated that she appealed to Eome from the 
unjust sentence that was pronounced against her marriage. 
Her brother Canute, when he was informed of the treatment 
she had received^ seconded her appeal, and sent agents to 
Bome, with am{de proofs to invalidate the plea on which the 
ar^bishop had grounded his sentence of divorce. Proceed- 
ings of this kind move slowlj at Rome, and Philip, impatient 
of dday, publicly marr2^ Agnes, the daughter of Bertold, 
duke of Bohemia. This last act Cimute deemed an insult 
Added to injury, and a defiance of justice and decorum. In- 
stead, however, of appealing to arms, as is now the case, and 
shedding the blood of his subjects, he deputed other deputies 
to Rome, and pressed for a sentence At this time Innocent 
II. filled the papal chair. Alive to every act of oppression, 
he warmly espoused the cause of Ingelburga, and proceeded 
to examine the documents. While this examination was 
pending, he admonished Philip to remove the adulteress, but 
the king was obdurate. The kingdom was laid under an 
interdict. Philip, in revenge, seized the temporalities of the 
^ergy, and tried to giun them over to his ends. They, how- 
ev^, remained firm, refused his bribes, and told him he must 
submit. The king at last complied ; he dismissed Agnes, 
aiid the cause of Ingelburga was. to undergo another discus- 
sion. A council met at Soissons ; Philip appeared on one 
hand, attended with the prelates and nobles of the land ; on 
the other was the queen, with some bbhops and a retinue of 
friends, sent from Denmark by her brother Canute. The 
king demanded to be separated from Ingelburga, to whom, 
be soid^ he was related witiiin the prohibited degree. The 


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154 REVIEW OF fox's 

Danish minister appealed to the marriage treaty, and proved 
that the allegation of kindred was altogether unfounded. 
They saw, however, in the legate's countenance, who presided, 
a determined partiality in favour of the king, and they there- 
fore said. We appeal from that judge to the pope. A few 
days after, in consequence of this objection, another legate, 
a man of unshaken integrity, was appointed, and the discus- 
sion was resumed. But the Danes, not imagining such hastily 
had left; the place, imd Ingelburga was without an advocate. 
The king's counsel pleaded, toii called for a reply. At first 
no answer was given ; but after a shwt pcuisej an unknown 
ecclesiastic stepped forth, meanly habited and of an humble 
aspect, and requested to be heard. PeFQsissioft was granted ; 
he repelled the objections> and demonstvated the law with 
such force and eloquence, that he carried conviction to the 
judges. The king was told thaf judgment would be pro- 
nounced against him ; on. which he told the legate he was 
satisfied, and taking Ingelburga, slie was acknowledged as- 
queen, but in iietum for his dismissal oi Agnes, the unfortu- 
nate Ingelburga was shut up in theroyal castle at Etampcfs, 
where she was secluded, not only from the king's society, but 
from all intercourse with the world. Innocent frequently 
corresponded wilh her, and unceasingly urged Philip to be- 
reconciled to her. At length, after a barbarous confiuemeia 
of twelve years, he took her to his bed uid treated her ynthi 

We may here see, by this occorrenCe, the utility and benefit 
of having a supi^me jfidge ioi matters which regard to con- 
science, and which are of that nature Ihat justice could not 
be obtained without suoh an appeal. Although Philip had 
not the appointment <^ bishops in his kingdom, as is now the 
case with all Protestant states, yet there was always a sort of 
influence attached to the podnrer of a monarch over the tem- 
poralities of the clergy that warped the judgment and cofi- 
duct of many dignified ecclesiastics, as we see in history, and 
none more strikingly so than ti.e reign of our eighth Harry 
Against this partiality and abandonuient of justice the appea 

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to Rome was always a barrier, and the innocent inTariably 
found justice at the hands of the pope. Thus it was ih 
the case of Ingelburga, and thus it wiH he found to be wiih 

There is another case, likewise, of a royal dtyorce, and of 
recent date, which we think wiif interest our readers^ and is 
not irrdevant to the illustration of the question we are dis- 
cussing. We allude to the divorce of Napoleon and Josephine* 
after the former became emperor of France. This couple 
were originally imited under tte ciyil code of the revolutionary 
reign. When, however, Napoleon took it into his head to be 
«rowned by the late pope Pius Vll., whom he dragged across 
the Alps in the depth of winter, and at an advanced age, to 
perform the ceremony, the holy father refused to place the 
crown on Josephine's head, or appear in the ceremony, unless 
they were married according to ^ae rites of the Catholic 
<^ureh. In consequence of this objection Napoleon consented, 
and they were married by the pope himsdf on the eve of the 
coronation day. Some time after the emperor took it into 
his head that he must form a new dynasty, and as his present 
empress was too old to lead him to hope for issue, he per- 
suaded her to consent to a divorce, that he might take to 
himself a youthful bride. Josephine yielded to his wish, and 
Kapoleon found a ready ecclesiastic in the person of cardinal 
Maury, to whom he had promised the archbishopric of Paris, 
to give this divorce the mockery of a religious sanction » 
This done, Napoleon woos the eldest daughter of the emperor 
of Austria, a Catholic sovereign, who, for state purposes, 
basely consents to give her up, having found prelates to re- 
concile his conscience to the proceeding. This marriage, 
like the divorce, had die sanction of a religious ceremony 
from the same panderer who pronounced the separation of the 
first lawful marriage. But mark, though Josephine did not 
appeal to the pope, the holy father never would acknowledge 
the second marriage, nor has it ever been acknowledged by 
the church. Thus maintaining the incontrovertible force of 
the divine injunction, whii^ forbids rnan^ put asunder what: 

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156 REVIEW OP fox's 

God hasjcnned. The issue by this second marriage was a 
son ; but soon after hia birth the father was compelled to 
resign his throne, from which he was conveyed to a dreary 
rock; where he lingered a solitary exile till death set him 
free ; his second empress became a widowed wife, to be pitied 
but unheeded, and the boy^is now an orphan under the caie 
of his grandfather. Such is the fate of those who set the 
precepts of God at nought, and it too. often happens that the 
innocent are involted in the punishment brought on by the 
guilty. EUkving thus shewn how careful the Catholic churdi 
has ever been, to preserve imsulUed the divine commands, and 
how beneficial the supreme authority of the pope is to prevent 
injustice and check corruption, we shall now proceed in oiur 
review of the compilation of lies and mis statements of Fox 
and Burnet. 

• The next subject introduced by the Booh of Jilqrtyr^is 
an " Account of Cranheb^" and is given in these w(Hrds:-T* 
^* At this period, Dr. CBanmer, a Fellaw of Jesus College ia 
Cambridge, meeting accidentally with Gardiner and Fox at 
Waltham, and entering inta discourse upon the royal marria^, 
suggested, that the king should engage the chief universiti^ 
and divines of Europe, to examine the lawfulnesa of hjs 
' marriage ; and if they gave their resolutions against it, then 
it being cex:tain that the pope's dispensation could not derogate 
from the law of God, the marriage must be declared null. 
This novel and reasonable scheme they prop^^ed to the king, 
who was much pleased with it> as he saw thia way was better 
in itself, and would mortify the pope. Craqmer was accord- 
ingly sent Tor, and on conversing with, him, the king con- 
ceived a high opinion both of hia learning and prudence, as 
well as of his probity and sincerity, which took such root ia 
his mind, that no artifices, nor calumnies, were ever able- to^ 
remove it." Of the probity and sbcetity of this saini of the 
Beformotion, we shall have occasidn to speak much hereafter, 
. and produce facts that will shew how much he possessed of 
these excellent qualities. At present we must confine our- 
selves to his cor duct before be entered on the service of the 

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• BOOR OP MA»TYR8, 157 

kfng, as an advocate for the divorce of the marriage hotween 
Catharine and Harry. Cranmer was admitted into Jesus 
College, Cambridge, but was deprived of his fellowship for 
entering into a matrimonial engagement How he contrived 
to maintain his wife we do not find related in history, but it 
is stated that after his wife died he betook himself again to 
an academical life, entered into holy orders, and became the 
tutor to two young gentlemen at Cambridge, sons of Mr. 
Cressy at Waltham, to which latter place he retired with his 
pupils during the time that university was infected with the 
{^ague. It was here Cranmer fell in with Fox, the king's 
almoner, and in the course of conversation (m the marriage, 
Ciranmer is said by Fuller, m his Church History, to have 
observed, that '* if it could be proved that marrying a brothet's 
wife is contrary to the law of G^d. a dispensation would bo 
out of the pope's power." This remark being communicated 
to Harry, it agreed so well with his conscientiotis scruples, 
that he determined to ground his case upon it. Cranmer was 
now made ehaplain to the earl of Wiltshire, Miss Nancy's 
father, and waa recommended by him to the king, who cm- 
ployed him both in Italy, Germany, and France, to forward 
the cause of his divorce in the universities of those countries. 
Such was the nu^n selected to manage the fomgn universities, 
by a '^ novel and reasonable scheme," as the modern editors 
call his proposition. By the outset of his life, he appears to 
have been a fit instrument to conduct the nefarious business,, 
and his subsequent demeanour will prove him to have been 
one (^ the most diabolical villains that ever stained humaa 


Afler devoting a amall space to the disgrace of Wols<^,. 
we are favoured with an account of the decisions of the uni* 
versities, in the^&lWwing words : — ^ The king now intending 
to proceed in t^ method proposed by Cranmer, sent to 
Oxford and Cambridge, to procure their conclusions. At 

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168 REVIEW OF pox's 

Oxford it was referred by the major part of tlre^ convocatJdn 
to thirty-three doctors and bachelors of divinity, whom that 
faculty was to name r they were empowered to determine 
the question, and put the seal of the university to l^eir coh- 
clusion. And they gave their opinions, that the marriage of 
the brother'a wife was contrary both to the laws of God and 
nature. At Cambridge, the convocation referred the question 
to twenty- nine ; of which number, two-thirds agreeing, they 
were empowered to put the seal of the university to their 
determination. These agreed in opinion with those of 
Oxford. Tie jealousy of Dr. Cranmer's favouring Luther- 
anism, caused the fierce Popish party to oppose everything 
in which he was engaged* They were also afraid of Ann 
Boleyn's advancement, who was believed to be tinctured with 
these opinions^ Crook, a learned man, was employed in 
Italy, to procure the resolution of divines there ; in which he 
was so successful, that besides the great discoveries he made 
m searching the manuscripts of the GreekYathers concerning 
their opinions in this point, he engaged several persons to 
write for the king's cause ; and also got the Jews to give 
their opinions of the laws in Leviticus, that they were moral 
and obligatory ; yet, when a brother died without issue, his 
brother might marry his widow within Judea, for preserving 
their families and succession ; but they thought that might 
not be done out of Judea. The state of Venice would not 
declare themselves, but said they would be neutral, and it 
was not easy to persuade the divines of the republic to give 
their opinions, till a brief was obtained of the pope, permit- 
ting all divinea and canonists to deliver their opinions ac- 
eording to their consciences. The pope abhorred this way 
of proceeding, though he could not decently oppose it ; but 
be said,, in great scorn, that no friar should set limits to his 
power. Crook was ordered to give no money, nor make 
promises to any, till they had freely delivered their opinion ; 
which he is said to have faithfully observed. He sent over 
to England an hundred several books, and pi^rs, with many 
subBcriptionB ;. all oondemmng the king's marriage as un- 

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tawfbl in itself. At Paris, the Sorbonne made their deter- 
mination with great solemnity ; after mass, all the doctoi's 
took an oath to study the question, and to give their judg- 
ment according to their consciences ; and after three weeks' 
study, the greater part agreed on this; *that the king's 
marriage was unlawful, and that the pope could not dispense 
with it.' At Orleans, Angiers, and Toulouse, ihej deter- 
mined to the same purpose." 

The sensible seader must smile at this account, which is 
given by Burnet, a man who ranked as a Christian bishop, 
yet would persuade his readers that the Christian advocates 
of a Christian (so he thought himself) king, required the 
opinions of the Jaws, whether his marriage, contracted under 
a Christiim dispei^sation, was lawful. Well, they appear to- 
decide against him, for, they say, when a brother died with- 
out issue, his brother might marry his widow ; but to get 
out of this dilemma, they limit the operation of the law to 
Judea, for the preservation of the succession of families, and 
make it nugatory out of that countiy . What pitiful sophistry 
m this ! Why, if the Jews were allowed to take the brother's 
widow in Judea, to preserve the succession, why not a king 
in England, especially after the oHurch, of which he was a 
member, had given a sanction to the contract? Then the 
Oxford divines gave- their opinion that " the marriage of the- 
brother's wife was contrary both, to the laws of God and. 
nature." But on what ground did they form this judgment ? 
Ott the levitical law ? This could not be, since God had; 
oommanded the Jews to marry t!ie brother's wife in certaiiv 
cases. On the canons of the Christian or Catholic church ?' 
The church had already decided that the marriage u^a^ lawful,, 
and had granted a dispensation through her supreme head, 
to prevent future cavil. The grounds of this decisioa was- 
the non- consummation] of the marriage, and the deaths of one 
party, which made the former contract completely void ; for 
as Catharine was a virgin, after the death, of the king's- 
brother, slie could hardly be said to have been a wife. The 
fact is, the decisions given by the universities were founded 

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on fiils^ {^remises, fbr the essential circumstance of the yft** 
ginity of the queen, after the death of her first hushand, was 
studiously and partially kept hack hy the propounders of the 
question. The Camhridge doctors disputed the case, and 
those who were against the divorce, were not influenced by 
the injustice attempted on the queen, but from a fierce jea- 
lousy of the immaculate Dr. Cranmer, forsooth, who was 
suspected of favouring Lutheranism; and a fear of Miss 
Boleyn's advancement. Burnet, we presume, in imputing 
th^se unworthy motives to men who had nothing to gain, but 
everything to lose, by the cause they espoused, measured his 
neighbour's com by his own bushel, as he was no unwilling 
panderer to corruption and falsehood. Then, again, we have 
. a learned Dr. Crook fishing up manuscripts from the Greek 
. fathers, in Italy, condemning the marriage, as if these fathers 
anticipated the dispute, and left their opinions as a legacy to 
, Harry, to indulge in his adulterous courses under their sanc- 
tion. This Mr. Crook, it seems, had another commission 
entrusted to him, and that was, to influence the cause wi6i the 
diarm of money. Harry, before his nobles and people, could 
profess the most pious and dutiful submission to the decision 
of his spiritual guides and judges, and his love of his queen's ' 
virtue and person, and that if it were lawful, and he had his 
dioice again, he would select Catharine of all women for bis 
wife. Yet all this while the arch 'hypocrite was consuming 
for love of Anne Boleyn, and causing search to be made for 
the most artful and unprincipled villains that could be found, 
to cheat the universities of Europe out of a decision, against 
his virtuous and faithful partner, that he might shelter him- 
sdf under tlie cloak of religion. But the ways of God are 
just, and the hoary lecher was compelled to appear in his 
proper garb. 

So determined was the religious Harry to settle his con- 
science, that it seems he was not content to have the opinions 
of the Jewty but he must also have the sentiments of the 
rrformerSf the leader of whom he had openly attacked as a 
heretic and false apostle* The account given of the opiniims 

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p{ these gentleiDen are not less ludicrous than those of the 
universities. " Calvin," we are told, ** thought the marriage 
null, and all agreed that the pope's dispensation was of no 
force. Osiander was employed to engage the Lutheran 
divines, but they were afraid of giving the emperor new 
grounds of displeasure. Melancthon thought the law in 
Xeviticus was dispensable, and that the marriage might be 
lawful ; and that, in those matters, states and princes might 
make what laws thej pleased ; and thougli the divines of 
I^eipsic, after much disputing about it, did agree that those 
kiws were moral, yet they could never be brought to justify 
the divorce with the subsequent marriage; but the pope was 
more compliant, for he offered to Cassali to grant the king 
dispensation for havmg another wife, with which the im- 
perialists seemed not dissatbfied." From this statement there 
appears to have been as much difference of opinion amoAg 
the reformers, on the question of divorce, as there was on 
their articles of faith. The offer of the pope to grant Harry 
a couple of wives, we conjecture, was introduced by Burnet 
to cover the disgrace of the patriarchs of the Reformation, 
who, by a written document, under their signatures, granted 
the Landgrave of Hesse permission to have two wives at 
once. This gentleman was a disciple of the Eeformation, 
and, like Henry, he gave way to the lusts of the flesh, on 
embracing the new doctrines. The cause of this disorder 
be imputes to his wife, whom, he says, he never loved, and 
whose bed he left a few weeks after marriage to wallow in 
adultery. As a remedy, therefore, to this course of life, and 
without which, he avows, he ¥rill never change it, he proposes 
to the reforming divines to allow him to have another wife, 
on the ground, '' that Luther and Melancthon, to his own 
knowledge, advised the king of England not to break off 
tbe marriage with the^ queen his wife, but, besides her, also 
to marry another." So, then, this idea of two wives did not 
originate with the pope, as Burnet falsely insinuates, but with 
Blaster Martin Luther and his coacyutora in reform and ini- 
. quity. The gospcl-loviug and pious Landgrave was touched 

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162 RBVIEW OF fox's 

with seruples as well as our Henrj, and, like him, too, ke 
had the tenderest regard for the character of the womiui on 
whom he might fix his choice, as well as the greatest dread 
af giving scandal, unless the shield of religion was thrown 
over their deeds. Here are the Landgrave's words, well 
worthy of being recorded with the proceedings of the first 
head of the new church of England : — " But if they appre- 
hend such a certificate may turn to scandal at this time, and 
prejudice the gospel- cause, should it be pinted, I desire at 
least, they will give me a declaration in writing, that God 
would not be ofiended, should I marry in private ; and tliat 
they will seek for means to make this marriage public in due 
time ; to the end, that the woman I shall wed may not pass 
for a dishonest person ; othei*wi8e, in process of time, the 
church would be scandalized.'' Th^ he assures them, that 
<< they need not fear, lest this second marriage should make 
him injure his first wife, or even separate himself from her, 
since, on the contrary, he is determined, in this occasion, to 
carry his cross, and leave his dominions to their common 
children. Let them, therefore, grant me,'' continues this 
prince, '' in the name of God, what I request of them ; to 
the end I may both live and die more cheerfully for the 
gospd-cause, and more willingly undertake the defence of 
it ; and, on my side, I will do whatsoever they shall in reason 
ask of me, whether they demand IHB revenubs of monas- 
teries, or other things of the like nature." Bather tiian 
lose such a precious disciple in the *^ gospel-cause," and to 
avoid having their new church scandalized, these evangelical 
doctors of the Befbrmation did grant an indulgence, under 
&eir handft and seals, to the petitioner to marry another wife, 
his present one being still living, thus establishing polygamy 
as a doctrine of the Baformation. Tins document may be 
aOen at length in fiossuet's Variations* « 

To i^aee the subject of the divorce in as dear a li^^t as 
possible, as on this point, we may say, hinged the change of 
religion in England, and to shew the means resorted to by 
the adversaries of the queen, to gain the somUancQ of, a 

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iBptritoal confirmi^on of the king's pretended scruples, we 
will here insert the aecount giten by Dr. Lingard, of thdse 
transactions, from his History of England. But first, we 
must obs^nre, that though Crook is represented to have had 
orders not to make '' promises to any till they had freely 
delirered thdr opinions," the same delicacy was not preeenred 
towards the nephew of Catharine, as Henry, by his ambiB- 
sadors, promised the emperor Charles, ^* the sum of three 
hundred thousand crowns, the restoration of the marriage 
portion paid with Catharine, and security for a maintenam^ 
suitable to her birth," if he would consent to the divorce. 
But Charles was inflexible, and told the worthy r^resen- 
tatires of Henry, << he was not a merchant, to sell the honour 
of his aunt. The cause was now before the proper tribunal. 
If the pope should decide against her, he would be silent ; 
if in her favour, he would support her cause with all the 
means which God had placed at his disposal." This fact is 
related by Dr. Lingard, and is extracted from letters written 
from Bi^gna, by the bidiop of Tarbes, the French ambas- 
sador to the English court. Failing in this quarter, he rested 
his hopes on the decisions of the universities, the success of 
which plan is thus detailed by Dr. Lingard. 

" The new ministers," says that able writer, " condescended 
to profit by the advice of the man whom they had supplanted ; 
and sought, in conformity vrith his recommendation, to obtain 
in favour of the divorce, the opinions of the most learned 
divines, and most celebrated universities of Europe. Henry 
pursued the scheme with his characteristic ardour ; but, - if 
he was before convinced of the justice of his cause, that con- 
Tiction must have been shaken by the obstinacy of the 
opposition vrhich he everywhere experienced. In England 
it might have been expected that the influence of the crown 
would silence the partisans of Catharine ; yet even in England 
it was found necessary to employ commands, and promises, 
and threats, sometimes secret intrigue, and sometimes open 
violence, before a favorable answer could be extorted from 
either of the universities. 

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164 REVIEW OF fox's 

" In Italy the king's agents were active and nnmerond : 
their success and their failures were perhaps nearly balanced ; 
but the former was emblazoned to catch the eye of the public » 
while the latter were discreetly concealed. From the pontiff 
they had procured a breve, exhorting every man to speak his 
•entiments without fear or favour ; and, taking their respec- 
tive stations in the principal cities from Venice to Bome, they 
distributed, according to their discretion, the moneys which 
had been remitted to them from England. They drew aa 
ingenious, but in this case not very intelligible, distinction 
between a fee and a bribe : and contended, that when they 
rewarded the subscriber for his trouble, they paid him nothing 
as the price of his subscription. The result of their exertions 
were the real or pretended answers of the universities of 
Bdogna, Padua, FeiTara, and the subscriptions of some hun«^ 
dreds of individuals. 

'^ In the Germanic states Henry was less successful. Not 
one public body could be induced to espouse his cause ; even 
the reformed divines, with a few exceptions, loudly condracmed 
tiie divorce ; and Luther himself wrote to Barnes, the royal 
agent, that he would rather allow the king to have two wives 
at the same time, than to separate from Catharine for the 
purpose of marrying another woman. 

^' It was, therefore, from France and her fourteen univ^- 
sities, that the most valuable aid was expected. The bishop 
of Bayonne had been for some months emj^oyed in soliciting 
the votes of the leading members of the different faculties ; 
and Henry had written to the king to employ the royal au- 
thmty in his favour. But Francis artfully pretended that 
he dared not risk the offence of Charles, as long as his two 
sons were detained prisoners in Spain ; nor could they be 
liberated, according to the treaty, till he had paid two millions , 
of crowns to the emperor, five hundred thousand to the king 
of England, and had redeemed, in favour of Charles, the lily 
of diamonds, which Philip of Burgundy had formerly pawned 
; to Henry VII, for the sum of fifty thousand crowns. The 
impatience of the king swallowed. the bait; he was content 

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to make every sacrifice, that he might obtain the snbftcriptions 
which he sought : he forgave the debt, made a present of 
the pledge, and added to it a loan of fqur hmidred thousand 

'^ Still the business languished till the earl of Wiltshire was 
r^med from Bologna. The university of Paris had long 
possessed the first place among the learned societies of 
Europe : and it was deemed of the greatest importance to 
elrtain from it a favourable decision. Henry wrote to ihe 
dean with his own hand : Francis commanded the faculty of 
divinity to deliberate on the subject : Montmorency, his 
prime miniver, canvassed for votes from house to house : and 
0mrj absent member in the interest of the court was sum- 
moned to Paris. Yet the majority was decidedly hostile to 
the pretensions of the king of England. From the beginning 
of Jtftie to the middle of August they continued to meet and 
adjourn : and in one instance only, on the second of July, 
was a plurality of voices obtained, by dexterous management, 
in lEivour of Henry. By the order of the court, the bishop 
of Senlis carried away the register, that the entry might not 
be effaced or rescinded in any subsequent meeting, and an 
attested copy was forwarded to England, and published by 
the king as the real decision of the university of Paris. From 
Orkans and Toulouse, from the theologians of Bourges, and 
tiie civilians of Angers, similar opinions were received : but 
tiie thedogians of the last city pronounced in favour of the 
existing marriage. The other universities were not consulted, 
or their answers were suppressed. 

^' It had been originally intended to lay before the pontiff 
tins mass of opinions and subscriptions, as the united voice 
of the Christian world pronouncing in favour of the divOToe. 
Bat Clement knew (and Henry was aware that he knew) the 
arts by which they had been eictorted : and both were sen- 
sibte that, independently of other considerations, they did not 
i^each the real merits of the question : for all of them were 
founded on the supposition that the marriage between 
Aclbar and Catharine had actually been consummated, a dis- 

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1Q6 REVIEW OF fox's 

puted point which the king was unable to proTe, and which the: 
queen most solemnly denied. In the place of these opinions 
it was deemed more prudent to substitute a letter to the 
pontiff; subscribed by the lords spiritual and temporal, and by 
a certain number of eommoners, in the name of the whole 
nation. This instruoient complains in forcible terms of 
Clement's partiality and tergiversation. What crime had 
the king of England committed that he could not obtain what 
the most learned men, and the most celebrated universities 
declared to be his right? The kingdom was threatened with 
the calamities of a disputed succession, which could be avoided ^ 
only by a lawful marriage: and yet the celebration of that 
marriage was prevented by the affected delays and unjust 
partiality of the pontiff. Nothing remained but to apply the 
remedy without his interference. . It might be an evil ; but 
it would prove a less evil, than the precarious and perik>us 
situation in whi<^ England was now placed. 

/< To thb uBCourteous and menacing remonstrance, de^ 
ment replied with temper and firmness : that the charge of 
partiality would have come with more truth and a better grace 
from the opposite party ; that he had pushed his indulgence 
for the king beyond the bounds of law and equity, and had 
refused to act on the queen's appeal, tiU the whole college of 
cardinals unanimously charged him with injustice: that, if he 
had not since proceeded with the cause, it was because Henry 
had appoiuted no attorney to plead for him, and because his 
ambassadors at Bologna had asked for additional time : t^iait 
the opinions which they mentioned, had nev^ been officially 
communicated to the holy see, nor did he know of any, which 
were fortified with reasons and authorities to inform his judg- 
m^t: that if England were really threatened with a disputed 
succession, the danger would not be removed, but augmented 
by. proceedings contrary to right and justice: and if lawless 
remedies were empbyed, those with whom they originated 
must answer for the result ; that, in short, he was ready to 
proceed with the cause immediately, and to shew to the king 
every indulgence and favour compatible with justice : <me 

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thing only he begged in return, that, they would not require 
of , him, through gratitude to man^ to violate the immutable 
commandments of God." 

This aceount differs very widely from that given by Burnet, 
and is more entitled to credit, iK>t only from its carrying the 
air of probability and sincerity, but because the historian has 
given the sources from whence they are derived. Thus, then, 
we see that the king's agents were encouraged to employ 
every species of art and chicanery to settle the scruples of 
the conscientious Henry, while on the other hand, the 
hoiy father was solely intent on doing justice where justice 
was due, and preventing the injured party, as far as ha could, 
from being oppressed. The sovereign pontiff had a con- 
science to satisfy, without being disturbed by tl^ violence 
of criminal passions like Harry, and therefore his mind was 
inflisenced with a desire to see the commandments of God 
fulfilled and not violated. When Harry found his case so 
hopeless, he himself felt a desire to submit to the difficulties 
opposed to him ; but this disposition was no sooner discovered 
than Anne !Boleyn and her friends took the alarm, and she 
was^nstructed to play off all her arts to win the king from 
this inclination to become just. The ruin of the ministry, all 
Anne's <»*eatures, was predicted, when Cromwell, who had 
been raised into some note by the means of Wolsey, stepped 
foKward and rescued them from the danger by which they 
w^!e threatened. Of this man we shall have to say more 
her^ifter, when we come to the dissolution of the monasteries ; 
we shall therefore dismiss him for the present, that we may 
not lureak in upon the narrative of the divorce. 

During the whole of these discussions, Catharine remiuned 
steady to her resolution of leaving the question in the pope's 
haiuls ; every artifice was used to persuade her to consent to 
a separaticm, but to no purpose. ^' Several lords,'' writes 
Dr. lingard, '* were deputed to wait on the queen, and to 
request that for the king's conscience, she would refer the 
natter to four temporal and four spiritual peers. ' God grant 
iim a quiet conscience,' she replied, * but this shall be your 

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168 REVIEW OF fox's 

answer: I am his wife, lawfully married to him by order 
of holy church ; and so I will abide until the court of Home, 
which was privy at the beginning, shall have made an end 
thereof/ A second deputation was sent, with an order for 
her to leave the palace at Windsor. * Go where I may,' she 
answered, * I shall still be his lawful wife.' From that day 
(July 15, 1531) they never more saw each other. She re- 
paiiBd to the Moor, thence to Easthamstead, and at last fixed 
her residence at AmpthtU.*' Though Harry had banished 
the queen from his presence, he still craved the authority of 
the pope to dissolve the contract, and the cause was urged at 
Rome by the king's agents with much assiduity. In the 
mean time, queen Catharine wrote to the holy father, announc- 
ing her formal expulsion from the king's presence, and pray- 
ing justice at his hands. Clement couki no longer refuse to 
listen to the prayers of an injured and defenceless woman : he 
wrote to Henry a moving letter, in which he painted the 
in&my of his proceedings ; that having married a most vir- 
tuous princess, with whom he had lived in conjugal happiness 
for twenty years, he now drove her from his court to cohabit 
with anotiier woman. He therefore exhorted the king to 
recall his injured queen, and dismiss the wanton who had 
supplanted her. But Harry's conscienee, we suppose, was 
now seared, for instead of listening to the admonitions of the 
holy father, he began to shew symptoms of disobedience to 
that authority which he had hitherto pronounced as lawfril. 
The olergy had already been placed in prflsmunire, and now 
they were forbidden to make constitutions, although such had 
been their imprescriptible right, in fmth and morals, from 
the first foundation of the church. These things being re- 
ported at Rome, Clement pronounced against the claim, i^d 
issued a breve complaining that the king, in defiance of 
public decency, continued to cohabit with his mistress. We 
must here leave the unfortunate Catharine, to bring be&re 
the reader her supplanter. 

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We now return to the Book of Martyrs, where we fiud the 
fpliowiDg account detailed under the above head : — ** Soon 
after this, the king married Anne Bolejn; Howland Lee 
(afiterwards bishop of Coventry and Lichfield) officiated, none 
being present but the duke of Norfolk, and her father, 
mother, brother, and Oranmer. It was thought that the 
former marriage being null, the king mtght proceed to another'; 
and perhaps, they hoped, that as the pope had formerly pro- 
posed this method, so he would now approve of it. But 
t^ugh the pope had joined himself to France, yet he was 
still so much in y^ar of the emperor, that he dared not pro- 
voke him. A new citation was therefore issued out, for the 
king to answer to the queen's complaints ; but Harry's agents 
protested, that their master was a sovereign prince, and 
England Sifree church, over which the pope had no authority; 
and that the king could expect no justice at Rome, where the 
emperor's power was so great." 

This is Burnet's story, and the excuse he makes for the 
actors in the scene is, that they tho/ught and hoped; that the 
pope would be found as kind as Luther and Co., and grant 
the scrupulous Harry leave to >iave two wives at once. From 
this account it is clear the marriage with Anne could not be 
lawful, because no one had pronounced formally against the 
marriage witJi Catharine, which, for decency sake, we think 
should have been done. The day on which Anne was married 
to the king was the 25th of January, 1533, five years after 
the scruples of Harry's conscience began to work, three of 
which he scrupulously spent in adultery with Anne ; nor is it 
likely he would have married her so soon, had she not proved 
to be in a condition to give him hopes of an heir. In the 
September preceding he had created her marchioness of 
Pembroke, and settled upon her a yearly pension of one 
thousand pounds, out of the ecclesiastical revenue of the 
bishopric of Durham ; so that this lady, who is looked upon 
as a prime Protestant saint, commenced her career by robbing 

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170 REVIEW OF fox's 

a virtuous woman of the affections of her hushand, and the 
church of her property. Well, the pious couple were tacked 
together h^ Dr. Lee, hut not till the king had told him a lie ; 
for when Lee discovered the ohject of the king, he demurred, 
having his scruples as well as the royal hridegroom, and it 
was not till the king told him that the pope had pronounced 
in hb favour, and that the instrument was safely deposited in 
his closet, that Lee consented to perform the ceremony. For 
his compliance the celehrant was made hishop of Chester, waa 
afterwards translated to Lichfield and Coventry, and hon<mred 
with the presidentship of Wales. This marriage of Harry, 
if such it can be called, for though the rites were performed, 
it could not be legal, being in defiance of both law and justice, 
and unauthorized by either church or state ; this marriage 
may be considered the foundation stone of that church, which 
was afterwards established by law, and is now mainly sup- 
ported by prescriptive tests and penal codes. Burnet in- 
sinuates that the pope was influenced in his conduct, in thi» 
dispute about matrimonial rights, between Harry and Catha-^ 
rine, by his fears of the emperor, but there k not a shadow 
of pretence to bear him out ; on the contrary, the testimony 
preserved shews that Clem^it did not wish to meddle with 
the matter, but desired to see it decided without his inter- 
ference ; yet, when compelled to pronounce his judgment, no 
other motive appeared to infiuence him, than that of dia-v 
charging his duty to God and his conscience, by doing justice 
to injured innocence, according to the canons of the churdi*, 
The power of the emperor was not greater at Rome, when 
Harry went through the mock ceremony of marrying Anne 
Boleyn, than when she was living with him as his mistress, 
and he was seeking, by every disreputable means that could 
be contrived and put in practice by his corrupt agents, to 
obtain a favourable decision on his side ; and it was only when 
his case became hopeless, that his pride was aroused, and his 
mercenary disposition set on fire. Then it was, and not till 
then, the monster threw off the mask of hypocrisy, banished 
all his scruples, and proclaimed himself head of a new, but 

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not ** a free,'' church. Till Harry asstimed the suprcDiacy 
of the church of England, as well as the state, the church 
might strictly be termed ** free," as the ministers had immu- 
nities secured to them by Magna Charta, and her doctrine 
and discipline were not at the nod or caprice of a lecherous 
old man, a feeble child, or a cold-blooded lascivious woman. 
The church was then secured in her faith by the promises of 
€K)d, in her morality by the exemplary lives of her most 
eminent ministers, and the king, the nobles, the gentry, and 
people, all bowed submis^on to her decrees, as emanating 
from the Spirit of Truth, which was to be her guide, till the 
eonsummation of the world. This was indeed "a free " church, 
because she was not controlled by the will of man, nor by any 
set of men, but by the omnipotent will of God, who is the 
Author of justice, virtue, and freedom. Now, however, a 
new church was to be formed, under the direction of one of 
the most consammate hypocrites, as we have proved, and the 
most inexorable tyrants that ever wore a crown, as we shall 
have to shew ; and the creed of this church was not to rest 
on the word of God, but on the enactments of a lay parlia- 
ment. So that, as We shall see by and by, the symbols of 
feith were as variable as the wind, and were changed as often 
as it suited the taste of the head of the church and his wise 
e;>Qnsellors. Before, however, we enter on the bloody deeds 
of Henry, we will here give an outline of the doctrine of 
supremacy, for adhering to which, bishop Fisher and Sir 
Thomas More, two of the most virtuous and learned men of 
the age, and many other characters of great eminence and 
leammg. suffered martyrdom, and the Catholics of the present 
day are debarred from exercising those civil immunities 
granted to the people of this country by the constitution. 


Bunrat gives us in his Abridgment the following ** argu- 


modem editors have inserted in their edition of the 
Book of Meurtyr$^ He Says ;— " In England the foundations 


Digitized by LjOOQiC 

172 EEViEW OP fox's 

on which the papal authority was built, had been examined 
with extraordinary care of late years ; and seyeral books were 
written on that subject. It was demonstrated that all the 
apostles were made equal in the powers that Christ gave 
them, and he often condemned their contests about superiority, 
but never declared in St. Peter's favour. St. Paul withstood 
him to his face, and reckoned himself not inferior to hinu 
If the dignity of a person leffc any authority with the city in 
which he sat, then Antioch must carry it as well as Rome ; 
and Jerusalem, where Christ suffered, was to be preferred to 
all the world, for it was truly the mother church. The other 
privileges ascribed to St. Peter, were either only a prece- 
dence of order, or were occasioned by his fall, as that in- 
junction, ' Feed my sheep,' being a restoring him to the 
apostolical function. St. Peter had also a limited province, 
the circumcision, as St. Paul had the uncireumeision, of far 
greater extent ; which shewed that Peter was not considered 
as the universal pastor. 

'* Several sees, as Ravenna, Milan, and Aquileia, pretended 
exemption ^m the papal authority. Many English bishops 
had asserted that the popes had no authority against the 
canons, and to that day no canon the pope made was Innding 
till it was received ; which shewed the pope's authority was 
not believed to be founded on a divine authority; and the 
contests which the kings of England had had witii the popes 
concerning investitures, bishops doing homage, appeals to 
Rome, and the authority of papal bulb and provi^ons, shewed 
that the pope's power was believed to be subject to laws and 
custom, and so not derived from Christ and St. Peter; and 
as laws had given them some power, and princes had been 
forced in ignorant ages to submit to their usurpations, so they 
might, as they saw cause, change those laws and resume 
their rights. 

"The next point inquired into was the authority that 
kings had in matters of religion and the church. In the 
New Testament, Christ was himself subject to the civil 
powers, and charged his disciples 'not to affect temporal 

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dominion. They abo wrote to the churches to he suhject to 
the higher powers, and call them supreme, and charge every 
soul to he subject to them : so in scnpture the king is called 
head and supreme, and erery soul is said to be under him, 
which, joined together, makes up this conclusion, that he is the 
supreme head over all persons. In the primitive church the 
bbhops only made rules or canons, but pretended to no com- 
pulsive authority, but what came from the civil magistrate. 
Upon the whole matter they concluded that the pope had no 
power in England, and that the king had an entire dominion 
over all his subjects, which extended even to the regulation 
of ecclesiastical matters. 

" These questions being fiiUy discussed in many disputes, 
and published in several books, all the bishops, abbots, and 
friars of England, Fisher only excepted, were so far satisfied 
with them, that they resolved to comply with the changes the 
king was resolved to make." 

Such is the account which Burnet gives, and it was cer- 
tainly his interest, who held his prelacy from the king, not 
by divine authority, to make the people believe what he told 
them, and unfortunately for the cause of truth, they have too 
long given credit to his and such like assertions. " The 
foundations on which the papal authority was built," we are 
told, " had been examined with extraordinary care of late 
years ; and several books were written on that subject." But, 
we ask, by whom ? And what were the titles of these books ? 
The foundation of the papal authority in England was never 
disputed till Henry had resolved on parting with his lawful 
wife Catharine, and the pope had determined not to consent 
to his iniquitous desires. The supremacy of the bishop of 
Home was a doctrine received with the Christian faith in 
England, as it was in all other countries that embraced 
Christianity, and it is slill held by every Catholic nation and 
people in the world. There might have been books written 
on the foundation of cliums set up by some of the popes, 
regarding the temporalities of the church, but these claims 
on the one part^ and objections to them on the other^ by. 

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no means affected the divine right of the pope to preside 
over and guide the church of God, as her visible head on 
earth. Burnet says, '^It was demonstrated that all the 
apostles were made equal in the powers that Christ gave 
them, and he often condemned their contests about supe- 
riority, but never declared in St. Peter's favour.'* In their 
ministerial functions, the apostles certainly were made equal, 
and so are all Catholic bishops now in their respective dio- 
cessee, but Peter received a charge from his divine Master 
which no other apostle did, and consequently that was a de- 
claration in his favour. The charge to feed Christ's lamhs 
and sheep was given to Peter, and to Peter on/y, in the 
presence of the other apostles ; but all of them were em- 
powered to preach the word, to offer sacrifice, and to forgive 
sins. To Peter, too, and to Peter alone, were given the 
keys of the kingdom of heaven, and the promise that the 
church should be built upon him as upon a rock. — (Matt. xvi. 
17, 18, 19.) In the Protestant version of the bible, we find 
St. Matthew, in the 10th chapter and 2nd verse of his gos- 
pel, expressly naming St. Peter as the first apostle, and we 
also find in the scriptures, that Peter was the ^rst to confess 
his faith in Christ, (Matt. xvi. 16.); the ^rst to whom Christ 
appeared after his resurrection, (Luke xxiv. 34.) ; the ^9t 
to preach the faith of Christ to the people, (Acts ii. 14.^ ; 
the ^rst to convert the Jews, (ibid, 37.) ; and the ^st to 
receive the Gentiles, (ibid, x. 17.) With what face, then, 
could a bishop, whose church is said to be founded on scrip- 
ture, make such an assertion, that Christ never declared in 
favour of Peter. Can any circumstance be more dear and . 
explicit than scripture, on this question of pre-eminence, in 
favour of St. Peter ? As we before said, the Catholic bishops 
are equal in power in their respective diocesses, but the 
successor of the first bishop of Home (St. Peter) inherited 
from him the superintendence, or jurisdiction, over the whole 
flock, for the purpose of preserving unity. 

St. Paul, it is said, withstood him to his face ; but he did 
not doubt St. Peter's right to the supremacy, though he 

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might differ from him as to an opinion which Peter might 
hare held. It is one thing to dissent from an opinion merely 
human, and another to reject a diyine command. cThere is 
no law in the church to prevent an inferior from finding fault 
with a superior, provided it is done with due respect and 
deference, and this is one of the means by which the faith is 
preserved pure and entire, under the control of the Holy 
Spirit.; for as all the clergy are human, and are» therefore, 
liable to fall individually, so, when a departure from truth, 
or an erroneous opinion is started, it becomes the duty of 
every man to detect the innovation, and caution the believers 
against it. It is also a proof that there is a pure system of 
liberty in the Catholic church, since the pope, though he is 
head of it, is obliged to govern according to the laws, and is 
not exempt from the censure of his brethren, any more than 
^. Peter was from the reproach of St. Paul. An instance 
of Ais occurred in the year 1331-2, when Pope John XXII. 
preached a doctrine from the pulpit in Avignon, then the 
residence of the popes, that was novel in the church. His 
doctrine was instantly, and as openly, denounced by an Eng- 
lish Dominican, named Wales. The friar was imprisoned 
for his laudable courage and seal, but a crowd of divines 
aided and supported him, and he was released, while the pope 
explained and retracted what he had advanced. It is said, 
the holy father was written to by the then king of France, 
in this laconic style : — *' Retract, or I will have you burned." 
St Cyprian, St. Augustin, and St. Gregory did not consider 
the opposition of St. Paul, here alluded to, any prejudice to 
the authority of St. Peter, but, on the contrary, they gave 
entire submission to the see of Eome, as pre-eminent in 
dignity, and supreme over the whole flock. 

Another objection started is, that " If the dignity of a 
person left any authority with the city in which he sat, then 
Antioch must carry it as well as Rome; and Jerusalem, 
where Christ suffered, was to be preferred to all the world, 
for it was truly the mother church." To this we answer, that 
wherever St» Peter went, he still preserved his supremacy. 

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176 BE VIEW OF fox's 

At Jerusalem he presided at the council held there, as related 
in the Acts of the Apostles, and pronounced the decision of 
the members, but he was not bishop of that city. St. James 
was the first bishop of Jerusalem. St. Peter established the 
see of Antioch, and appointed a successor, from whence he 
went to Rome, and there fixed the seat of supremacy, where 
it has unalterably remained to the present day. That this 
supremacy was to be centred in the Boman pontiff by divine 
power is clearly manifest, by the immutability of succession, 
which no other see, we believe, can boast. The sees estab-^ 
hshed by all the other apostles, and even that of Antiodi, 
have been dissevered in their succession; but Home, the 
eternal city, notwithstanding the revolutions she has under- 
gone in her temporal concerns and governments, has been 
the centre of unity of the church of Christ, and will so re- 
main to the end of time ; a glorious monument of the un- 
erring word of God, who assured us that his church, founded 
on a ROCK, should withstand every assault of the world and 
the devil. 

It is also contended that St. Peter had a limited provinee^ 
'* the circumcision, as St. Paul had the uncircumcision, of a 
far greater extent ; which shewed that Peter was not con- 
sidered as the universal pastor/' In opposition to this state- 
ment, we shall produce a host of witnesses, who had better 
means of knowing whether St. Peter's mission was limited, 
than Gilbert Burnet, the Protestant bishop of Sarum. It is 
really amusing to see the miBerable shifts to which the im- 
puguers of the pope's supremacy are driven to prop up their 
cause ; for, in one place, we see them contending that all 
the apostles were equal, though, as we have shewn from 
scripture, Christ gave more than one command and promise 
to Peter expressly ; and, in another, we have his commission 
to preach limited, though, in conferring this power, Christ 
spoke to them all in general terms. Besides, St. Peter had 
his commission given to him long before St. Paul was called 
to the ministry, and received the Gentiles, in the pei-son of 
the centmion, before the latter began to preach. 

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We have given, in the first volume of this work, the sen- 
timents of St. Cyprian, St, Basil, and St Gregory Nazianzen, 
on the supremacy of the pope ; we will here add » few other 
testimonies from the first ages, to shew that on this doctrine, 
as well as on all others helieved hy the Catholic church, there 
was no variation. To hegin, then, with St* Leo. He caUs 
Rome the head of the Christian world, and adds that that 
name is properly hers hy reason of the chair of St Peter, 
and that Rome extends its authority further hy the sacred 
rights of religion, than hy those of temporal government. — 
Serm. de Ratio. Apost edit. QuBnal p. 164. 

St. Optatus says, that the first mark of the true church, 
is to oommunicatd with the chair of St. Peter. — Lib. 2. contra 
Parmen, edit. Dupin. p. 91, 

St. Prosper says the same as St Leo. — Lib. de Ingratis, 
ed. Fraisi. Novo. p. 119. 

St. Chrysostom writes to pope Innocent I., hogging him 
to annul all that had heen done against him in a synod, where 
Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, presided ; and to demand 
justice against his false accusers. — Ep. 1. ad Inno. t. 2. con. 
Lab. 1300. 

Now, as to the four first councils, and first as to that of 
Nice, it is evident that Osius, hishop of Cordova, and Vitus 
and Vincentius, priests of the church of Rome, presided over 
it, in the place, and hy the appointment, of pope Sylvester, 
as Gelasius, who lived more than twelve hundred years ago, 
has left written. — Sjfnb, con. UricB. I. 2, cap. 5. 

Eusehius, 1. 7. c. 30, tells us that Paul of Samosata, having 
been condemned by the second council of Antioch, he would 
not resign the episcopal palace to him who was chosen in his 
place, but the emperor Aurelian, though a Pagan, adjusted 
it to him to whom the pope gave his communion. 

Socrates, the historian, vnrites, that the holy canons forbid 
anything to be decided in the church, without the consent of 
the pope. — Lib. 2. c. 8, edit. Froben, p. 296. 

Sozomen relates, that St. Athanasius, being deposed by 
Eusehius of Nicomedia, in the council of Antioch, appealed 


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to Home, and was by the pope reinstated ; the chief care of 
all thmgs, says the historian^ belonging to him by the dignity 
of his chair. — Lib. 3, c, 8. 

Theodoret maintains, that the mighty number of bishops 
who assembled at Eimini, no ways prejudiced the good cause, 
because the pope, whose advice, says he, ought in the fii-st 
])lace to be taken, did not consent ^o what was transacted 
there Lib. 2, c, 22, edit. Frob. p. 462. 

Evagrius assures us, that the fathers of the Council of 
Ephesus, being on the point to judge Nestorius, said tfaey 
were assembled in obedienoe to the canons, and pope Celes- 
tine's letter. — Lib. 1, c. 4, edit Froben p. 726 

Such a host of witnesses in fiiTOur of the* supremacy of SL 
Peter, and his successors, the bishops of Rome, ought, we 
think, to be sufficiei^ly convincing ; but lest there be some of 
the present generation sceptically inclined, we will introduce 
two of the most celebraied eharaeters of the Eeformation, so 
called, to speak to the article impugned. These are the no 
less important personages than Luther aud Henry. The 
former, in his letters to the pope before his condemnation, 
Wi-ites with all submission and acknowledgment of the right, 
power, and supreme authority of the see of Home. In his 
letter to pope LeoX., dated on Trinity Sunday, 1618, he 
says, that he cast himself at his feet, that it belonged to him 
alone to condemn him or absolve him, that he abandoned 
both himself and his cauae to the holy father, resolving to 
receive his decision as coming from the mouth of (Jurist ; 
and in another letter to the same pope, dated the 3rd of May, 
the year following, he acknowledges the church of Home to 
be superior to all. Such were the sentiments erf Luther, 
before he threw off the spiritual obedience he acknowledged 
in the pope,, and before that authority pronounced upon his 
conduct ; but when he found himself condemned, and re- 
quired to retract his erroneoias opinions, he then became 
furious, set up his own ipse dixit against the recorded testi- 
mony of ages, and in renouncing all rule of authority, he 
became a slave to the vilfest passions of human nature. It 

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was this oondact on the part of Luther which called Henry 
forth to hreak a lance with him in the field of controversy ; 
and thus spoke the royal author in reference to the pope's 
authority^ in his Defence of the Seven Sacraments against 
Luther :— " I will not wrong the bishop of Rome so much, 
as trouhlesomely, or carefully to dispute his right, as if if 
were a matter doubtful ; it is sufficient for my present task, 
that the enemy is much led by fury, that he destroys his own 
credit, and makes clearly appear, that by mere malice he is 
so blinded, that he neither sees, nor knows what he says 
himself. For he cannot deny, but that all the faithful honour 
and acknowledge the sacred Boman see for their mother and 
supreme, nor does distance of place or dangers in the way 
hinder access thereunto. For if those who come hither from 
the Indies tell us truth, the Indians themselves (separated 
from us by such a vast distance, both of land and sea,) do 
submit to the see of Rome. If the bishop of Rome has got 
this large power neither by command of God nor the will 
of man, but by main force, I would fain know of Luther, 
whei^ the pope rushed into possession of so great riches ? for 
60 vast a power (especially if itbe^gun in the memory of man), 
cannot have an obscure origin. But perhaps he will say, it 
is above one or two ages since ; let him then point out the 
time by histories ; otherwise, if it be so ancient that the begin- 
ning of so great a thing is quite forgot ; let him know, that; 
by all laws, we are forbidden to think otherwise, than that 
thing had a lawful beginning, which so far surpasses the 
memory of man, that its origin cannot be known. It is cer- 
tain that, by tlie unanimous consent of all nations, it is for- 
bidden to change, or move the things which have been for a 
long time immoveable. Truly, if any will look upon ancient 
monuments, or read the histories of former times, he may 
easily find, that since the conversion of the world, all churches 
in the Christian world have been obedient to the see of Rome. 
We find that, though the empire was translated to the 
Grecians, yet did they still own, and obey the supremacy of 
the church and see of Rome, except they were in any turbu- 
lent schism. 

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180 EEVIEW OF fox's 

'* When Luther so impudently asserts, (and that against 
his former sentence,) * That the pope has no kind of light 
over the Catholic church ; no, not so much as human ; hut 
has by mere force tyrannically usurped it ; I cannot but ad- 
mire, that he should expect his readers should be so easily 
induced to belioTe his words ; or so blockish, as to think 
that a priest, without any weapon, or company to defend him, 
(as doubtless he was, before he enjoyed that which Luther 
says he usurped), could ever expect or hope, without any 
right or title, to obtain so great a command over so many 
bbhops, his fellows, in so many different and divers nations. 

" How could he expect, I say, that any body would believe, 
(as I know not how he could desire they should,) that all 
nations, cities, nay kingdoms and provinces, should be so 
prodigal of their rights and liberties, as to acknowledge the 
superiority of a strange priest, to whom they should owe no 
subjection ? But what signifies it to know the opinion of 
Luther in this case, when (through anger and malice) he 
himself is ignorant of his own opinion, or what he thinks ? 
but he manifestly discovers the darkness of his understanding 
and knowledge, and the folly and blindness of his heart, 
abandoned to a reprobate sense, in doing and saying things 
so inconsistent. How true is that saying of the apostle ! 

* Though I have prophecy, and understand all mysteries and 
knowledge ; and though I have all faith so as to remove 
mountains, and have not chaiity, I am nothing.' Of which 
charity Luther not only shews how void he is, by perishing 
himself through fury, but much more by endeavouring to 
draw all others with him into destruction, whilst he strives to 
dissuade them from their obedience to the chief bishop, whom, 
in a three-fold manner, he himself is bound to obey, viz. as 
a Christian, as a priest, and as a religious brother ; his dis- 
obedience deserving to be punished in a treble manner : he 
remembers not how much obedience is better than sacrifice ; 
nor does he consider how it is ordained in Deuteronomy, 

* That the man who will do presumptuously, and will not 
hearken unto the priest, (that stands to minister there before 

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the Lord thy God,) or unto the judge, even that man shall 
die.' He considers not, I say, what cruel punishment he 
tlcjserves, that will not obey the chief priest and supreme 
judge upon earth. For this poor brother, being cited to ap- 
pear before the pope, with offers to pay his expenses, and 
promise of safe conduct, be refuses to go without a guard ; 
troubling the whole church as much as he could, and excit- 
ing the whole body against the head ; which to do, is the sin 
of witchcraft ; and in whom to acquiesce, is as the sin of 
idolatry. Seeing therefore, that Luther, (moved by hatred), 
runs headrlong on to destruction, and refuses to submit to 
the law of God, but desires to establish a law of his own, 
* It behoves all Christians to beware, lest (as the apostle says) 
through the disobedience of one, many be made sinners ; ' 
but on the contrary, by hating and detesting his wickedness, 
we may sing with the prophet, * I hated the wicked, and loved 
your law.' *' 

Having thus established beyond the power of contradiction 
the divine right of supremacy in spiritual matters in the pope, 
we will now proceed to examine the next point which Buniet 
says was inquired into, namely, ** the authority that kings had 
in matters of religion and the church.*' He also states that, 
" Christ was himself subject to the civil powers, and charged 
his disciples not to affect temporal dominion." Admitted ; 
and such is the doctrine of the Catholic church at this moment. 
The pope himself, when a subject of the Roman emperors, 
like his divine. Master, was subject to the civil power, but he 
nevertheless exercised that spiritual authority which was com- 
mitted to him by that same Master, to rule and govern the 
kingdom He came on earth to establish, which was to em- 
brace every foim of tempordl government, and every nation 
in every clime that chose to submit to the law preached unto 
them. This law, as it related to the next world, made no 
distinction between the king and the peasant, the pontiff and 
the friar; all were alike subject to its operations, and the 
ministers of tliis law were independent of the temporal govern- 
ments in the exercise of their spiritual functions. Their 

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182 REVIEW OP fox's 

commission was received from Qod, and they were amenaUe 
to God and his church only for the due performance of their 
sacred duties. But let it not he understood that we are con- 
tending that the clergy owed no ohedienco to the supreme 
temporal government under which tliej lived. As suhjects of 
the state, whether monarchical or democratical — an absolute 
or limited monarchy, or a republic — they were bound to yield 
allegiance to the civil laws of that statey and inculcate the duty 
of obedience to their flocks. Thus, the allegiance of the Ca- 
tholic clergy and people is not divided, as is unjustly repre- 
sented by that portion of the established clergy which is 
opposed to the claims of the Catholic laity of this kingdom 
to be admitted to those civil immunities which unjust laws 
have wrested from them; but it may be sdd to be m<»ie 
firmly gi*ounded than that of other religious denominations, 
because it springs from the essence of Truths and is engrafted 
on the pillars of Justice. This question of the supremacy, 
we see by the public papers, has been agitated in the House 
of Lords by the bishop of Chester, (Dr. Blomficld), and it 
was some time ago objected against the Catholics, by the 
bishop of Peterborough, (Dr. Herbert Marsh), that they 
oould not be good subjects because their allegiance was 
divided. If this objection have any foundation, then were 
our Catholic ancestors but half subjects to their sovereigns ; 
yet the page of history informs us that these ancestors were 
able, though the ages they lived in are described by the 
modern editors as " dark,*' to discern the extent of the pope's 
supremacy, and to interpose their weight in favour of the 
rights of their kings, whenever an ambitious pontiff in the 
chair of Peter presumed to encroach upon them. We have 
many instances in the statute book of barriers to prevent the 
privileges of the English church from being invaded, but 
we need not insert them here. The prdates uncandidly 
confound the allegiance Catholics owe and render to the 
sovereign power of the state, whether vested in a chief magis- 
trate or a council, and the obedience they owe to the head of 
the universal church. In the first case they give implidt 

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fealty as subjects, in the second snbmission as children to the 
head of one family. While they refuse to admit the right of 
the chief magistrate of the state to rule in the church of God, 
they at the same time deny any right on the part of the 
supreme head of that church to interfere in the temporal 
affairs of independent states. Such were the allegiance and 
obedience rendered to the supreme powers in Catholic times, 
when the martial prowess of England was renowned through 
the world, and her people the happiest in existence ; nor 
could they give any other without flying in the face of the 
solemn injunctions of their God. 

Burnet says the king is called head and supreme in scrip- 
ture, and every soul is said to be under him, which, joined 
togethery makes up this conclusion, that he is the $u^eme 
head over all persons. Who but must smile at the logic of 
this prelatic historian ? In what part of scripture is the king 
called the " head and supreme ? " When the Jews sent per- 
sons to tempt our blessed Saviour on the point of subjection 
to the B^man power, what was his answer ? — ** Eender to 
CsBsar the things that are Ccesar's, and to God the 'things 
that are God's." Or, in other words, render to the temporal 
power, of whatever kind soever it may be, the duty of good 
subjects ; and at the same time render to the church, which 
I am about to establish on earth, to be a light to all genera- 
tions to lead them to heaven, that obedience which she may 
exact in my name. Thus SS. Peter and John, when they 
were desired by the synagogue to desist from preaching 
Christ crucified, refused to submit, observing they must obey 
God rather than men. So, when Henry and Elizabeth as- 
sumed the supremacy in spirituals as well as temporals, and 
commanded all to obey their dictates, the Catholics, following 
the example of the two apostles, refused to acknowledge the 
new spiritual supremacy, and many of them sealed the re- 
fusal with their blood, and all suffered penalties and proscrip- 
tions for thus following the divine injunctions of their God, 
In the Jewish theocracy the two authorities were separated, 
and when kings were appointed they were not allowed to in- 

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terfere in the rites of religion, God having selected the high 
priest for that purpose. In the New Testament we see nothing 
about kings being **head and supreme;" and St. Paul, in 
his injunctions to the Eomans, speaks not of the emperor as 
being supreme, but of ihe power ^ the thing itself, as coming 
from God. But if the scripture be so clear on this point, and 
conferred the supremacy on the king by divine right ^ how 
did it happen that Henry, when he coveted the title, applied 
to parliament to confer that honour upon him ? We know 
that Cranmer — the double-faced hypocritical villain, Cranmer 
— composed a book to establish the divine right of kings ; but 
Henry was not so ignorant of the constitution of the country 
as to ground his title on Cranmer's opinion ; so far from it, 
he was sensible that unless he had the sanction of his parlia- 
ment, his claim would have the appearance of being illegal. 
By the power of parliament then, and not by scripture, was 
the supremacy of the Church of England conferred on Henry 
the Eighth, and by the same authority is it now held. 

It is also contended, that "in the primitive church the 
bishops only made rules or canons, but pretended to no com- 
pulsive authority but what came from the civil magistrate ; *' 
and therefore, Burnet says, "upon the whole of the matter, 
they concluded that the pope had no power in England, and 
that the king had an entire dominion over ali his subjects, 
which extended even to the regulation of ecclesiastical mat- 
ters.*' This conclusion shews that those who thus decided, 
paid as little regard to the principles of the civil constitution 
of England, as they did to the divine rights of the church 
of God. Sir Thomas More, however, who refused to admit 
, this power in the king, and was a true Catholic and sound 
lawyer, pronounced this conclusion to be illegal and uncon- 
stitutional. Our constitution knows of no " entire dominion " 
in the king "over all his subjects," nor of any absolute 
supreme power immediately under God, in any sense what- 
soever, independently of parliament. This made the vener- 
able and learned More, who professed to have studied the 
subject as a lawyer with intense application for the last seven 

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years of his life^ saj, '^ that a parliameut can make a king 
and may depose him, and that every parliament man may 
give his consent thereto, hut that the subject cannot be bound 
so in the case of supremacy.*' (See iState Trials.) Hence it 
is clear that Henry, being dependent on his parliament, ac- 
cording to the principles of the constitution, could not take 
upon himself his new title without being authorized by 
parliament; consequently it was a parliamentary grant and 
not a divine right. 

We allow that the primitive bishops pretended to no com- 
pulsive authority, but what came from the civil magistrate ; 
nor can the Catholic church ever claim such power, because 
it was never given to her ; hence we ground omr position^ 


FAITH OR DISCIPLINE. The church of England, however, 
in her 37th article, seems to have made compuhive authority 
a question of faith. It is laid down in that article, that 
power is given by God in the scriptures " to godly princes to 
restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil doers ; ** 
and (m this supposition did Harry and Elizabeth get laws 
passed, making matter of conscience acts of high treason, 
and butchered their subjects without mercy for not conforming 
to their capricious creeds. It may not be amiss to relate 
here the means adopted by Henry to obtain an acknowledg- 
ment of his supreme headship in spiritual affairs. While the 
question of separation from Catharine was going on at Rome, 
Harry contrived to get the clergy into a praemunire for ad- 
mitting Wolsey's legatine power, though it was done by the 
king's privity, if not with his consent By this step their 
persons became liable to imprisonment, and their estates to 
confiscation, so that he got them completely into his power % 
and as few of them were endued with the desire of martyr- 
dom, they basely and cowardly submitted to the monarch's 
wishes, and agreed to allow him his demands, which were, 
that no constitution or ordinance should thenceforth be enact- 
ed, promulgated, or put in execution by the clergy, unless 
the king's highness approved of it. This took place in 1532. 

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186 REVIEW OF fox's 

He next tried the council, where a debate was held, whether 
it were convenient for the king to assume to himself the 
supremacy in ecclesiastical affairs? In opposition to this 
question the following speech is put down in Lord Herbert's 
History. " Your highness is come to a point which needs a 
strong and firm resolution 5 it being not only the most im*- 
portant in itself, that can be presented, but likewise of that 
consequence that it will comprehend your kingdom and 
posterity. It is, whether in this business of your divwce and 
second marriage, as well as in all other ecclesiastical aiOfiairs, 
in your dominions, you would make use of your own or the 
pope's authority. For my own part, as an Englishman* and 
your highness 's subject, I must wish all power in your high*- 
ness. But when I consider the ancient practice of this 
kingdom, I cannot but think any innovation dangerous. For, 
if in every temporal estate, it be necessaiy to come to some 
supreme authority, whence all inferior magistracy should be 
derived ; it seems much more necessary in religion, both as 
. the body thereof seems more susceptible of a head, than any 
dse ; and, as that head again, must direct so many others. 
-We should, therefore, above all things, labour to keep an 
unity in the parts thereof, as being the sacred bond which 
knits and holds together, not its own only, bui all other 
government. But how much, sir, should we recede from the 
dignity thereof, if we, at once, retrenched this its chief and 
most eminent part ? And who ever liked that body long 
whose head was taken away ? Certainly, sir, an authority 
received for many ages ought not rashly to be rejected. For 
is not the pope communia pater, in the Christian World, and 
arbiter of their differences ? Does not he support the majesty 
of religion, and vindicate it from neglect? Does not the 
holding his authority from God keep men in awe, not of 
temporal alone, but eternal punishments ; and therein extend 
his power beyond death itself? And will it be secure to lay 
aside those potent means of reducing people to their duty, 
and trust only to the sword of justice and secular arms? 
Besides, who shall mitigate the rigour of laws in those cases. 

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which may admit exception, if the jope be taken awaj ? 
Who shall presume to give orders, or administer the sacra- 
ments of the church ? Who shall be depositary of the oaths 
and leagues of princes ? Or fulminate against the perjured 
infractors of them ? For my part (as affairs now stand), 1 
find not, how, either a general peace amongst princes, or any 
equal moderation in human affairs, can be well conserved 
without him. For, as his court is a kind of chancery to all 
other courts of justice in the Christian world ; so if you take 
it away, you subvert that equity and conscience which should 
be the rule and interpreter of all laws and constitutions 
whatsoever. I will conclude, that I wish your highness (as 
my king and sovereign) all true greatness and happiness ; 
but think it not fit, in this case, that your subjects should 
either examine by what right ecclesiastical government is 
innovated ; or enquire how far they are bound thereby ; since, 
beside that it might cause division, and hazard the overthrow 
both of the one and the other authority, it would give that 
offence and scandal abroad, that foreign princes would both 
reprove and disallow all our proceedings in this kind, and, 
upon occasion, be disposed easily to join against us." 

Notwithstanding these excellent sentiments, which clearly 
shewed the existence, utility, and necessity of a spiritual 
supremacy, to set bounds to the ambition and violations of 
unjust sovereigns, Henry packed a parliament in the year 
1534, which passed an act setting forth, ''That albeit, the 
king was supreme head of the church of England, and had 
been so recognized by the clergy of this realm in their con- 
vocation; yet, for more corroboration thereof, as also for 
extirpating all errors, heresies, and abuses of the same, it 
was enacted, that the king, his heirs and successors, kings of 
England, should be accepted and reputed the supreme head 
on earth of the church of England, and have and enjoy, 
united and annexed 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 

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188 EBViEW OP fox's 

of the same church belonging or 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 and repress, redress, reform, order, correct, 
restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, 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 
GK)d, the increase of virtue in Christ's religion, and the 
conservation of the peace, unity, and tranquillity of the 
realm : any usage, custom, foreign laws, foreign prescription, 
or any thing or things to the contrary thereof notwith- 

Burnet would further persuade us that the clergy were 
unanimous in acknowledging the right of the king to the 
supremacy, bishop Fisher only excepted. This is a pre- 
sumptuous falsehood, and is contradicted by the records of 
history. Sir Thomas More suffered death for no other cause 
than denying the supremacy of the king in matters of re- 
ligion. He, as we have before said, spent much time in 
studying the question, and there cannot be a doubt but that 
he examined the books published on both sides, and particu- 
larly those in favour of Henry's claim, which Burnet repre- 
sents to have had the powerfiil effect of converting ^* all the 
bishops, abbots, and fnars of England, Fisher only excepted,'' 
to the king's side. Now what was the result of M ore's 
search ? On receiving sentence of death, he thus addressed 
the court : ** Well, seeing that I am condemned, God knows 
how justly, I will speak freely for the disburthening my 
conscience what I think of this law. When I perceived it 
was the king's pleasure to sift out from whence the pope's 
authority was derived, I confess, I studied seven years 
together to find out the truth of it, and I could not meet witii 
the works of any one doctor, approved by the church, that 
avouch a layman was or ever could be the head of the 
church." And when the chancellor replied : '^ Would you be 

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esteemed wiaer or to have a slncerer conscience than all the 
bishops, learned doctors, nobility and commons of the realm ?" 
Sir Thomas answered : '' I am able to produce against one 
bishop, which you can produce on your side, a hundred holy 
and Catholic bishops for my opinion, and against one realm 
the custom of all Christendom." Bishop Fisher held the 
same sentiments, as we find recorded in his life by Dr. 
Bailey. After sentence of death had been passed upon him, 
the prelate thus delivered himself to the judges: — "My 
lords, I am here condemned before you of high treason, for 
denial of the king's supremacy over the church of England ; 
but by what order of justice I leave to God, who is the 
searcher both of the king's majesty's conscience and yours. 
Nevertheless, being found guilty (as it is termed) I am, and 
must be, contented with all that God shall send ,* to whose 
will I wholly refer and submit myself. And now to tell you 
more plainly my mind touching this matter of the king's 
supremacy, I think indeed, and always have thought, and do 
now lastly affirm, that his grace cannot justly daim any such 
supremacy over the church of God, as he now taketh upon 
him; ^neither hath it ever been seen or heard of, that any 
temporal prince, before his days, hath presumed to that 
dignity : whereof, if the king will now adventure himself in 
proceeding in this strange and unwonted case, no doubt but 
he shall deeply incur the grievous displeasure of Almighty 
God, to the great damage of his own soul, and of many 
others, and to the utter ruin of this realm, committed to his 
charge ; whereof will ensue some sharp punishment at his 
hand : wherefore, I pray God, his grace may remember him- 
self in time, and hearken to good counsel, for the preservation 
of himself and his realm, and the quietness of all Christen- 

To shew how little reliance is to be placed on Burnet, and 
the total disregard he shewed for truth, when writing his 
History of the Keformation, we will here insert some collec- 
tions from Stow, of the sufferers for denying the supremacy 
of the king, beside the above mentioned illustrious characters. 

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190 REVIEW OF fox's 

The reader will then be able to judge whether " all the 
bishops, abbots, and friars of England; Fisher only excepted, 
Were so far satisfied with them, that they resolVed to comply 
with the changes the king was resolved to make ;" and idso 
of the bloody means that were put in execution to make them 
satisfied with these changes. 

Sir William Peterson, priest, late c(Hnmissary of Calais, 
and Sir William Richardson, priest of St. Mary's in Calais, 
were both there hanged, drawn, and quartered, in the market- 
place, for the supremacy, p. 579. 

Dr. Wilson, and Dr. Samson, bishop of Chichester, were 
sent to the Tower for relieving certain prisoners who had 
refused to subscribe to the king's supremacy. And for the 
same offence Richard Farmer, grocer of London, a rich and 
wealthy citizen, was committed to the Marshelsea, and after 
arraigned, and attainted in a prcemunire^ and lost all his 
goods ; his wife and children thrust out of doors, p. 680. 

Robert Bams, D.D., Thomas Gerrard, parson of Honey- 
lane, and William Jerom, vicar of Stepney-heath, batchelors 
in divinity ; also Edward Powel, Thomas Able, and Richard 
Fetherston, all three doctors, were drawn from the Tower of 
London to West Smithfield. The three first were drawn to 
a stake, and there burnt: the other three were drawn to a 
gallows, and there hanged, beheaded and quartered. The three 
first, as appears in their attainders, were executed for dtvers 
heresies ; the three last for treason ; to wit, for denying the 
king's supremacy, and affirming his marriage with Catharine 
to be good. p. 581. 

Thomas Bmpson, sometime a monk of Westminster, who 
had been a prisoner in Newgate more than three years, was 
brought before the justices in Newgate; and for that he 
would not ask the king's pardon for denying his supremacy, 
nor be sworn thereto, his monk's cowl was plucked off his 
back, and his body reprieved, till the king was informed of 
his obstinacy, p. 591. 

Dr. Forest, a friar observant, was apprehended, for that in 
secaret he had dedared to many, that the king was not 

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SQpreme head of the church. Whereupon he was condemned ; 
and afterwards, upon a pair of new gallows, set up for that 
purpose in Smithfield, he was hanged bj the middle and arm- 
pits, alire, and under the gallows was made a £re^ wherewith 
he was burnt and consumed, p. 577. 

Hugh Farringdon, abbot of Keading, and two priests 
named Rugg and Owen, were hanged and quartered at 
Reading. The same day was Richard Whiting, abbot of 
Glastonbury, hanged and quartered on Torehill, adjoining to 
his monastery. John Thorn and Roger James, monks, the 
one treasurer, the other under-treasurer of Glastonbury 
ehurch, were at the same time executed. Also, shortly after, 
John Beck, abbot of Colchester, was executed at Colchester : 
all for denying the king's supremacy, p. 577. 

Six persons, and one led between two, were drawn to 
Tyburn ; to wit, Laurence Cook, prior of Doncaster, William 
Horn, a lay-brother of the Charter-house at London, Giles 
Horn, gentleman, Clement Philipp, gentleman of Calais, 
Edmund Bolhelm, priest, Darey Jennings, Robert Jennings, 
Robert Bird : and all there hanged and quartered, as haying 
been attainted by parliament, for denying the king's supre- 
Biacy. p. 581. 

Sir David Jenison, knight of Rhodes, was drawn through 
Southwark, to Sir Thomas of Watterings, and there executed 
ior denying the king's supi*emacy. ib, 

G^nnan Gardiner, and Lark, parson of Chelsea, were 
•xeeuted at Tyburn, for denying the king's supremacy ; as 
likewise one Ashby. p. 585. 

It ift a fact, indisputably proved, that Henry VIIL wa« 
the^r«^ king of England that ever gave leave to bishops to 
exercise jurisdiction without being approved of at Rome, the 
JSrst that ever styled himself head of the church, and the ^rsi 
that ever made it treason to refuse that title. This assump- 
tion surprised all Europe, and well might it do when this very 
same king had stood forth the champion of the pope's su- 
premacy, as of divine right, against Luther, when that arch- 
heretic threw off the yoke of obedience. Henry charged 

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192 REVIEW OF fox's 

Luther with acting under the influence of anger, and malice, 
and hatred, and so it was with Henry himself. His defence 
was written hefore he hecame enamoured of Anne Bolejn, 
and when his mind was impressed with the duties and ohliga- 
tions of a Christian sovereign ; hut when his heart was filled 
with the flame of lust, and, like Luther, he found himself 
restrained and condemned hy the lawful authority of the 
. church, then it was he gave loose to his passions, and in his 
rage to vex and mortify the holy father who reproved him, 
with a view to hring him to a sense of duty, he resolved to 
destroy, as far as ho was ahle, that supremacy which he had 
acknowledged and proved to he of divine origin, and involved 
his kingdom in all the horrors of schism and corruption. 
Perfectly sensible that reason and argument would only 
retard and render his designs abortive, he employed the civil 
sword to establish his spiritual supremacy, and made pebse- 
CUTION the basis of his new church. We have shewn the 
use he made of the knife, the halter, and the fagot, to intimi- 
date the clergy and learned into submission ; it only now re- 
n^ains for us to shew how the people were brought over to 
the views of the court. To grant spiritual supremacy to a lay 
prince was an idea so repugnant to the people, that the propo- 
sition was everywhere received with suspicion and wonder. To 
remove these feelings, Harry gave orders to have the word 
'* pope '* erased out of every book used in the public worship 
of the church ; every schoolmaster was ordered diligently to 
inculcate the new doctrine to his pupils ; all clergymen, ^m 
the prelate to the curate, were directed to teach, every Sunday 
and holiday, that the king was the true head of the church, 
and the pope's supremacy a mere usurpation ; and to prevent 
the truth from being known, it was made high treason for 
any one to print or pitblish any work against the spiritual 
supremacy of this monarch ! Thus, in the process of time, 
the people became immersed in error, and this state of dark- 
ness has continued to the present day ; though. Heaven be 
praised, the mist is gradually dispersing, notwithstanding the 
efforts of designing and ignorant revilers, and the rays of 
truth are beaming on this long benighted nation. 

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Haying thas given an outline of the doctrine of siipremacj, 
we must now return to the subject of the divorce and intro- 
duce two more prominent characters in this momentous 


Previous to the establishment of Henry's supremacy by 
act of parliament, an act was passed, condemning all appeals 
to Borne, though the king had been for years appealing to 
that see, but in vain, to be released from his virtuous wife. 
This act^ like the suppression of the pope's supremacy, had 
its origin from rage, vexation, and disappointment The 
next circumstance of importance was the raising of Thomas 
Cranmer to the primacy of the English church, which is thus 
stated in the Book of Martyrs : — " Warham, archbishop of 
Canterbury, having died the preceding year, was succeeded 
by Cranmer, who was then in Germany, disputing in the 
king's cause with some of the emperor's divines. The king 
resolved to advance him to that dignity, and sent him word 
of it, that so he might make haste over : but a promotion so 
far above his thoughts, had not its common effect on him ; 
he had a true and primitive sense of so great a charge, and 
instead of aispiring to it, feared it ; and returning very slowly to 
England, used all his endeavours to be excused from that ad- 
vancement. Bulls were sent for to Bome, in order to his conse- 
craticm, which the pope granted, and on the 30th of March, 
Cranmer was consecrated by the bishops of Lincoln, Exeter, 
and St. Asaph. The oath of the pope was of hard digestion to 
him. He there made a protestation, before he took it, that he 
conceived himself not bound up to it in any thing that was 
contrary to his duty to God,to his king, or to his country ; and 
this he repeated when he took it." — The modem editors have 
made a little free here with Burnet, and left out the conclu- 
sion of the last sentence, which is this : " so that if this seemed 
too art^ficicU for a man of his sincerity , yet he acted in it 
fairly, and above board." Such is the way that bishop Burnet 
f^mpts to bolster up the perjury of his hero. But let ua 


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194 EEVIBW OF fox's 

look a little deeper into the conduct of this man of anceritj, 
this leader in the work of Reformation in England. It was 
in 1 529 that Cranmer put himself at the head of the party 
that favoured the divorce of Catharine. In the year follow-' 
ing he wrote a hook against the lawfulness of the queen's 
marriage, in which he flattered the predominant passion of 
the king, and became thereby a great &vourite of the mo- 
narch. Burnet represents him, at this time, as devoted ilo 
Luther's doctrine, and was considered as the most learned of 
those who favoured it. Miss Anne Boleyn, the same author 
states, had also received some impressions of the same doc- 
trine. Henry, however, was ignorant of these dispositions 
and designs of the enemies of the Catholic faith, and the 
better to deceive him, this arch-hypocrite continued to say 
mass and conform to the Catholic worship, while, according 
to Burnet, he was a Lutheran in his heart. While the suit 
of the king was pending at Rome, Cranmer was sent into 
Italy to manage the cause of Henry. In the discbarge of 
this duty he went to Rome, where he carried on the work of 
dissimulation so well, that the pope made him his penitentiary, 
which office he accepted, though he was a Lutheran in his 
heart. From Rome he goes to Germany, to conduct the 
king's case with his Protestant friends, and here, though he 
had voluntarily sworn to observe perpetual chastity at his 
ordination as a priest, he privately married Osiander's niece^ 
a brother reformer, and one of the most profane and dissolute 
wretches of the age. Some authors say he debauched her, 
and was then compelled to marry her. This circumstance 
is not sufficiently authenticated to be given as fact, but the 
marriage itself is certain. Cranmer, as we have before 
stated, was expelled Jesus' college, Cambridge, for engaging 
in wedlock, contrary to the statutes of the university, but his 
wife dying he was admitted into holy orders, on which he 
solemnly engaged to lead a life of celibacy : but with this 
man of sincerity solemn oaths were no more binding 
than the wind ; nor did he hesitate at any profligate act 
of villany which was necessary, to further his ends, and 

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BOOK bF martYrs. 195 

serve the lustful passions of his master. It was after Cranmer 
had engaged asecofid time in v.edlock, that the archbishopric 
-of CanteHbury was offered to him, which he accepted with 
apparent reluctance, in order to appear with better grace. 
But, though Cranmei* and his reforming colleagues made a 
jest of the sacred canons and their oaths, to gratify their 
brutal lusts, yet the new-elect bishop was well aware that 
Harry had an utter aversion to married priests, and there- 
fore it was necessary to dissemble stilL What then was he 
to do ? In this perplexity a lucky device came into his head, 
which, however, was very near ending tragically. Mr. Mason, 
in his work of the Consecrations of English bishops, says, 
** Cranmer kept his wife secret for fear of the law, and that 
they reported she was carried up and down in a chest, and 
that at Gravesend the wrong end of the chest was set up- 
wards," by which mistake the good woman was in great 
danger of having her neck broken. 

Such was the man whom Henry nominated to the see 
of Canterbury. The pope, who knew no error in him but 
that of maintaining the invalidity of Henry's marriage, 
which, as the holy see had not then decided, he was at full 
liberty to do, granted him the necessary bulls, which Cranmer 
scrupled not to receive and acknowledge, though, according 
to his prelatic panegyrist, he disowned in his heart this very 
authority. V\ e have seen him assooiating with the reformer^ 
in Germany, and approving of their new doctrines ; we now 
see him, at the nomination of a Catholic king, for Henry 
had not yet renounced the pope's supremacy, and by the 
permission of the pope, submitting to the doctrine and dis- 
cipline of the church of Rome, and consenting to take the 
highest dignity of that church in England, for the express 
purpose of preserving its privileges, and seeing that its canons 
were duly enforced. Previous to his consecration as arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, he had to take an oath of fidelity to 
the holy see ; this, Burnet says, " was of hard digestion to 
him ;'* but Tom was never at a loss for expedients, until he 
had run his career, by meeting with that same terrible end 

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which he had, with cold-blooded malice, prepaored £(h* fiO 
many others. He who pretended unwillingDOSs to accept the 
high station offered him ; he who had such " a true and 
primitive sense of so great a charge ;** he who, '' instead of 
aspiring to it, feared it ;" — he could deliberately call his God 
to witness an act which he intended the world should think 
him sincere in performing, while inwardly and secretly, it is 
said, he protested against it. Was ever such a consummate 
act of perjury committed before ? Can we wonder ihstper^ 
jury is now become a trade in this Protestant country — ^this 
land of bibles and immorality, — when we have such an ex- 
ample of premeditated false-sweaiing here set before them 
in the person of their first Protestant primate, who is extoUed^ 
too, as having a primitive sense of the high religious charge 
he was then entering upon. One of the gross calumnieft 
raised against the Catholics by the adherents to the blessed 
work of Eeformation was, that they paid no regard to the 
sanctity of an oath, and that the pope could dispense with 
tho obligations of an oath at his pleasure. Such an infamoua 
charge^ though often repeated, and believed by too many at 
this day, was never proved against the Catholics ; but here 
we have Cranmer treating a solemn compact with his God 
as a mere idle ceremony, by no means binding, and absolving 
himself from its obligations even before he was invested wi^ 
his high functions. 

We have Cranmer now seated in the primate's chair of 
the English church, after having taken the oath of fidelity 
to the see of St Peter, as supreme over the universal church 
of Christ. He had also, as solemnly, engaged to preserve 
the church of England in all her rights and privileges, such 
as he found them when he was installed archbishop of Can-* 
terbury, and as they had been secured by one of his prede-> 
cessors, cardinal Langton, under Magna Charta. Cranmer, 
however, was no sooner seated in his high office, than he 
began to play the sycophant, the hypocrite, and the tyrant. 
The pope, who had granted the necessary bulls to authorize 
Cranmer to act canonically as archbishop, could not be 

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kt>i]ghl to consent to the divorce of Catharine ; and Henry, 
wiio had taken upon himself to be supreme head of the 
diarch in England, was resolved upon a divorce ; and he was 
Airtker detormined that there should be some shew, some 
^^0aranc0 of nutkoriii/, for this separation from his lawful 
wife. But then there was a great obstacle in the way, whidi 
was, to diseover in whom this power, or authority, was lodged, 
and who was to be the executive minister to put it in force. 
To get over this difficulty, Cranmer abandons his promise of 
fidelity to thepope,and feigning himself another Nathan sent to 
repvtfve a second David, or a John Baptist censuring a Herod, 
he writes a serious letter, by virtue of his arehieiHSOopal 
ao&ority^ on Harry's incestuous marriage with Catharine ; 
'* a marriage," he said, ** the world had long been scandalized 
witii/' and declared that, for his part, he was deteroiined to 
mxS&r no kmger so great a scandal. He therefore concludes 
by requesting his majesty to empower him, the archbishop, 
to examine and pronounce a final sentence tipon the question. 
Aecofdingly, the king has an instrument drawn up, which 
he signs and seals, giving the primato authority to call a 
«ourt, and put an end to the dispute between him and his 
lail^iul wife. As this document is a novelty in the annals 
of history, we will here give the words of it, for the amuse- 
ttient oi the reader. '* Wherefore ye, whom God and Wfi 
have ordained archbishop of Canterbury, and primate of this 
our realm of England, to whose office it has been, and is ap* 
p«*taining, by the sufferance of us and our progenitors, as 
you write yourself most justly and truly, to order, judge, 
ftnd determine mere spiritual causes within this our realm. 
Therefore in your most humble wise, you apply unto us, in 
the said letters, to grant unto you our license to proceed to 
the examination and final determination of the said cause, 
in exoneration of your conscience towards God. Wherefore 
we, inclining to your humble petition, by these our letters, 
sealed with our seal, and signed with our sign manual, do 
license you to proceed in the said cause, and to the exami* 
feuiticm ftud final determination of the same." Here is 

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198 . HBVIEW OF FOX'« 

hjpocrisj in perfection, "^lien Crantner wrote hit letter, li^ 
knew that Catharine had heen expelled the nuptial bed, a&d 
that a private marriage had already taken place between 
Anne Bolejn and Henry. Then again, the king, who i» tlid 
dinner, empowers Oranmer, the reprover, to aift and pro^ 
pounce upon the case. The man by whom, next to Qod^ 
Cranmer was raised to his office, aecordii^ to HanryV laws^ 
is to be judged by the creature he made ; a yery pretty 
judgment, a very impartial decision, by no means to be sus- 
pected, must of course be the result. That the queen though 
so, we may infer by &e respe^H she paid to Ae £uree aboitl 
to be acted. 

Cranmer was oonsecrated on the 3(>th of March, 1533# 
imd on the 20th of May following, he opened a court al 
Dunstable, by the strength of the above instrument, consist'- 
ing of bishops, divines and civilians. Here he summoned 
las royal ordainer, who answered by his proctor. He theil 
^uuimoned Catharine, who nobly scorned his summons and 
disowned his authority. For this dignified o<mduct she 
was pronounced contumacious, and on the 23rd of that sam6 
n)onth, the aichbishop pronounced sentence, that the marriage 
between Henry and Catharine was void from the beginning* 
T\iBi such a sentence would follow must have been anticipated 
by every man of common sense, but what can he think of the 
archbishop, who, though he denied in his heart the authmity 
of the pope and the holy see, yet, in the sentence he pro-i 
nounced, takes upon himself the Utle of legate of the hdy 
see-apostolic I Five days after he had separated Hairy 
from his lawful wife, by a marriage that had received the 
sanction of the pope and all the learned men of that age \ 
that had been defended as valid by the l»ightest and mo^ 
learned men then living; Cranmer confirmed the private 
marriage of Anne Boleyn, though that marriage had been 
contracted bdbre that of Catharine was declared null, a 
circumstance as irregular as unprecedented. Thus then we 
see an affair which had occupied the court of Borne above 
^ven years/ decided by Cranmer in as many wee^, from th^ 

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ttae he entered on his office. Tom soon found out the secret 
^liteir he wag elevated to the supremacy. Let me alone, says 
be to Harry, I will find out the mode by which you shall get 
released from your old but excellent wife, and take an amor- 
ous young damsel to your bed ; and this too without seruph 
to your tender conscienee, which, I know, has been goading 
you, most religious monarch, these seven long years. But 
&ni make me archbishop of Canterbury, and you shall have 
every tiling to your wisbefl« So it turned out ; for Cranmer 
eoneented to every whim and cruelty the capricious and 
fluiguinaiy-minded Harry thought proper to indulge in* 

Well, the decision of Cranmer was communicated to the 
king in a letter from the former, who with the most exquisite 
hypocrisy gravely exhorted Harry to submit to the law of 
Gai, and to avoid those reproach^ which he must have in- 
eiirred by persisting in an incestHous intercourse with his 
¥rother*s widow. But now another difficulty started. It was 
asked, how eould the king proceed to a new marriage before 
the former one was annulled ? Would the right of succession^ 
be less doubtful, in the case of issue by Anne than by 
Ofttbarine ? To silence these questions, Cranmer soon adopted 
an expedient. He cited another court at Lambeth, on the 
28th of May, (excellent speed !) before which the proctor of 
the king appeared, and declared officially that Henry and 
Anne had been joined in wedlock, whereupon the pliant 
arehbishqp confirmed the same by his pastoral and judicial 
anthority, and woe to those who had the temerity to call his 
decision in question. Catharine received an order to assume 
no other title than that of princess dowager, to which ord^ 
she refused to accede, nor would she employ any one. about 
her who did not address and acknowledge her as queen. Her 
fate became the subject of commiseration with foreign na- 
tions, and in England the popular feeling was in her favour* 
Most men, to be sure, had the prudence to be silent, but the 
women loudly expressed their indignatio i at the treatment of 
their queen. To check their boldness and inspire some awe# 
Henry committed the wife of the Viscount Eochford to the 

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200 KBYIBW OP fox's 

Tower. When Clement VII. learned what Cramner had 
been doing, and that Anne Boleyn was actaallj married to 
the king, he hesitated no longer on the matter. He formaUj 
annulled the sentence given by Cranmer, as uncanonieal and 
nnauUiorised ; and excommunicated Henrj and Anne, unless, 
thej should separate bj a certain time, or shew cause why 
thej claimed to be husband and wife. 

We must now bring AnniB before our readers, and let. our 
new archbishop retire for a time tct the back ground, Burnet, 
and the Book of Martyrs, say, *< The conypcation hayings 
thus judged in the matter, the ceremony of pronouncing the-, 
divorce judicially was now only wanting. The new queen 
being pregnant, was a great evidence of her having preserved 
her chastity previously tO her marriage. On Easter eve, she; 
was declared queen.'' And, in another place, the account 
says, " All people admired her conduct, who during so many 
years managed the spirit of so violent a king, in such a. 
manner as neither to surfeit him with too many fevours, nor. 
to provide him with too mudi rigour. They that loved the 
Reformation, looked for better days wuler her protection f. 
but many priests and friars, both in sermons and discourses, 
condemned the king*s proceedings." Liars, they say, have, 
but short memories, and bo it turns out with this bishop 
Burnet, and the modem editors of the Book of Martyr$ ; 
for here they confess that many priests and friars openly, 
condemned the proceedings of Henry, whereas they told us,: 
but a few pages preceding, that << all the bishops, abbots, . 
and friars of England, Fisher only excepted,*' were unani- 
mously satisfied with Henry s proceedings. Again, how are 
we to reconcile this statement, that Nancy's conduet was ad-, 
mired, 'Muring so many years ,** by the people, when the 
people are represented as taking part with her unfortunate 
but magnanimous rival, and she lived but three years with 
the king after her public marriage with him. If those ** tliat 
loved the Reformation, looked for better days under her pro- 
tection," they found themselves most egregionsly mistaken, ~ 
for JiaiTy.didnot begin to be that sanguinary monarch ha. 

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shewed hiraselj^ until he became acquainted with Miss Bolejn 
and Tom Cranmer, when he gave way to that insatiable lust 
and merdless cruelty which stain his character and cast a 
stigma on the human name. Even Burnet acknowledges 
that '* it does not appear that cruelty was natural to him. 
For, in twenty -five years' reign, none had suffered for any 
crime against the state>" except two individuals, while in the 
last ten yeurs <rf his reign the scf^olds were reeking with 
blood, and the fttgots constantly blazing. So that it is clear 
the merit here imputed to Anne Boleyn should be given to 
Catharine, with whom he lived happily and contented until 
he cast his eye on the wanton thus eulogized. But the mbst 
curious logic of these editors, is the attempt they make to 
V>lster up the chastity of this Angel of the Me/ormatton, 
whose pregnancy previous to the divorce of Catharine is made 
a proof of her immaculate continency. What a system of 
deception have the people of England been subjected to since 
the days of that thing cdled the Beformation. It is a no-- 
torious fact to those who are acquainted with history, that 
Anne Boleyn was the kept mistress of Henry for some time, 
and that she firould not have been married so hastily as she 
was, had she not proved in a family way be/ore her marriage, 
which manriage took place previous to the former connubial 
«ontract the king had engaged in being declared void. Yet 
we are h^e told, by men pretending to give a true knowledge 
•f ifie principles of Christianity, that the very state of 
pregnancy of a woman not married, but afterwards married 
when the king had another wife, was ^* a great evidence of 
her having preserved her chastity previously to her mar- 
riage." This may be Protestant chastity — this may suit a 
Protestant bishop — ^but no Catholic, whether bishop or lay- 
man, ivill be found to whitewash such an open and barefaced 
state of incontinency and adultery. 

Neither was her conduct, after she became queen, such as 

drew upon her the admiration of the people. For two years 

lifter her coronation historians take very little notice of her, 

only ^t she favoured the progress of Lutheranism, which 

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pleased ardibiBhop Cranmer, and was fi^ ^tn being agrecfr 
able to the king. One trait of her feeling we will b^^ gi^Q 
in the words of Mr. Echard^ a Protestant divine, from his 
History of England. Catharine died on the 5tli of January, 
1536, and ** the king," Mr. EcLard says, '* received the news 
of her death, not without tears, and ordered her to be buried 
in the abbey -church of Peterborough, But queen Anne did 
pot carry herself so decently as became a happy rival, ex-* 
pressing too much joy, both in her behavour and habit. Il 
was but a few months after ibsi this flourishing quieen mel 
with a fall more unfortunate and fatal than the other." This 
was in a violent death, which we shall relate by and by ; but; 
we must here apostrophize, to render a tribute due fo virtue 
and misfortune, and relate the death of the noble-minded 
princess in the language of Dr. Lingard. 

'* During the three .last years Catharine, with a small e»*. 
tablishment, had resided on one of the royal manord. In most 
points she submitted without a mXirmm* to the royal pleasure ; 
but no promise, no intimidation could induce her to for^o 
the title of queen, or to acknowledge the invalidity of h^ 
marriage, or to accept the ofl(^ made to her by her n^hew, 
of a safe and honourable asylum either in Spain or Flanders. 
It was not that she sought to gratify her pride, or to secure 
her personal interests : but she still cherished a persuasion » 
that her daughter Mary might at soom futUre period he 
called to the throne, and on that account refused to stoop ta 
any concession which nught endanger or weaken the right 
of the princess. In her retirement she was harrassed 
with angry messages from the king : sometimes her servants 
were discharged for obeying her orders ; sometimes were 
sworn to follow the instructions they should receive from the 
(»)m*t : Forest, her confessor, was imprisoned and condemned 
for high treason : the act of sueces^on was passed to defeat 
her c*laim ; and she believed that Fisher and More had lost 
their lives merely on account of their attachment to her cause. 
Her bodily constitution was gradually enfe^led by mental 
suffering : and jfeeling her health decline, she repected k 

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reqiiest which had often been refused, that she might see her 
daughter, once at least before her death. For Mary, from 
the time of the diyorce, had been sieparated from the com- 
pany, that she might not imbibe the principles, of her mother. 
Bat at the age of twenty she could not be ignorant of the 
injorieB which both had suffered ; and her resentment was 
daily strengthened by the jealousy of a hostile queen, and 
the caprice of a despotic &tlier. Henry had the cruelty to 
refuse this last consolation to the unfortunate Catharine, who 
from her death-bed dktated a short letter to * her most deai* 
lord, king, and husband.' She conjured him to think of his 
salvation ; forgave him all the wrongs which he had done her ; 
recommended their daughter Mary to his parental protection ; 
and requested that her three maids mi^ be provided with 
suitable marriages, and that her other servants might receive 
a year's wages. Two copies were made by her direction, of 
which one was delivered to Uenry, the other to Eustachio 
Ohapuys, the imperial ambassador, with a request that, if 
b^ husband should refuse, the emperor would reward her 
servants. As he perused the letter, the stem heart of Henry 
was softened : he shed a tear, and desired the ambassador to 
hear to her a kind and consoling message. But she died 
befofe hb arrival, and was buried by the king's direction with 
becoming pomp in the abbey church of Peterborough. The 
teputation which she had acquired on the throne, did not 
suffer from her disgrace. Her affability and meekness, her 
piety and diarity, had been the theme of universal praise : 
the fortitude with which she bore her wrongs, raised her still 
higher in the estimation of the public." 

Such is the acconnt given by this eloquent writer of the 
last mom^its of ibis model of womankind, and even Burnet 
and the modem editor? are compelled to acknowledge, that 
** she was exemplary, patient, fmd charitable;" and that ** her 
virtues and her sufferings created an esteem for her in all 
ranks of people.*' This acknowledgment we consider a 
complete contradiction to their former statement, that all 
people admired the conduct of her rival, Anne Boleyn, whose 

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204 • tiEtifiw or Ff)x'8 

persoitat niaDiicnv and d^ttment were tlie xeirj oppoeite of 
€atharine*fl. Anne had given birth to a princess eig^ 
months after her marriage, who was named Elisabeifa, and 
ikfterwards became queen. In the same month that CSatharine 
died, she felt the pains of premature labour, and was ^eliYcml 
of a dead male child. This accident proved to Henry a 
l)itter disappointment, as it was a second failure to his hopea 
of male issue: and in the moment of vexation he upbraided 
Anne^ who retorted upon him that he had no one to blame 
but himself, and that her miscarriage had been ewing to hia 
fondness for her maid. This was Jane Seymour, who afiaiv 
wards became queen, and the incident is thus related : '^Whes 
the news of Catharine's death reached the court, Henry, evi 
of respect to her memory and virtues, ordered his servants to 
wear mourning on the day of her burial, while Anae decked 
heradf out in the gayest of her apparel, and appeared in tha 
highest spirits, saying that now «he was indeed a qoeen, Mnce 
fihe had no rival. But in this she found herself unluckily 
deceived, for in the midst of her joy, sha accidentally disv 
covered her sorant Jane, before mentioned, sitting on the 
king's knee. Jane was the daughter of a knight of Wilt^ 
shire, remarkable for her beauty, and the 8%ht of tiua 
• familiarity awakened the flame of jealousy in Ajme's mind, 
and produced premature labour. Thus the very circumstanee 
which she imagined was a completion oi her triumph 9 by the 
dispensation of a just Providence, turned out to be her &11» 
By her levity and indiscretion, so contrary to the manners of 
the late queen, she had given occasion to the retailers of 
scandal to set up some ugly reports of her conduct, which 
coming to the ears of Henry^ an unfavourable imprebsion was 
made on him, which led to Anne's immediate disgrace and 
imprisonment Before, however, we proceed in this imp<Mrtn 
ant and interesting affair, we will here give the aceount of it 
as we find it in the Book of Martyn. 

" The Popish party saw, with disappointment and concern, 
that the queen was the great obstacle to their designs. She 
^m not^onfy m tbti king'i atesm, but in the lov4 tf ihe 

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BOOK OF MAimrRS. !20^ 

iMtifoit. During tke last nitid inonths of her life, she be-^ 
«towed above .£14,000 in alms to th$ poor, and segm^d to, 
ddfffhi in doing good. Soon after Catharine's death, Anne 
bore a dead son, whieh was believed to have made an un- 
&T0urab1e impression on the king's mind. It was also 
considered, that now queen Catharine was dead, the king 
nUghi marry anothery fmd regain the friendehif of the pope 
and the emperor, and that the iesue by any Oth&r marriage 
wmid never he queetiofied. With these reasons of state the 
king's affections joined ; fbr he was now in hve (if so heart- 
less a monster was oapaUe of feeling love) with Jane 
Beymoor, whose disposition was tempered between the 
gravity of Catharine and the gaiety of Anne. The latter 
used idl possible arts to re-inflione his dying affection ; bat 
he was weary of her, and therefore determined on her de-^ 
struetion; to effect which h» soon found a pretence. Lady^ 
Boehford, wife to the brother <^ Anne, basely accused her 
husband of a criminal intercourse with his sister ; and Norris, 
Weston, and Brereton, the king's servants, wi£h Smeton, a 
musician, were accused of the same crime. 

** She was confined to her chamber, and the ^re persons be- 
fore mentioned were sent to the Tower, whither, the next day, 
she also was carried. On the river some piivy counsellors 
came to examine her, but she made deep protestations of her 
innocence of the crimes laid to her charge. Those who 
were imprisoned on her account denied everything, except 
Smeton, who, from hopes of favour and acquittal, confessed 
that he had been criminally connected with her ; but denied 
it when he was afterwards brought to execution. 

" The queen was of a lively temper, and having resided 
long in the French court, had imbibed somewhat of the 
levities of that people. She was also free from pride, and 
hence, in her exterior, she might have condescended too 
much to her familiar servants. 

" Every court sycophant was now Tier enemy ; and 
Cranmer formed the only and honourable exception. An 
wder was therefore procured, forbidding him to come to 

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20$ ftBViBW OP fox's 

courts yet he wr<»te the king a long letter updn this critical 
juncture^ wherein he acknowledged^ that * if the things re- 
ported of the queen were true^ it was the greatest affliction 
that ever befel the king, and therefore exhorted him to bear 
it with patience ctnd submission to the will of Ood; he con* 
fessed he hever had a hetter opinion of any woman than of 
her; and that, next the king^ he was more bound to her than 
to aU persons living, and therefore he hegged the king's 
leave to pray that she might be found innocent; he loved 
her not a litde, hecause of the love which she seemed to bear 
to Ood and his gospel; hut if she was guilty, all that hued 
the gospel must hatr Tier, as having heen the greatest sland^ 
possihle to the gospel ; hut he prayed the king not to enter"- 
tain any prejudice to the gospel on her account, n(nr give the 
world to say, that his love to that was founded on the inJUk^ 
enee she. had with him.' But the king was inexorahle. The 
prisoners were put on their trial; when Smcton pleaded 
guilty, as before ; the rest pleaded not guilty ; but all were 

When we take . into consideration the treatment of the 
Popish party, as the Catholics are called by Burnet, we need 
pot be surprised that they felt concern, or that they looked 
upon Anne Boleyn as *^ the great obstacle of their detigns." 
Between the proclaiming of Anne as queen and her fall, the 
nation had witnessed the violent death of two of the greatest 
men of that age, and the execution of several religious men« 
for denying the supremacy of the king, which he had as<* 
9umed, the suppression of several religious houses, which were 
the friends and supporters of the poor, and all their lands 
and goods conferred, upon the king by an act of parliament, 
as were the first-fruits and tenths* In these acts of robbery 
and cruelty Cranmer took an active part. The venerable 
bishop Fbher, who had been a counsellor to the king's 
father, Henry VII., executor to the king's mother, and con- 
fidential adviser to the king himself, was summoned before 
this base upstart and consummate hypocrite, who, along with 
C^xMnw^ll, a butcher's son of Ipswich, but now. in high favoiur 


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with Henrjy b^cau&e Le could pander to his wishes, and a 
]<H*d Aadley^ was appointed oommissibner to take Fisher's 
answer concerning the oath of supremacy. The venerahle 
liishop appeared according to summons, and had not Cran* 
mer's conscience heen seared with iron, he must have felt 
compunction and shame, on heholding a man grej in jears^ 
and clothed with the brightest and most heroic yirtuesi 
standing before him to speak to a question which he^ his 
judge, had acknowledged under the solemnity of an oath* 
But Cranmer's heart was steeled against pity and virtue, and 
Uie appearance of the venerable confessor of the Catholic 
faith moved him not. When brought before the commis-^ 
siooers, he informed them that he had examined the oath iu 
Bin its bearings, and that he could not take it with a safe 
conscience, unless they would give him leave to alter it in 
sQme particulars. To this request it was answered, that 
V the king would not in any^wise permit that the oath should 
admit any exceptions or alterations whatsoever; '' and, added 
Cranmer, " you must answer direfetly, whether you will or 
wiU not subscribe.'' On this the bishop of Bochester 
promptly and nobly replied, " Then if you will needs have 
me answer directly, my answer is, that forasmuch as my own 
conscience cannot be satisfied, I absolutely refuse the oath/' 
Such a decision on the part of Dr. Fisher must have struck 
tiie pliant Cranmer to the soul, and no doubt did fire him 
with revenge. The bishop was instantly committed to the 
Tower, that is, upon the 26th of April in 1534. While the 
good prelate remained a prisoner in the Tower, every art that 
cunning could devise was practised to gain him over to the 
oath, but he was inflexible. In the mean time a parliament 
was convened on the 23rd of November, which, though it 
lasted but fifteen days, was n<Jt idle in complying with the 
king's wishes. The bishop of Bochester 's imprisonment, and; 
that of all other men who should refuse to take the oath of 
supremacy, was Voted good and lawful, which authority was. 
wanting before, and a statute was passed whereby the suprem- 
acy of the church of England was granted unto the king. 

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308 ti^VIBW OF POX*« 

tnd his successors, as a title and style to his imperial crown, 
with all its honours^ &c.» and with full power to repress, 
reform, correct, restrain, and amend all heresies, &c. Which 
act heing passed was followed hy another, making it treason 
for any one, hy word or deed, to deny the title of supremacy, 
as we have hefore noticed. After heing held in confinement 
somewhat more than a year, he was at last compelled to take 
his trial like a common malefactor, the right heing denied 
him to he tried hy his peers. Several circumstances were, 
deposed against him respecting the supremacy, but the only 
material evidence against him was a prwaie conversation 
which he held with the solicitor-general, which officer was 
base enough to appear against him, but not without r^roof 
from the aged and reverend prisoner, for treachery and breach 
of promise. On this testimony he was found guilty and 
condemned to suffer death, which sentence was executed on 
the 2nd of June, 1535, he being in the 77th year of his 
age. Of this great man the learned and indefatigable his* 
torian Dodd speaks thus in his Church History : — 

" It happened in these days, what is observable upon most 
revolutions, both persons and causes lay under a general mis- 
representation, nmr was the strictest virtue able to defend 
itself against calumny. Bbhop Fisher, a person of primitive 
behaviour, the oracle of learning, and whom Erasmus styles 
the phoenix of the age ; a man universally applauded in every 
article of his life, excepting that point for which he died ; and 
yet even here he shewed such a contempt of all woridly 
advantages, that his greatest enemies, when passion did not 
transport them, were forced to acknowledge his sincerity. 
Yet notwithstanding the advantage of his character, to put a 
gloss upon the proceedings of the court, it was judged neces- 
sary to have him represented' to the people as an obstinate, 
avaricious, lecherous old man, and a fit object 4>f the king's 
wrath and indignation ; with which sort of calumnies. Bale, 
Ascham, and some other virulent writers have fouled their 
pens, whilst others of the party have generously removed the 
qalumny. However the people were so over-awed i^ their- 

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behaTioiir in his regard, that no one durst speak a word, or 
move a step in his hehalf ; wh^-eof there cannot he a greater 
instance, than the disrespect that was shown to his hodj 
after he was heheaded ; no friend he had durst approach it ; 
it lay exposed naked upon the scaffold, fix)m the time he 
suffered tUl eight o'dodc in the eyening, when two watchmen 
hoisted it upon their halherts, and carried it into AlUhallows 
Barking church- jard, where it was thrown naked into a hole^ 
without either coffin, shroud, or any other ceremony hecoming 
his dignity, or even that of a Christian. His head indeed 
was taken care of, and, as it is reported, first carried to Anne 
Boleyn, who heing induoed hy an unnatural curiosity to view 
that countenance which had so often heen displeasing to her, 
and flirting her hand against his mouth with a kind of scorn, 
one of his teeth projecting, she struck her finger against it, 
which razed the skin, and afterwards hecune a chargeahle 
wound, the scar whereof remained as long as she lired. Hi» 
head was afterwards placed upon London hridge, hut wHhin 
a fortnight, by order of council, was thrown into the Thames^ 
This was done to prevent superstition; for the whole city 
crowded to see it, upon a report that certain rays of light wer& 
obsMired to shine around it. It was also thought proper to 
remove it upon a political account ; fbr the clouds being now 
in a great measure dispersed whi<^ darkened the bishop's 
character, the people began to express themselyes with a great 
deal of freedom in his favour, and the exposition of his head 
only served to renew the memory of so worthy a prelate, and 
give occasion to many to exclaim against the proceedings of 
&e court. He was a stout champion far the. dignity of 
the sacerdotal order; and though he would not suffer 
the laity to insult the clergy, upon account of their mis* 
behaviour, yet he was always one of the first that moved 
for a redress, i^ a canonical way, and was himself, by his lifb 
and conversation, the model of a true refonnation,'' As a 
proof of t^e very extraordinary learning and industry of this 
holy man, Dodd sets down twenty-one works which he com- 
posed in .Latin, which were published in one f>Uo volume/ 

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anno 1505, besides a History of the Bivorce in MS.> ohcein' 
the possession of Dr. Philips, dean of Eochester, who fearing^ 
it should be fonnd upon him, and he by that tneans get into 
trouble, committed it to the flames soon after bishop Fisher's 
death. It is also said, that nearly a horse-load of manuscript 
works were burned after he was condemned. 

Of Sir Thomas More, who suffered in the following month, 
and who was upon the most intimate terms with bishop Fisher, 
we must be allowed to say something, as we passed his death 
over alightly under a preceding head. This great lawyer was 
tr^anned in the same manner as the bishop, by Bicfa, the 
solicitor-general, and Sir Thomas complained in court, that 
be had been drawn in by flattery and false friendship, and 
that his words had been strained and misreported. In our 
account of the supremacy, we stated that Sir Thomas More 
suffered death on no other account than that he would not 
eonsent to allow the king to be supreme head of the church, 
but we did not then state his reasons for tiiis denial, which 
be grounded on a political^ as well as a religious principle. 
He told them that the oath imposed by the statute was neW| 
and never heard of before, either in England or any other 
Christian country ; that it was expressly against the law of 
die go^el, which had long conferred the spiritual supremacy 
upon St. Peter and his successor ; that it was directly against 
several statute laws of England, still in force, and particu- 
hrly against Magna Charta, whereby all Hie rights of the 
church, as usually practised, were constantly and expressly 
oonflrmed, among which, obedience to the see of Eome^ in 
all matters purely spiritual, was always understood ; and that 
the statute was contrary to the king's coronation oath, which 
obliged him to maintain and defend the aforesaid privileges. 
This last objection reminds us of Cranmer's religious con- 
sideration of an oath ; but, to reverse an old saying, like man 
like master, Henry having got a primate to his own mind, 
and ready to do all his dirty work, Tom could dispense with 
Harry's oath as easily as he could with his own> and Harry 
had no conscientious scruples about it, since the dispensation 

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bad all the form of laVr. Well, Sir TKomas, a& erery one 
might have foreseen, and probably did foresee, was condemned 
to suffer the penalty of high treason, as his reverend and 
venerable friend had been, a few weeks before him ; and,^^ 
like Fisher, he met his fate like a man convinced of the up- 
rightness of his conduct, and the purity of his conscience. 
He had done his best to vindicate his own character, that 
himself and children might stand unblemished before pos- 
terity, and, full of modesty and remgnation, he submitted his: 
neck to the block on the 6th day of July, in the last-named 
year, in tbe 62nd year of his age. His head was set up on 
London-bridge, where it remained fourteen days, when his 
daughter Margaret found means to convey it away. Of 
this ^^^t toan, Dodd, before quoted, gives the following 
character: — 

" I might dispense with mysdf for entering intoZa detail 
in giving the character of this worthy person, and content 
tnyself with saying, that he was the darling of the age, anid 
a good abridgment (^ all those excellencies which can be 
thooght to nifi^e a layman valuable. Any one of the good 
qualities he was master of was sufficient to have reoom-< 
mended him to posterity ; he was an universal scholar, and 
though he lived at a time, and in a kingdom, remarkable fot 
learned men, yet he was without a rival, both in his way of 
thinking, and tbe manner he had in commimicating himself 
to others. The gospel, the law, poetry, history, dec., were 
made familiar to him ; I might have added, his skill in 
politics^ but this was the rock he split upon. It is true no 
one understood the game better; but, when once he began 
to suspect foul play ,^ he threw up his cards, and withdrew; 
^ Had his temper been mercenary and ambitious he might 
have made his fortune to what degree he had pleased ; but 
he was altogether above the consideration of money, his con^ 
science was not flexible enough for this purposie.' — f Collier^ 9 
Ecclesiasiical History ^ vol. ii.) He had a strong genius, a 
soul impregnated with the best ideas of things, and so bean** 
tiful a way of expressing himself, that it was altogether 

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212 KBTISW OF fox's 

peeoliar to himself; he was capable of giving a relish to the 
most intricate points of law, the most abstracted notions of 
philosophy, and the soundest roles of morality. All the princes 
in Europe both valued and coveted htm, excepting that one 
tiiat enjoyed him ; all the learned men in Europe were am- 
bitious of corresponding wiili him. Both his writings and 
conversation were so well adapted for the general use of 
mankind^ that he seemed formed on purpose to please . and 
instruct. He was witty upon the most serious mattars, and 
all his satires were lessons of morality, and full of compas* 
sion, ^ Some think he indulged his levity too fiir, and thi^. 
his jests were somewhat unseasonable. But, on the other 
side, it may be said, the div^rtingness of some expressions 
might result from the fortitude and serenity of his mind ; 
that his frequent contemplation of death had preserved Inm 
from the least surprise, and that the nearest prospect could 
not disconcert his humour, or make the least alteration upon 
him.' — (iWrf.) It is, indeed, reported of him, by way of 
abatement to his character, that he was no friend to the 
mendicant orders, and sometimes made himself meny with 
some of their ways and practices. To which it may b^ 
re^ed, that his greatest admirers do not pretend to make 
him an angel, or exempt him from the common frulinga 
Others are subject to; but that^ in the main, he was no 
Miemy, either to the mendicants, or any other religious order, 
plainly ai^>ears from what he wrote in their defence, against 
Fish, in a woik called the Supplication of JSouU. As fov 
exposing abuses, provided he k^t within bounds, he cannot 
suiter in his general character upon that aeomnt. And it 
may be farther said, in regard of hbzeal, both for the church, 
and ail the members that composed it, that, perhaps, no 
layman ever published more books in thebr defence, as his 
writmgs against Dr. Barnes, Joy, Tyndale, Fryth, but most 
especially against Luther, are an everlasting proofl'' The 
historian concludes with giving an account of ^ various 
eompoaitiona from the pen of this sound lawyer and honest 
man, which comprised nineteen works in the English Ian* 
guage, verse and prose, and twenty-one in Lfttin. 

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. We will leave the reader to decide, whether the persecu* 
tion and death of these most emioent and irreproadiable 
men were likely to obtain the favour of popular feeling. 
The inainuationSy therefore, that Anne was gaining on the 
love of the nation, was a gratuitious lie, which no <Mie will 
believe after what we have here stated on the authority of 
the most authentic writers. As to the prodigal bounty of 
tills wanton to the poor, and her delight in seeming to do 
good, who, besides Burnet, and the modorn editors of Fox, 
would have ventured such a brazen fedsehood ? Where did 
she get this sum of money ? And how did she expend it ? 
Is it not notorious that her husband was employed, during 
die last nine months of her life, iu robbing the poor of their 
patrimony ; and will it be believed, that this lady, whose life 
was one continued scene of wantonness and levity, was so 
intent on supplying the wants of the poor, while the king 
was increasing those wants ? 

We must now return to the account of Anne, which we 
have quoted from the Book of Marty rt. It is an abridgment 
of Burnet's Abridgment^ and, we perceive, mutilated for the 
purpose of carrying on that system of deception which the 
people of England have been, so long subjected to. For ex- 
ample, in the second paragraph, the queen is represented as 
protesting her innocence, and Smeton is made to charge her 
with guilt, and afterwards to retract the accusation at his 
execution. Now, Burnet in his Abridgment, confesses that 
<< Anne's cheerfulness was not always governed with decency 
and discretion ; ** that she '^ sometimes stood upon her vindi- 
cation, and at other times she confessed some indiscretions 
which she afterwards denied ; ^ that Smeton confessed lewd- 
ness with her ; that he pleaded guilty on his trial, and con- 
fessed that he had known the queen carnally three times ; '> 
and that '* it was said, that he retracted all before he died • 
but of that (he adds) there is no certainty.** Let the reader 
now compare these admissions of Burnet, with the statement 
in the second paragraph of our quotation, and say if the 
modem editors, by their shameful suppressions^ have not 

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214 HE7IEW OF fox's 

been guilty of brazen-faced falsehoods. The fact is, her 
carriage was the very opposite of a virtuous and accomplished 
-woman, as Catharine most undoubtedly was, and therefore 
she had it not her power to command the affections of the 
king as Catharine had, even after he had deserted her to in- 
dulge in the pursuits of lewdness and debauchery. The 
designs and rumours about reasons of state and disappoint- 
ment of party designs, regaining the friendship of the pope, 
and obtaining issue by another marriage, are only so many 
plausibilities, put forth to cover the shame and disgrace of 
this defiler of the king's bed. 

We are next informed that though, but a short time pre* 
vious, this sweet lady was growing in the love of the nation, 
no sooner was she attainted of ciime than every '* court syco- 
phant " became her enemy, except the redoubtable Cranmer, 
who is said to have adhered to her to the last. The contrary, 
however, was the case with our hero Tom, whose conduct 
towards his patroness Anne was marked with duplicity, heart- 
lessness, ingratitude, and treachery, as we shall shew by and 
by. It is necessary here that we should examine the con- 
tents of the letter which our modem editors, on the authority 
of Burnet, say he wrote to the king. The exhortation of 
Oranmer to the king to bear his misfortune with patience, if 
the charges against his beloved fnend Anne were true, is in 
keeping with his hypocritical letter to Henry on his pretended 
incestuous marriage with Catharine, when these two rare 
characters, of English pope and deputy, conspired to remove 
the lawful wife, and make room for the lady that had now 
been unfaithful to his royal holiness. But the asking leave 
to pray for his unfortunate mistress is as curious a request 
as we ever heard of. What I could he not pray without per- 
mission 6rom the king any more than preach 7 l^en the 
cant about the gospel, and the love which Anne seemed to 
bear to it and to God ; — is any one silly enough to believe 
that Cranmer dared to use any such language to Henry, who 
bad so great a predilection for Catholic doctrine, that he made 
Cranmer conform to it, say mass, and ordain priests accord- 

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iug to the Boman ritual for years, though he was, according 
to Burnet, a Frotestaut in hb heart ? Again, what are we 
to think of the archhiBhop's doctrine, that those who laved 
the gospel must hate the queen, not the crime she had com- 
mitted ? The charity of the Catholic church leads her to 
tondemn the offence hut pity the offender ; here, however, 
it is laid down that the love of the gospel inspires hatred to 
the pfrson of the wicked. It is certainly not inconsistent 
with the avowed feelings of the modem editors, who have 
given circulation to this false and uncharitable production 
with the express view of exciting hatred and abhorrence of 
the professors of Popery. Next comes his hope that the 
Icing would not be prejudiced against the gospel on account 
Qi\A^ fickle wife. Truly this is something for Granmer to 
say. Did he imagine then that the king founded his gospel 
notions on Anne's virtues ? A precious foundation, inde^ ; 
but we will acquit Henry of being such a simpleton, for he 
was more rogue than fool, and was probably aware of the 
knavish qualities of the primate he had to deal with. 

Dr. Lingard gives a very different version of this affair. 
This learned historian says, Granmer received an order, on 
the day after the arrest of Anne, to repair to his palace at 
Lambeth, but with an express injunction, that he should not 
venture into the royal presence. This order put the pliant 
riave mto a panic, and to smooth his way he wrote an in- 
genious epistle to the king, in terms similar to those related. 
Dr. Lingard's authority is Burnet, and he says the letter 
♦* certainly does credit to the ingenuity of the archbishop ia 
the perilous situation in which he thought himself placed : 
but I am at a loss to discover in it any trace of that high 
courage, and chivalrous justification of the queen's honour, 
which have drawn forth the praises of Burnet and his copiers." 
Kor can any one else, whose eye is not clouded by prejudice 
and ignorance. The alarm of the archbishop proved to be 
without foundation, though Harry had his reasons for infusing 
a little terror into him. Cranmer, though he had written 
his letter, had not dispatched it ere he was summoned to ipeet 

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-some of the oommission^rs m the star chamber, where proofs 
of the queen*8 offence were laid before hiniy and he was re-^ 
quired to dissolve the marriage between Henry and Catharine. 

<< It must have been/' writes Dr. Lingard, " a most unwel-^ 
eome and punful task. He had eiamined that marriage ju-> 
dioially ; had pronounced it good and ralid ; and had con- 
£rmed it bj his authority as metropolitan and judge. But 
to hesitate might have cost him his head. He acceded to 
the proposal with all the zeal of a proselyte : and adopting 
as his own the objections to its validity with which he had 
been furnished, sent copies of them to both the king and the 
queen, * for the salvation of their souls/ and the due effect of 
law : with a summons to each to appear in his court, and to 
shew cause why a sentence of divorce should not be pro-* 
nounced. Never perhaps was there a more solemn mockery 
of the forms of justice^ than in the pretended trial of thn 
extoaordinary cause. By the king Dr. Sampson was appointed 
to act as his proctor : by the queen Doctors Wotton and 
Barbour were invested with similar powers : the objections 
were read : the proctor on one part admitted them, those on 
the other could not refute them : both joined in demanding 
judgment : and two days after the condemnation of the queen 
by the peers, Cranmer, ' having previously invoked the name 
of Christ, and havmg Gt>d alone before his eyes,' pronounced 
definitively t^at the marriage formerly contracted, solemnized, 
and consummated between Henry and Anne Boleyn was and 
always had been null and void. The whole process was after- 
wards laid before the members of the convocation and the 
two houses of parliament. The former dated not to dissent 
from the decision of the metropolitan ; the latter were will- 
ing that in such a case their ignorance should be guided by 
the learning of the clergy. By both the divorce was approved 
and confirmed. To Elizabeth, the infant daughter of Anne, 
the consequence was that she, like her sister, the daughter 
of Catharine, should be reputed illegitimate." (See the 
Record in Wilkins. Con. iii. 801.) 

The same historian, in a note, observes, '' Burnet, unae- 

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qoftiBted witli this instrumeDt, 'informs us that the divorce 
was pronounced in consequence of an alleged pre-contract of 
marriage between Anne and Percy, afterwards earl of 
Northumberland: that Uie latter had solemnly denied the 
existence of such contract on the sacrament ; but that Anne, 
llui>ugh hope of favour, was induced to confess it. That 
Percy denied it, is certain from his letter of the Idth of 
May ; that Anne confessed it, is a mere conjecture of the 
historian, supported by no authority. It is most singular 
tiiat tJie real nature of the objection on which the divorce was 
founded, b not mentioned in the decree itself, nor in the acts 
of the convocation, nor in the act pf pariiament, though it 
was certainly communicated both to the convocation and the 
parliament If the reader turn to p. 135, he will find 
that the king had formerly cohabited with Mary, the sister 
of Anne Boleyn ; which cohabitation, according to the canon 
law, opposed the same impediment to his marriage with 
Anne, as had before existed to his marriage with Catharine. 
On this account he had procured a dispensation from pope 
Clement: but &at dispensation, according to the doctrine 
which prevailed after his separation from the communion of 
Bome, was of no force : and hence I am inclined to believe 
Ukat the real ground of the divorce pronounced by Cranraw, 
was Henry's previous cohabitation with Mary Boleyn i that 
this was admitted on both sides ; and that in consequence, 
the marriage with Anne, the sister of Mary, was judged 
invalid. Perhaps it may be thought a confirmation of this 
conjecture, that in the parliament, as if an alarm had been 
already created, Henry, at the petition and intercession of the 
V>rds and commons, assented that dispensations formerly 
granted by the pope should be esteemed valid, and all mar- 
riages made in consequence of such dispensations before 
November 3rd, 1534, should stand good in law, unless they 
were prohibited by the express words of scripture. St. 28 
ll«n. VIII. 16." 

Let us pause here a moment, and look into the eon- 
doct of Oranmer towards this unhappy woman. We see him 

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218 *BEVIBW OF fox's 

introduced into Harry's favoifr, through the influence of the 
carl of Wiltshire, father to Anne Bolejn ; we see bim worit- 
ing jealously to place her cm the throne of England, and we 
find it stated by Biimet, that ** they whoIoTed the Refwum^ 
tion, looked for bettw days under her protectioii ; " wbile^ 
Craumer is re^N^esented by the same historian, as the head of 
the reforming party in England ; yet what do we here see? 
Do we not behold the yile and hoary ingcate, not only sacri- 
ficing the diild of his Mend and benefactor to please the whim^ 
of an inexorable tyrant, but even consenting to woimd h&t 
tenderest feelings on the Terge of death, by annulling that 
marriage which he had sol^nidy pronounced good and valid, 
and declaring the child she had brought forth, and whid) hadr 
been christened by him with all the pomp and splendoor of 
religious and royal ceremony, — a bastard. This "oonrtly 
sycophant,'* who is des(»ribed by Burnet and the modern^ 
editors as forming the ^< only honourable exertion" <^i 
attachment to Anne's cause, who is stated by the same an- 
thorities to have assured the king by letter, that next to hinr 
** he was more bound to her than all persons Hving ; " this 
idol of the Reformation, scrupled not to deaert her the mo*' 
ment he found himself in jeopardy, and not only to desert, 
but even to stab her feelings by his base treatment^ in offidaUy. 
tarnishing her chai*acter with infamy, and her ofiGspring wid»^ 
disgrace. Is there a human being impressed with the feel- 
ings of honour, that can refrain from execrating the miscreant 
who could act so infamous and ungrateful a part? Yet thia 
is the man who is put on a level, by Fox and Burnet, and 
their copiers, with a Chrysostom, an Ambrose, and an Austin^ 
It was well for him that he did not live till the in£Emt Elizabetli 
he thus bastardized came to the crown, as that vifyin queea 
would most assuredly have given him a Eoland for his Oiivery 
had he fallen in her way. 

On the very day Cranmer pronounced his judgment, the 
companions of Anne, one of them her brother, were led to 
execution ; and two days aftw, Anne herself was taken to 
the fatal scaffold. In giving the relation of her trial and 

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^teath, Bam^ is serupulouslj carefnl in sa^eenin^ Cranmer 
frotti any share in t^e transactions. His name is not once 
mentioned in the account, though he took so prominent a 
part in annulling the marriage. He gives us, howeYMr, more 
cant in a message said to have b3en sent by Anne to the king, 
in which she thanked himr for ail his favours, and particularly 
**'§br sending her to ber a saint in heaven/' Her Mea of 
sancti^ must have been a little presumptuous we thtnk, as 
it does not appear t^t she ever positively denied or acknow* 
ledged her guilt. That she prevaricated is- admitted by her 
panegyrifitSy and this must be a^wed but a hollow kind of 
hdinesa to entitle aay one to the rank of a smnt in heaven. 
The mod^ra editors, we observe, have suppressed one oir- 
camstanee' connected with the death of this adultri^s^ from 
partiality, we presume, to the character of Anne, and haired 
to that of the bloody' (as she is unjustly called) queen Mary. 
This princessv it will be recollected, was the daughter of 
Cadiarine, aad was not allowed to see her own mother after 
her separation from Henry. Burnet says^ that v4ien Anne 
had intimation of l^r death, she, among o<ii«r things, ** re- 
fleeted on her carriage to lady Mary, to whom G^ie had been 
too severe a stdp mother; so she made one of her women 
sit do<wn, ahd she fell on her knees^ befi)re her and' charged 
her ta go to kdy Mary, add hi tJutt posture, and in her name, 
to ask her forgiveness f(»r all she had done i^ainst her.'' So, 
so ; this candidate for a saintship in heaven ; this protectress 
of the Keformation ; this woman after Cranmer's own heart, — 
was a cruel step mother as well as a faithless wife. Flow 
creditable must this be to the Refbrraatton of which Anne 
and Cranmer are the chief props ! 

Thus, only four montlis after the dea^ of Catharine fBll 
her rivaF Anne Boleyn, as little regarded and respected by 
the people as Olitharine waa beloved and lamented. Even 
Henry, a remorseless barbarian,, could not receive the news 
of hts> Tirtuous wife's death without emotions of grief and 
attachtideni ; but the day on which Anne was executed he 
dressed himself in his gayest apparii, and the next day 

L 2 

Digitized by LjOOQiC 

220 RBVIBW OF fox's 

appeared as a Inidegroom, by taking Jane Seymour for his 
wife. In closing our account of Anne Bolejn, for we have 
much more to saj of Cranmer, it is worthy of ohservation, 
and is mentioned by Dr. Lingard in a note at tlie end of th^ 
fourth volume of Ids interesting History, that, if this queea 
was innocent there was something very singular in the con*, 
duct of her daughter Elizabeth. " Mary/' he says, " no 
sooner ascended the throne, than she hastened to repeal the 
acts derogatory to the honour of her mother. Elizabeth 
sate on it five-and-forty years ; yet made no attempt to vin- 
dicate the memory of Tier moth^nr. The proceedings wero 
not reviewed ; the act of attainder and divorce was not re^ 
pealed. It seemed as if she had forgotten, or wished tho 
world to forget, that there ever existed sodi a woman as 
Anne Boleyn." 

We must now revert back to year 1533, the year Cranmer 
was made archbishop of Canterbury. We find it stated that 
one Frith was burned in this year for heresy, in which case 
Cranmer must have had a hand in his death, he being the 
primate of England and oner of the king's council. Frith is 
described as being a young man muck famed for learning, 
and was i}a» first who wrote in England against the corpcMreal 
presence in the sacrament, l^is admission is not unworthy 
of notice. Christianity had be«n part and parcel of the law 
of the land about 900 years, and the belief in the real pre- 
sence of the sacrament was part of that system of Christianity, 
and had, in fact, been received with the system of our pagan 
ancestors. Well, then, is it not somewhat singular 'that 
during this long space of years no one should become en- 
lightened with ^e truth in this country, though it abounded 
with learned men, but this man Frith ? We are told, too, 
that his book falling into the hands of Sir Thomas More, 
^b^t learned scholar answered it. It is further said that, 
^* Frith never saw the answer until he was put in prison ; and 
^hen, though he was loaded with irons, and had no books 
allowed, he replied.*' Prodigious I This Frith must have 
J)een a v^ry plever mai% But as he was not allowed to have 

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any booka, how came he hj Sir Thomas Morels answer to 
him? And was be allowed pen, ink, and paper, though 
denied books ? This is rather inconsistent. Frith is stated 
to haye followed the doctrine of Zuinglius, and in his reply 
he insisted much on the argument, '* that the Israelites did 
eat the same food, and drank of the same rock, and that rock 
was Christ ; and since Christ was only mystically and by 
faith received by them, he concluded that he was at the pre- 
sent time also received only by faith. He shewed that Christ's 
words, * This is my body,' were accommodated to the Jewish 
phrase of calling the lamb the Lord's passover ; and con- 
firmed his opinion with many passages out of the fathers, in 
which the elaments were called signs and figures of Christ's 
body ; and they said, that upon consecration they did not 
cease to be bread and wine, but remained still in their own 
proper natures. He also shewed that the fathers were 
strangers to all the consequences of that opinion, as that a 
body could be in more places than one at the same time, or 
could be in a place in the manner of a spirit ; yet he con-* 
claded that, if that opinion were held only as a speculation, 
it might be tolerated, but he condemned the adoration of the 
elements as gross idolatry.'' 

This disciple must have been learned indeed to make these 
discoveries, but none but fools and enthusiasts, we think, 
can give credit to his logic. How the plain words of Christ 
could be accommodated to the Jewish phrase, we cannot 
divine, but probably Frith had the same being for a teacher 
that his master had. Zuinglius informs us that he had great 
difficulty in obscuring the clearness of the expression of our 
Saviour, * This is my body ; * but, in the midst of his diffi- 
culty, the devil, (whether black or whiUi he could not tell), 
helped him out of it by assuring him, that, in the language 
of scripture, "this m meaned this signifies;*' and, upon 
this authority, Zuinglius grounded his doctrine. With regard 
to the passages out of Ihe Others, we wish that these pas* 
sages had been given, which we think would have been the 
case, if truth had been the object of Fox, or Burnet, or the 

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modem editors. Of the fathers of the first &ve Ages, "we 
have quoted passages from their works shewing that they 
helieved the same as Catholics now, aud always did, believe, 
imd if Frith had discovered that the passages in the works of 
any of the fathers had been mistranslated or &Isified by 
Catholie writers in defence of the doctrine of the real pre- 
sence, why were they not pointed out ? This would have 
been the way to defend the eajuse of truth } this would have 
confounded his antagonists, and shamed his persecutors. 
But such a eo^se was not adopted, and the reason for it was, 
ijk coiidd not be so, the fathers being clearly on the Catholic 
sidet Henry himself wrote ip defence of the doctrine of 
transubatantiation, against Luther, in which the royal author 
says, " The D»ost holy &th^^, seeing diese things, took aU 
possible care, and psed their utmost endeavours, that th^ 
greatest f^ith imaginable should be had towards this most 
pFO|Htiatory sacrament; and that it should be worshipped 
firitb the greatest hpnpqr possible* And for that cause, 
amPPg^t many other things, they, with great care, delivered 
us this also : ' That the bread and wine do not remain in the 
eiuqbarjistf but is pnJy changed into the body and blood of 
Christ.' They taught mass to be a sacrifice, in which Christ 
himeelf is truly offsred £or the sins of a Christian people. 
And, so £ELr as it was lawful for mortals, they adorned this 
imrowtal mystery with venerable worship and mystical 
fites ; they oprnmanded the people to be present in adoratioi^ 
of it, whilst it is ^lebrated, for the procuring of their salva- 
tion. Finidly, lest the laity, by forbearing to receive the 
#aqrame^t, should, by little and little, omit it for good and 
all, they have estaUished an obligation that every man 
^)all revive at least onoe a year. By those things, and 
many of the like nature, the holy fathers of the church, in 
several ages, have demonstrated their cai'e for the faith, and 
veneration of this adorable sacrament." The royal disputant 
is clearly opposed to Frith, and shews that, so far from the 
^hers being strangers to the consequences of the opinion 
that a body c^uld be in mpre places than one at the samQ 

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^me, ikej held it as a positive doctrine, that, ba noising was 
impoBtibie to Gtod, his body could be in as many places a$ he 
.{^eaawd, and who can dispute the fact without denying the 
oamtp^^Bce of God? 

It is a piece of extreme modesty on the part of Frilh^ to 
allow the toi^ntion of the opinion if held only as a apecuk^ 
turn, " but he oondemned," we are told, " the adoration of 
the elements as gross idolatry," What ! then, we are to 
snj^Kiee that if this enlightened reformer had been in pos^ 
session of power, he woidd have served the believers in tran- 
substantiation the same as they served him. But these 
words are put into this man's nsouth, or rather they are 
foisted on him as part of his book. Who are the men that 
adore the elements of bread and wine? Not Catholics. 
Indeed we know of no men so simple. It is a gross insin- 
uation, intended to impose on i}ie credulous, and make them 
bdieve that Catholics, in adoring the Host in the great and 
•august sacrifice of the mass, ^ve worship to the elements of 
bread and wine ; whereas the homage is paid to Ood himself, 
which he commanded should be given, which the apostles, 
•and every nation on &e face of the earth on receiving the 
light of Christianity, gave to him. It was left to the re- 
formers of the sixteenth century to impugn the doctrine of 
tl^ real presence, and deprive their Mind followers of the 
most sublime sacrifice ever offered to the Creator of mankind, 
as Luther and Zuinglius acknowledged in their works. 

** For these opinionHf" the narration goes on, " Frith was 
jsetzed, in May, 1533, and brought before Stokesley, Gar- 
diner, -and Longland." So, ' then /> alter all, Frith 's discov- 
tKies were only opinions^ grounded on the whim or caprice 
<^ the mind, and not the received doctrines delivered by 
Christ to the apostles. There was also an apprentice exe- 
cuted with him, one Hewett, on the same account. This 
Hewett, Stow writes, was a tailor, and we think it would have 
been better for htm if he had minded his thimble and sleeve- 
board, instead of dabbling in theology, which he certdnly 
could not have been qualified to engage in. To come at the 

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224 BETIEW OF fox's 

true cireumdtances of the death ^ tiese two men is a mtMc 
of great difficulty, we might say an impossibility, at iiA^ 
day ; we shall, therefore, content ourselyes with obsernng, 
that if Fritb and Hewett confined their specakttre 0|miion» 
to ttiiraiselve», and did not attempt to disturV the peaoe of 
the king, it was an act of injustice to piunsk tfaem; bot^if 
they acted in defiance of the law, and attempted to heani 
the constituted authorities, surely those authorities were ai 
duty bound to notice the transgression. We are persimde4 
thi^ Frith and Hew^t were notorious brawlers and disturbecft 
of ^e peace, or they would not have been punished in ii» 
manner they were. We are neither attempting to palHi^ 
nor justify their deaths. We condemn relijfious perseeatio& 
as nraen as any man, but it should be shewn that those wto 
have sufiered for their ofunions or ereed, have suffered soleh 
and exclusively on that account, and not for creating seditioa^ 
tumult, or perhaps treason, as we shall shew to have been 
the case with some of the pretended martyrs in Mary's reign, 
and as we have shewn was the ease with many that have 
already been noticed by us. 

But why should the proceedings against Frith be thou^it 
to carry with them the spirit of persecution, any mose than 
the proceedings which occur in our days, in the eourts of 
justice, when religious fanaticism inspires some bewildered 
wight to create disturbance in the streets, w inmlt the min^ 
ieters of religion? The public journals relate the trial of 
a man named Hale, in the month of March, 1825, for 
creating confusion, and disturbing the service of the church 
in St. Clement's Banes, in the Strand This man, who had 
been an industrious shoemaker, and realized a property, be- 
came fascmated with scripture interpretation, and ccmceived 
himself somebody of importance in Bible disputation. Bie 
got himself into trouble by spending hismoney in drculating 
handbills and pamphlets among the soldiers to dissuade theii 
from fighting, which he maintained was contrary to tli^ 
scripture. Now he is in prison for challenging the rector oi 
a parish to public disputation iu the churchy havii^ beoii^ 

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tried and firaod guilty by a jury of his oountrymen, and sen- 
tenced to pay a fine, whidi being unable or unwilling to do, 
lie is eenttnaed in imprisonment until he complies with his 
Mi^enoe. There can be no doubt that this man is impelled 
hj what he considers a sense of duty ; but it is evidently an 
€Erreneons impression^ and therefore it is necessary, for the 
aake of peace and justice, that he should be restrained from 
laying his freaks. Such a proceeding can no more be fairly 
tomed perseoutton, than the execution of a real male&ctor ; 
neither can we cdl the case t^ Frith an act of religious per- 
aeeotion, unless it ean be dearly proved that he was burned 
mAfAj and ezdnsively for belieying in the opinions set forth. 
But admitting that he suffered for conscience sake, and that 
Jie was martyred fbr the truth, where was the great and he* 
foie Oranmer, the chief promoter of the ^formation, tiiat 
he did not attempt to save the life of Frith ? He was <lien 
the primate of all England ; he was fiiUy convinced, we are 
infonned, of the necessity of a Beformation ; yet he coolly 
allowed poor Frith to be burned for opinions whidi he 
privately held himself, but openly taught the contrary. 
Yerilyy this Tom Cranmer was a villain of the blackest dye. 
The modem editors tell us, ^* thb was the laSt instance of 
the cruelty of the clergy at that time ;" and <' gave the new 
preachers and their followers some respite." They would 
have come much nearer the truth, had they said, that now 
the bloody work commenced of hanging, embowelling, and 
qmrtering, for conscience sake. The king Was now, by act 
of parliament, supreme head of the phurch, and was em- 
powered to reform all heresies and idolatries; or rather, what 
he and his satdlites might term heresies and idolatries, as it 
suited their caprice or interest. The queen, too, that is, the 
^laste Anne Boleyn, for we are treating of a period anterior 
to her death, according to Burnet, '* openly protected the 
refinrmers ; she took Latimer and Shazton to be her chap- 
iains, and promoted them to tiie bishoprics of Worcester and 
Salisbury. Cranmer is rq>resented as *' well prepared for 
tbat work, to which the providence oi God now called him ;" 

L 3 

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22^ R^VftSW ^P FOX*« 

aad ''Oromwell was his great and constant friend." Thds^ 
then, ererj thing was well arranged for the blessed woriL cut 
out bj the reformers, and it is now our duty to potat <mt 
what that work was. fiut first let ns give the reader some 
aocoimt (^ the new diaracter we have before us, and who 
' made so conspicuous a figure in the transaodons of the daj, 
till be at last fell into the trap he bad prepared for some oi 
those who were opposed to his ink^uitous deeds. 

Thomas Cromwell was born at Putxiej, near Londo&y hi« 
lather being a Uaoksmith at that place. In the early part o/ 
his life he entered as a private soldier in the duke of Bourbon's 
army, and was at the pillage of Rome by that general, so 
that he was early initiated in the soenes of n^aeity wM^ 
afterwards followed in his own country. Eeturoing h(»ne, he 
was taken into the service of cardinal Wolsey, by whom he 
was employed to manage the revenues of the disserved 
monasteries, which the cardinal had designed for his pro* 
jected new colleges. On the fi^l of his master, Cromwell 
rose out of his ashes, and became the favourite and confidant 
of Henry, who raised him to several plaees of honour aai 
profit, and at last made him vicar-g^ierai to his royal pope- 
ship, a post never before heard of, and we believe never 
enjoyed by any other man. By degrees his honours swelled 
into titles. He was first created lord Cromwell, iheia made 
a knight of the garter, and afterwards eai'l of Essex. This 
last title was conferred upon him for being the chief {projector 
of the match between Henry and Anne of Cieves, which 
afterwards tni^ed to his down^U. Such was the man who 
was made '< vicar^general, and visitor of all the monasteries 
and churches in England, with a delegation of the king's 
supremacy to him ; he was also empowered to give commis- 
sions subaltern to himself; and all wills, where the estate was 
in value above £200, were to be proved in his court. This 
was afterwards (Burnet says) enlarged: he was nuide the 
king's vicegerent in ecclesiastical matters ; had the preoedenee 
of all persons, except the royal family ; and his authority was 
in all points the same as had been formeriy exettnsed by the 

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i>ope*s legates." Tet, be it obseired, this Cromwell was a 
hi>jman. In parliament this son of a blacksmith sat before 
the archUshop of Canterbury, Cranmer, and he superseded 
him in the prendencj of the eonvooalion. This degradation 
caused some murmnrs among the bishops, but farther mortifi* 
cations were reserved for the men who had basely deserted 
their duty and bowed to usurped power. They were exhorted, 
and meanly complied, to admit that they did not derive their 
pow^ from Christ, but were merely the delegates of the 
crown. To such a degree of humiliation were these men 
reduced, who but a short time before were looked upon as 
the instructors of the people, the protectors of their rights, 
and the fathers of the poor. 


Befmie we prooeed to detul the horrible sacrileges, and th^ 
Vandalic outrages perpetrated by our gospel reformers, under 
the doak of religion, in which savage and unjust proceedings 
Oraomer and Cromwell acted so conspicuous a part, we shall 
put the reader in possessi<m of the origin and benefit of the 
monastic orders, th^ a clear view may be seen of the vast 
misc^ef that accrued to the literature, morality, freedom, 
and happiness of the country, by the destruction of these 
seats of learning, virtue, and hospitality. No order of men, 
we believe, have been subjected to so much calumny, scur- 
rility, and invective, as the orders of monachismwn the 
Catholic church, and no order of men are more entitled to 
the praises of the world for the good they have done mankind. 
The monastic order is almost coeval with Christianity, and 
existed in this island before the second conversion of its in- 
habitants by St Augustine, who was himself a monk. Dr. 
Miiner, in his History qf Winohsater^ speaking of the monks 
erf that cathedral, says, "It is certain there were many other 
xnonast^ies at this period in Britain, as, for example, those of 
Bangor, Glassenbury, Abingdon, ike. Of the first mentioned 
monastery three abbots were famous, Pelagius, the heretic, 
A.D. 400 ; Gildas, the writer, in 650 ; and Nennius, the 

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228 HEYIEW OF fox's 

hlsiorian, in 620." The monastic orders were also estabiiifaed 
in Ireland on the preachkig of Christkinitj there, the famous 
monastery on the isle of Arran having been founded bj St. 
Ail bee, who was a disciple of St. Patrick, and as the light of 
truth spread through the country, monasteries were founded 
and endowed by the piety of the new converts. These instil 
lutions were governed by rules grounded on the purest prior 
eiples of charity and piety, and everywhere shed a lig^t of 
cheerfulness, virtue, and content, not only among the inmates 
of the cloister, but among the different classes of villagers 
which sprung up around the monastery; for it should be 
observed, that there was scarcely a town or village in Eng- 
land that did not owe its origin to the foundation of some 
monastery, the recluses in which were the instructors of the 
ignorant, the physicians of the sick, the comforters of the 
helpless, the supporters of the traveller, imd the fttthers of 
the poor. To give some idea of the extent to which <^ 
rules of hospitality were carried, it is recorded that there 
were sometimes no less than 500 travellers on horsebaek en- 
-lertained at a time at Glassenbury abbey. Now, as the monks 
were bound by their rules to provide all travellers, from the 
baron to the beggar, with all necessaries, some notion may be 
formed by this one fact of the vast public benefit that accn^d 
from these institutions. But this is only a single advantage 
derived from these calumniated orders. To them we may 
consider ourselves indebted for those civil rights which form 
the fundaniental pillars of the British Constitution, and which 
in its pure state is the most perfect system of rational liberty 
ever devised by the human mind. 

It has been fashionable, since the destruction of these 
religious orders, to represent the members of them as " la^y 
idle drones," and whether we look into a novel or romance, 
or glance at the stage, we shall see the monk pourtrayed aa 
a monster of intemperance, gluttony, lewdness, and every 
species of villany that defiles the human heart. To set the 
reader right on these detestable practices to keep alive pre- 
judices and foster ignorance we will here give the life of a 

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monk^ from Dr. Milner's Wineh^stsrt vol. il: p. 116. The 
learned hbtorion^ ^>6aking of the Benedictine order founded 
in that city, writes: — ** The objects of this course of life may 
be learned from the rule of that saint ; name! j^ to withdraw 
as much a^ possible from dangerous temptations, also to learn 
mtd practise the gospel lessons in their original strictness and 
peiibction. Its primary and essential obligations were, to 
have all things in common with their bretbi*en, no person 
Ibeing allowed to possess any property as his own ; to observe 
po^tnal chastity ; and to live in obedience to their religious 
superiors. It will be supposed that prayer occupied a great 
part of their time. In the following account, however, of the 
economy of a monastic life, it is to be observed that the 
spiritual exercises, called the canonical hours, were, with 
aome variatiims as to the times of performing them, equally 
incumbent on secular canons and the clergy in general as on 
ihe monks. The time of the monks' rising was different, 
according to the different seasons of the year, and the festivals 
that were solemnized ; but the more common time appears to 
have been about the half hour afiter one in the morning, sO 
as to be ready in the choir to begin the night office, called 
l^octumsB VigilifiB, by two. When these consisted of three 
noctums, or were otherwise longer, the monks of course rose 
much earlier. . In lat^ ages, the whole of this office, and 
that of the Matutin^ Laudes, were performed together, and 
took up, in the singing of them, about two hours. There 
was now an interval of an hour, during which the monks 
were at liberty in some convents (for this was far from being 
the case in all) again to repose for a short time on tiie'r 
eouches ; but great numbers every where spent this time in 
private prayer. At five began the serrice called Prime ; at 
the conclusion of which the community went in procession to 
the chapter-house, to attend to the instructions and ezhorta* 
tions which wo have spoken of above. The chapter being 
finished, they proceeded again to the church, to assist at the 
early, or what was called the Capitular Mass. This being 
fini^ied, th^*e was a space of an hour, or an hour and a half ^ 

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which was employed in manual labour or in study. At eight 
they again met in the dioir to perform the office called Terce^ 
or the third hour, which was followed by the High Mass ; and 
that again by the Sext or the office of the sixth hour. 
These services lasted untU near ten o'clock, at which time, in 
later ages, when it was not a fasting day, the community 
proceeded to the refectory to dine. They returned after 
dinner processionally to the church, in order to finish their 
solemn grace. There was now a vacant space of an hour or 
an hour and a half, during part of which, those who were 
fatigued were at liberty to take their repose, according to the 
custom in hot countries, which was called from the time of 
the day when it was taken, the Meridian. Others employed 
this time in walking and conversing, except on those days 
when a general silence was enjoined. At one o'clock, None, 
or the ninth hour, was sung in the chmr, as were Vespers at 
three. At five they met in the refectory, to partake of a 
slender supper, consisting chiefly, both as to victuals and 
drink, of what was saved out of the meal at noon ; except on 
fasting days, when nothing, or next to nothing, was allowed 
to be taken. The intermediate spaces were occupied with 
spiritual reading, or studying ; or with manual labour, which 
frequently consisted in transcribing books. After the evening 
refection, a spiritual conference or collation was held, until 
the office called Complin begSh, which, with certain other 
exerdses of devotion, lasted until seven o'clock ; when all 
retired to their respective dormitories, which were long 
galleries containing as many beds as could be ranged m 
them, separated from each other by thin boards or curtains. 
On these the monks took their rest, without taking off any 
part of their clothes." Let the reader now say whether the 
charge of laziness, so often applied to monkhood, be or be 
not a false and foul imputation. 

To this valuable body of men we are indebted for much 
of that ancient literature we now possess, and indeed, had it 
lnot been for their industry and care, the bible itself might 
have been lost to the world. To give some light as to the 

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Extent and asefalQess of the k^ours of these hoi j and humble 
men m transcribing books, before the art (^ printing was 
known, there were in the library at Peterborough one thousand 
'.sfiren hundred MSS. Leland and Stow tell us the library of 
the Grey Friars in London, built by Sir Kiehard Whittington, 
was one hundred and twenty-nine feet long and thirty-one 
broad, and well filled with books Ingulf says, that when 
the library at Croyland was burned in 1091, seven hundred 
books were lost by the fire. In a word, each monastery had 
ita library, and the greatest care and' labour were used to 
have them w^ furnished mth useful volumes. The libraries 
of the greater monasteries w^e likewise the depositaries of 
tbe charter of liberties, the acts of parliament, and other 
documents of moment. The registers of kmgs and public 
transactions were compiled and preserved in them. It was 
in one of these monasteries that Stephen Langton, the 
oardinal archbbhop of Canterbury, found a copy of the 
charter of liberties granted by Henry the First, which he 
commimioated to the barons, who were dissatisfied with the 
faitUess and tyrannical proceedings of king John, and by 
means of this document and their own patriotic steadiness 
they wrung from the tyrant monardi the great bulwark of 
British freedom. Magna Gharta. 

Su<^ is a brief outline of the religious orders which Gran* 
met and Cromwell sought to abolish, before they could intro* 
duoe those novdties in religion which the former afterwards 
contrived to-estaldish in this country. To prepare the way 
ior this change and conspiracy against the liberties and hap- 
inneas of the kingdom, the most malicious reports were set 
on foot, charging the monasteries with engrossing and mono- 
polizing trade and manufactures ; visitors were appointed by 
Cromwdl, to sifb and examine into the conduct of the reli- 
gious of both sexes ; and that this hitherto unheard-of In- 
quisitioh might not be disrelished by the peo{^e, plausible 
reasons were given out, to smooth the most odious part of 
the business. Great pain^ were now taken to cause it .to be 
balifived that the most criminal abuses existed in these reo^ 

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tacles of lest for the travdler^ and support for tiie infirm and 
the poor. Ignorance^ sloth, lasdvioosness, ayarice, super- 
stition, and fraud of all kind, were laid at the door of iheae 
institutions, and hj daily lampoons aQd table talk many 
people were brought to believe what, but a ^ort time before, 
would have been thought incredible. But lest these onA 
calumnies should fail, the press, which was now brought to 
some perfection, was put into requisition, and one Fish, a 
lawyer, published a most virulent book against ail churchmen, 
in which he attacked' the monks unsparingly, representing 
them as the cause of all the poverty in the nation, and to 
give a greater colour to his misrefMresentations, he called the 
work The SuppliceUion of BeggafB. Of this work, Mr. 
Dodd says, <' It is hard to determine whether the language 
or matter is more scandalous. He paints out all the bishops^ 
deans, archdeacons, priests, monks, friars, ^., as a herd of 
lazy drones, that devour the king's lands ; that they are the 
occasion of all the taxes, of beggary at home, and want of 
success abroad; that they excommunicate, absolve, he*j 
merely for gain ; that they debauch the wives, daughters, 
and servants of the whole kingdom ; that they are thieves, 
highwaymen, ravenous wolves, and cormorants; that he 
hopes the king will take it into consideration to have them 
reduced, tied to a cart, whipped, turned adrift, and entirely 
demolished, as enemies to his state and to all mankind. 
Had the devil been employed in the work, he could not have 
made an apology more suitable to the times ; for though the 
book was levelled against religion in general, and had the 
visible marks of iniquity stamped upon it, yet such was the 
humour of king Henry's days, that when it was offered to 
him by Anne Boleyn, as an ingenious performance, it was 
read at court with singular pleasure, and many hints taken 
from it in order to promote the cause in hand." 

To such purposes was the press ai^lied in its infancy^ 
and to such ends it has been since employed ; to keep tiie 
people of this country ignorant of the chief cause of the 
miseries they have endured^ and now endure, and will con* 

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ttnoe to ^idnre^ untB tbe vengeance of God shall have been 
satisfied for the crimes committed bj the sham reformers 
i^^ftiust his divine commandments, and he shall <mce more 
deign to shower his blessings on the land which was once 
the seat of true religion and civil freedom. When the in- 
valuaUe art of printing was first invented^ the dergy, though 
i^resented as striving to keep the people in darkness, were 
its ^ef patrons and protectors, when properly applied. 
Bi^)ort says, the first printing office was in a chapel in West- 
minster Abbey, and probably the first printers were monks. 
From this circumstance, printing-offices are to this day 
called chapeh, and monk and friar are technical terms used 
for such parts of a page as are not touched with ink, or are 
blurred with too large a quantity of it. We have not heard 
that, i»«vious to the event called the Reformation, but which, 
it has been justly observed, should rather be called a Devas" 
ioHon, one single instance can be proved of the press b^g 
prostituted to the service of falsehood, detraction, and 
calumny ; but no sooner did the pretended reformers break 
with the Catholic church, than this instrument was put into 
requisition, to vilify the most eminent characters living, and 
spread forth the blackest lies that could be invented. Even 
Henry YIII., before he assumed the supremacy of the churchy 
had recourse to the press in defence of the ancient faith, as 
we have before shewn, and, while he adhered to the unerring 
principles of truth, proved how useful a discovery the art of 
printing was. Of this advantage he and his minions were 
BO sensiUe, that when he departed firom the course of truth 
afid justice, a law was passed which restricted every indi« 
vidual from applying the press in defence of those two attri- 
butes of the Deity, while hirelings were employed to exercise 
it in the adverse cause, and traduce every person who had 
the courage and honesty to declare themselves in favour of 
the ancient laws and usages of England. 

Matters were thus i»«pared, and the visitors performed 
their parts to tbe utmost satisfaction of their employers, by 
encouraging som^ of tbe member^ of monaateriea to imr 

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peaefa one anoibher, and priraidy setdng lewd yonng men to 
tempt the nuns to knpuritj, that tfaej might puiposelj turn 
informers. Speaking of the means used to blast the repu->- 
tation of these religious orders, Dr. Heylhi, in his History 
of the Eeformation, observes, " Where these tricks were 
played, it may be feared that God was not in that terrible 
wind which threw down so many monasteries and religions 
houses in the reign of Heiuy VIIL The monks' offences 
were represented in such multiplying glasses, as made them 
se^n both greater in number and more horrid in nature 
indeed than tiiey were." Exclusive of the charge of immo- 
ndity, the monks were represented, (as the Catholic priests of 
Ireland are now by the Evangelicals and Bible Missionaries}, 
as impostors, seducing the people by false mirades and 
strange operations, performed by images, crosses, relics, &e. 
These calumnies and charges were laid before pariiament, 
and an act was passed for the dissolution of the lesser houses 
of both sexes, as abandoned to sloth and immorality. The 
parliament which passed this nefarious act had continued, by 
successive prorogations, six years, and was the firsts we be- 
lieve, that had ever sat so long a time in England. The bOl 
was introduced and hurried through the two houses, though 
not without some opposition ; but opposition in those limes, 
as well as in our own, has but little weight in the scale of 
oorruption. The act having passed, no time was lost in 
puttmg the same into effect, and how it was done we think 
oann(^ be better described than in the following relation by 
Sir Wm. Dugdale, in his celebrated History of Warwick- 
Bhire. Speaking of the dissolution of a particular convert 
-of nuns, called Folesworth, he says : — 

*' I find it left recorded by the commissioners that were 
empk>yed to take surrender of the monaster^ in this shire^ 
An. ^, Henry VIII., that, after strict scrutiny, not only by 
the fame of the counl3*y, but by examination of Beyertl per- 
sons, they found these nuns virtuous and religious women^ 
and of good conversation. Neverthdess it was not the strict 
«nd regular lives of thes6 devout ladies, nor anything that 

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Slight be said m 'behadf of the moiiasterteSy that «ou1d pre- 
vent tbdr ran then approaching. So great an aim had the 
kiog to make himself tJiereby glorious^ and many others no 
less hopes to be enriched in a considerable manner. 6u to 
the end that snch a change should not overwhekn those that 
,9»ght he aedve therein, in regard the people everywhere had 
jio small esteem of these houses, for their deront and daily 
exercises in prayers, alms-deeds, hospitality, and the like, 
whereby not only the souls of their deceased ancestors had 
much benefit^ as was &en' bought, but themselves, the poor, 
as ^so strangers and pilgrims, constant advantage ; there 
wanted not the most suhtle contrivances to effect this stu- 
pendous work that, I think, any age has beheld ; wh^*eof k 
will not be thought Impertment, I presome, to take here a 
.^lort view. 

*' In order, therefore, to it, was that which eardinal Wolsey 
Jbad done for the founding his colleges in Oxford and Ipswich, 
aaade a precedent : viz», the dissolving of above thirty reh- 
jp^rn houses, most very small ones, by the lieelice of the 
king, and pope Clement YIL And that* it might be the 
better eanied <hi, Mr. Thomas Cromwell, who had been an 
nAd servant to the eardinal, and not a little aetive in that, 
iwas the ohief person jpitched upon to assist therein. For I 
look upon this business as not originally designed by the 
king, bat by some prineipal ambitious men of that age, who 
projected to theoEiseives aU worldly advantages imaginable, 
through that deluge of weahh whidi was like to flow amongst 
them by this hideous storm. 

** First, however, having insinnaied to the king matter of 
profit and honour, (viz. profit by so vast enlargement of his 
;^venue, and honour in being able to maintain mighty armies 
to recover his right in FVance, as also to strengthen himself 
against the pope, whose snpremacy he hima^ abolished, and 
Wike the firmer attiance widi such princes as had done the 
like), did they procure Onmmer's advancement to the see of 
Canterbury, and more of the Protestant clergy to other 
bishopriokB and high places ; to iho end that the rest should 

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not be able in a full council to carry any tbing against tlieit* 
design; sending out preacbers to persuade tbe people to 
stand fast to tbe king, witbout fear of tbe pope's curse, or bis 
dissolyjDg tbeir allegiance. ^ 

" Next, tbat it migbt be more plausibly carried on, care 
was taken so te represmit tbe lives of monks, nuns, canons, 
&c,y to tbe world, as tbat tbe less regret migbt be made at 
tbeir ruin. To wbicb purpose Tbomas Cromwell, being con«- 
Btituted general vbitor, employed sundry persons, wbo acted 
tberein tbeir parts accordingly : viz., Bicbard Layton, Tbomas 
Leigb, and William Petre, doctors of law; Dr. Jobn London, 
dean of Wallingford, and otbers; by wbicb tbey were to 
enquire into tbe bebaviour of 1^ religious of botb sexes ; 
wbicb commissioners, tbe better to manage tbeir design, gave 
encouragement to tbe monks, not only to accuse tbeir govern-^ 
on, but to inform against eacb otber ; compelling tbem also 
to produce tbe cbarters and eridences of tbeir lands, as also 
their plate and money, and to give an inventory tbereof. 
And b'ereunto tbey added certain injunctions from tbe king, 
containing most severe and strict rules ; by means wbereof, 
divers, being found obnoxious to their censure, were expelled; 
and many, discerning themselves not able to live free from 
some exception or advantage tbat might be taken against 
them, desired to leave tbeir habit. 

'' Having, by these visitors, thus searched into their lives, 
(wbicb, by a black book, containing a world of enormities, 
were represented in no small measure scandalous), to tbe end 
tbat tbe people migbt be better satisfied with their proceed- 
ings, it was thought conveni^it to suggest, that the lesser 
houses, for want of good government, were chiefly guilty of 
these crimes tbat were laid to tbeir charge ; and so tbey did, 
as appears by tbe preamble to that act for Ihdr <Hsso]ution, 
made in the twenty^sev^tb of Henry YIII. ; wbicb parlia- 
ment, (consisting in the most part of su^ members as were 
packed for tbe purpose tbrough private interest, as is evident 
by divers original letters of that time, many of tbe nobility 
for the like respects also &vouring ibe design), assented to 

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BOOK OF MARTkfiS. 237 

the Buppressiog of all such houses as had been certified of less 
value ^than two hundred pounds per annum, and giving them, 
with their lands and revenues^ to the king ; yet so as not only 
the religious persons therein should be committed to the great 
and honourable monasteries of the realm » where they might 
be compelled to lire religiously for the reformation of their 
Uves^ wherein thanks be to God, religion is well kept and 
observed (they are the words of the act), but that the posses- 
sions belonging to such houses should be converted to better 
usesb to the pleasure of Almighty God, and the honour and 
profit of the realm. 

" But how well the tenor thereof was pursued, we shall 
see ; these specious pretences being made use of for no other 
purpose, than, by opening this gap, to make way for the 
totid ruin of the greater houses, wherein it is by the said act 
acknowledged, that religion was so well observed. For no sooner 
were the m<mks, &c., turned out, and the houses demolished, 
(that being first thought requisite, lest some accidental change 
might conduce to their restitution), but care was taken to 
prefer such persons to the superiority in government upon any 
vacancy in those greater houses, as might be instrumental to 
their surrender, by tampering with the convent to that pur- 
pose ; whose activeness was such that, within the space of 
two years, several convents were wrought upon, and the com- 
missioners sent down to take them at their hands to the king's 
use ; of which number I find, that besides the before specified 
doctors of law, there were thirty-four commissioners. 

** The truth is, that diere was no omission of any endea-* 
yours Uiat can well be imagined, to accomplish these sur- 
renders ; for so subtly did the commissioners act their parts, 
as that, after earnest solicitation with the abbots, and finding 
them backward, they first tempted them with good pensions 
during life ; vhereby they found some forward enough to 
promote the work, as the abbot of Hales in Gloucestershire 
wasy who had high commendation for it from the commis- 
Bion^«, as their letters to the visitor-general manifest. So 
likewise had the abbot of Eamsay and the prior of £ly . Nay, 

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238 REViEir OF Fox'a 

some were so obsequious tbat^ after they had wrought liie 
surrender of theur own houses, thej were employed as .eom- 
missioners to pursuade others ; as the prior of Gisbom in 
Yorkshire, for one. Neither were &e courtiers inactive in 
driving on this Fork ; as may be seen by the k>rd chanceBor 
Audley's employing a speeiai agent to treat with the aJbbot of 
Athelney. and to oii^ him 100 marka per amium pension in 

,.ca^ he would surrender; whidi the abbot refused, insisting* 
upon a greater sum ; and the personal endeavours he used 

• ^ith the abbot of S. Osithe in Essex^ as by his letter to Uie 
visitor- general, wherein it is signified, that he had with great 
solicitation prevailed with the said abbot ; but wi^ial insin- 
uatmg his desire, thi^ his plaee of lord chancellor being very 
chargefible, the king might be moved for an addition of some 
more profitable o^ees unto him. Nay, I find that this great 
man,, the lord chancellor^ hunting eagerly after the abbey of 
Walden in Essex» (out of the ruins whereof afterwarcb that 
magnificent £abrick called by the name of Audley-Inn> waa 
built), as an argument to obtain it, did, besides the extenua- 
tion <^ its worth, ^lege^ that he had in this world sustained 
gpreat damage and infamy in serving the kuig^ which ike 
grant of that wouM recompense. 

** Amongst the particular arguments which were made me 
of by Uioso that were averBe to surrender, I iki^. that the 
abbot of Feversham idleged the antiquity of tiieiir monastery's 
foundation, viz., by king Stephen, whose body, with the bodies 
of the queen and prince> lay there interred, and for whoM 
were used continual suffrages and oomm^Mlations by prayers. 
Yet it would not avail ; for they were resolved to efieet what- 
they, had begun, by one means or other ; in so much, that 
they procured the bishop of London to come to the nnns of 
Skia, with their confessinr, to solicit them thereunto ; who, 
after many perswiaionB, took it upon their consciences, tha^ 
they ought to submit unto the king's pleasure therein, by- 
Qod'a law. But what eould not be effocted by such argu- 
ments and fair prcwiises, {which w^:e not wanting or onful- 
filled, as appears by the large pensions that aome aotive 



monks and canons ha4 in eompariaon of others, eyen to a 
ifth or sixth-fold proportion more than ordinary), was hj 
terror and severe dealing brought to pass. For under pre- 
tence of dilapidation in the buildings, or negligent adminis-. 
tration of their offices, as also for breaking the king's in-, 
junetionsy thej deprived some abbots, and then put other» 
that were more pliant in their rooms. 

. <<Erom others they took their convent seals, to the end 
they might not, by making leases or sale of their jewels^ 
Eaiae money, either for supply of their present wants, or 
payment of their debts, and so be necessitated to surrender.. 
Kay, to some, as in particular to the canons of Leicester, the 
commissioners threatened^ that they would charge them with 
adultery and sodomy, unless they would submit. And Dr. 
IxMndon told the nuns of GK»dstow, that because be found 
them obstinate,, he would dissdve the hooee by virtue of the 
king's oommission, in ^ite of their teeth. And yet all wiui- 
so managed that the king was solicited to accept of them ; 
not being willing to have it thought they were by terrctt 
moved thereunto ; mid ^^ecial notice Was taken of such aa 
gave out that their surrender was by compulsion. 

** Which courses, (afiber so many that, through underhand 
oomuption, led the way), brought on others apace ; as appears 
by thdr dates, which I have observed from the very instru- 
ments themselves ; in so mudi that the rest stood atnazed, 
not knowing which way to turn themsdves. Some thereibrft 
thought fit to try whether mo^y might save their houses 
from this dismal fate so near at hand ; tiie abbot of Peter- 
borough offering 25,000 marks to the king, and 300 pounds 
to the visitor-general. Others with great constancy refused 
to be thus accessary in violating the donations of their pious 
founders. But these, as they were not many, .so did they 
taste of no little severity. For touching the abbot of Foun- 
taines^ in Yorkshire, I find, that being charged by the 
eomnussionera for taking into his private hands some jewels- 
belonging to that monastery, which they called theft and 
sacrilege^ they, pronounced him perjured^ and so diq^mg. 

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240 REVIEW OF fox's 

him^ extorted a private resignation. And it appears that <^e 
monks of the charter-house, in the suhurhs of London, w^*e 
committed to Newgate ; where with hard and barharous usage, 
five of them died, and five more lay at the point of death, as 
the commissioners signified ; but withal alleged tliat the sup-* 
presbion oi that house, being of so strict a rule, would 
occasion great scandal to their doings : for as much as it 
stood in the face of the world, infinite concourse coming from 
all parts to that populous city, and therefore desired it might 
be altered to some other use. And lastly, I find, that under 
the like pretence of robbing the church, wherewith the afore- 
said abbot of Fountaines was charged, the abbot of Glaston- 
bury, with two of his monks, being condemned to death, was 
drawn from Wells upon a hurdle, then hanged upon a hill 
called the Tor, near Glastonbury, his head set upon the abbey 
gate, and his quarters disposed of to Wdls, Bath, Ilchester, 
and Bridgewater. Nor did the abbots of Colchester ami 
iBeading fare much better, as they that will consult the story 
of that time may see. And for farther terror to the rest, 
some priors and other ecclesiastical persons, who spoke 
against the king's supremacy, a thing then somewhat un-* 
couth, were condemned as traitors, and executed. 

^^ And now, when all this was effected, to the end that it 
might not be thought these iMags were done with a high 
hand, the king having protested that he would suppress none 
without the consent of his parliament, (it being called April 
28, 1589, to confirm these surrenders so made), there wanted 
not plausible insinuations to both houses for drawing on their 
consent with all smoothness thereto ; the nobility being pro« 
mised large shares in the spoil, either by free gift from the 
king, easy purchases, or most advantageous exchanges, and 
many of the active gentry advancements to honours with 
increase of their estates ; aU which we see happened to them 
accordingly. And the bet^ to satisfy the vulgar, it was 
represented to them, that by this deluge of wealth the king-> 
dom should be strengthened with an army of 40,000 men, 
and that for the future they should never be chained with 

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sabsidics, fifteenths, loans, or common aids. By which means, 
the parliament ratifying the abovesaid surrenders, the work 
became completed: for the more firm settling whereof, a 
sudden course was taken to pull down and destroy the build- 
ings ; as had been done before upon the dissolution of smaller 
houses, whereof 1 have touched. Next, to distribute a great 
proportion of their lands amongst the nobility and gentry, as 
had been projected, which was accordingly done : the visitor 
general having told the king that the more that had interest 
in ihem, the more they would be irrevocable. 

*' And lest any domestic stirs, by reason of this great and 
strange alteration, should arise, rumours were spread abroad, 
that cardinal Pole laboured with divers princes to procure 
forces against this realm, and that an invasion was threatened; 
which seemed the more credible, because the truce concluded 
between the emperor and the French king was generally 
known, neither of them wanting a pretence to invade Eng- 
land. And this was also seconded by a sudden journey of 
ihe king unto the sea coasts ; unto divers parts whereof he 
had sent sundry of the nobles and expert persons to visit the 
ports and places of danger, who failed not for their discharge 
upon all events to affinn the peril in each place to be so 
gre&tf as one would have thought every place needed a forti- 
fication. Besides, he forthwith caused his navy to be in 
readiness, and muster to be taken over all the kingdom. All 
which preparations being made against a danger believed im- 
minent, seemed so to excuse the suppression of the abbeys, 
as that the people, willing to save their own purses, began to 
suffer it easily ; especially when they saw order taken for 
building such forts. 

** But let us look a little upon the success : wherein I find 
that the visitor general, the grand actor of this tragical busi- 
ness, having contracted upon himself such an odium from the 
nobility, by reason of hb low birth, (though not long before 
made knight of the garter, earl of Essex, and lord high chan- 
cellor of England), as also from the Catholics, for having 
thus operated in the dissolution of abbeys, that (before the 



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242 REVIEW OF fox's 

end of the aforesaid parliament wherein that was ratified 
which he had with so much industry brought to pass) the 
king, not having any use of him, gave way to his enemies' 
accusations; whereupon, being arrested by the duke of 
Norfolk at the council table, when he least dreamt of it, and 
committed to the Tower, he was condemned by the same 
parliament for heresy and treason, unheard, and little pitied ; 
and on the 28th of July, viz. four days after the parliament 
was dissolved, had his head cut off on Tower Hill. 

** And as for the fruit which the people reaped, after all 
their hopes built upon those specious pretences which I have 
mentioned, it was very little. For it is plain, that subsidies 
from the clergy and fifteenths of laymen's goods were so<m 
after exacted: and that in £dward the Vl.'s time, the 
commons were constrained to supply the king's wants by a 
new invention, viz., sheep, clothes, goods, debts, <&;c., for three 
years ; which tax grew so heavy, that the year following they 
prayed the king for a mitigation thereof. Nor is it a little 
observable, that whilst the monasterieB stood, there was no 
act for the relief of the poor, so amply did those houses give 
succour to them that were in want ; whereas in the next age, 
viz., 39 Elizabeth, no less than eleven bills were brought into 
the house of commons for that purpose.*' 

We might rest satisfied with this testimony in favour of 
the religious orders, and exposure of the black villanies of 
the devastators, but to render the cause of truth more firm, 
and prevent idle cavil, we will here add a confirmation to 
the learned knight's statement, which is taken irom Mr. 
Thomas Heam's preliminary observations upon Mr. Brown 
Willis's View of the Mitred Abbeys. This gentleman makes 
a solemn declaration of his being a sincere member of the 
church of England, and must, therefore, be deemed an un« 
exceptionable witness. He writes thus : — " Popery (as I 
take it), signifies no more than the errors of the church of 
Kome. Had he, (Henry VIII.) therefore, put a stop to 
those errors, he had acted wisely, and very much to the con- 
tent to all truly good and religious men. But then this 

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would not have satisfied the ends of himself and his covetous 
and ambitious agents. ^Thej all aimed at the revenues and 
riches of the religious houses ; for which reason no arts or 
contrivances were to be passed bj, that might be of use in 
obtaining these ends. The most abominable crimes were to 
he charged upon the religious, and the charge was to be 
managed with the utmost industry, boldness, and dexterity. 
This was a powerful argument to draw an odium upon them, 
and so make them disrespected and ridiculed by the gener- 
ality of mankind. And jet, after all, the proofs were so 
insufficient, that, from what I have been able to gather, I 
have not found any direct one against even any single monas- 
tery. The sins of one or two particular persons do not make 
a Sodom. Neither are violent and forced confessions to be 
esteemed as the true result of any one*s thoughts. When, 
therefore^ even these artifices would not do, the last expe- 
dient was put in execution, and that was ejection by force ; 
and to make these innocent sufferers the more content, pen- 
sions were settled upon many, and such pensions were in 
some measure proportioned to their innocence. Thus, by 
degrees, the religious houses and the estates belonging to 
them, being surrendered unto the king, he either sold or 
gave them to the lay-nobility, and gentry, contrary to what 
he had at first pretended ; and so they have continued ever 
since, though not without visible effects of Good's vengeance 
and displeasure, there having been direful anathemas and 
curses denounced by the founders upon such as should pre- 
sume to alienate the lands, or do any other voluntary injury 
to the religious houses. I could myself produce many 
instances of the strange and unaccountable decay of some 
gentlemen in my own time, though otherwise persons of very 
great piety and worth, who have been possessed of abbey- 
lands : but this would be invidious and offensive, and there-* 
fore I' shall only refer those that are desirous of having 
Instances laid before them, to shew the dismal consequences 
that have happened, to Sir Henry Ppelman's History of 
Sacrilege, published in 8vo., in the year 1698." 
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244 BEViEW OP fox's 

The reader has here before him an account of the Tile 
artifices made use of bj the visitors to bladien the fair fame 
of the religious orders, and bring about what soon followed, 
the destruction of ecclesiastical property which was de^ 
voted to most sacred purposes. Let the bigots of the pre** 
sent day continue to circulate the venomous calumnies of 
"Fox and Burnet, and oUier lying writers, who, to palliate 
the infamy and scandal of these barbarous and goihie pro- 
ceedings, invented the false charges of looseness and inregu^ 
larity agdnst the religious orders ; thank God, the ^«ts is 
not now shackled as it was by the evangelical disdples of 
liberty, at the very birth of their devastating Beformation, 
and the honest ]^art of it will now p^ovm its duty, and 
make known the real state of the case. Opposed to the lies 
of Fox and Burnet, we have even the parliament of Henry 
declaring that religion was well kept and observed in the 
greater houses, and Mr. Heam, whom we have just quoted, 
states it as a positive fact,. that not one direct proof was 
brought against any one single mcmastery, great or small, 
of the crimes laid to their charge. 

The modem editors of Fox, copying from his cousin- 
german Burnet, say, — '^ The most horrible and disgusting 
crimes were found to be practised in many of the houses ; 
and vice and cruelty were more frequently the inmates of 
these pretended aanctuariesy than religion and piety. The 
report (of the visitors) contained many abominable things, 
not fit to be mentioned ; some of these were printed but tiie 
greatest part w<m lost.^' We have no doubt the report did 
contain many ^' abominable things," but th^i these ^* abom*' 
inable things " were mere report, — sheer slander and lies — 
invented for a cloak to conceal the real acts of vice, crue%, 
and injustice committed by the pretended reformers. If the 
monks and nuns were such dissolute and worse than 
beastly wretches, as represented by Burnet, why were the j 
not punished for their abominable mmes, as an exam^ to 
future members of religious orders, and in vindication of the 
suppressing deeds of the visitors? But not one criminal 

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have we on rec<nrd to support the base iDsinnalions of Burnet 
and Fox ; not one sin^e offender has Burnet and the modem 
editors furnished to bear out their infamous charges-— whilst 
history records^ the slaughter of fifty-nine persons^ (among 
whom were a bishop, an ez-lord-chancellor, six doctors of 
divinity, three abbots, several Carthusian, Benedictine, and 
Frandsoan friars, and many secular clergymen), for oppos- 
ing and denying the king's spiritual supremacy. Twenty 
were executed for rismg in defence of monastic lands; 
nine for pretended plots against the king ; and sixty were 
starved in prison^ chiefly Carthusian and Franciscan friars, 
for denying the king's spiritual supremacy. Cranmer all this 
time, observe, was archbishop of Canterbury. 

In fact, it was this opposition to the assumed supremacy 
of the king in spirituals, by the religious orders, that drew 
&e voigeance of Henry and the reformers upon their estab- 
li^mients. This we learn from the modem editors and 
Bumet. They say, ** It was well known that the monks and 
friars, ihough they complied with the times, [this is faUCf 
for if they had complied, they would in all probability have 
been unmolested] yet hated this new power of the king's ; 
Iliepe(q[>le were also startled at it: [oh! then the people 
were sencdble it was something new^ and something alarming y 
(NT why startie at it?] so one Dr. Leighton, who had been in 
Wolsey's service with Cromwell, proposed a general visitation 
of all the religious houses in England; and thought that 
nothing would reconcile the nation so much as to see some 
good effect from it." Certainly, the pvoduction of good was 
tiie best way to reconcile the people to the measure ; but, 
unfortunately for the people of England, no good whatever 
has arisen to them from the usurpation of the supremacy in 
iqinritiials by Henry. The good, if such it can be called, 
fS^ to the lot of the greedy and unprincipled courtiers, and 
the evil to the share of the people. There can be no doubt 
tiuit abuses existed at the time we are speaking of, and that 
many of the high dignitaries of the church were too well 
fed, and too rich to do their duty truly ; for if this had not 

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246 jiBViEW OF fox's 

been the case, the bishops would not have acknowledged the 
supremacy of Henry, through fear of losing their tempo- 
ralities, with the exception of one only, namely Fisher, bishop 
of Rochester. But the reforming of abuses, and the de- 
structi^m of useful institulions, are two very distinct things, 
and the cry of reform was merely a pretence to put in exe- 
cution a diabolical purpose. The stoutest opposers of the 
dissolution, as well as the divorce of Catharine, were the 
mendicant friars, whose holy poverty kept them independent 
in mind, and fearless of the threats of death. An example 
of this heroic fortitude was shewn in the conduct of friars 
Peto and Elstow, the former of whom boldly preached 
against the divorce in the presence of Henry, and being at- 
tacked in the pulpit by one Dr. Ourwin, chaplain to the 
king, was as strenuously defended by Elstow, who challenged. 
Curwin, before God and all equal judges, to prove him a 
false prophet and a seducer. This conduct of Elstow was in 
presence of the king also, nor would he desist in his oppo- 
sition to Curwin, until the monarch commanded him to he 
silent. Not many days after the affftir took place, Peto mi 
Elstow were ordered to make their appearance before tte 
lords of the council, and, in the conclusion, were sent to 
prison. Cromwell was present during their examination, and 
told Elstow that he ought, for his violent behaviour, to have 
been imtnediately tied up in a sack, and thrown into the 
Thames. This observation caused Elstow to smile, and make 
the following noble reply : — " My lord, be pleased to frighten 
your court epicures with such menaces as these ; men that 
have lost their courage in their palate, and whose minds are 
softened with pleasures and vanities. Such as are tied fast 
to the world, by indulging their senses, may very likely be 
moved with such kind of threats; but as for us, they make 
little impression upon us. We esteem it both an honour 
and merit to suffer upon the occasion, and return thanks to 
the Almighty, who keeps us steady under the trial. As for 
your Thames, the road to heaven lies as near by water as by 
Iftnd, and it is iiidifferQnt to us whether road we take/* 

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Here we have a proof of the utility of voluntary poverty, 
inculcated by the religious orders, which makes men fearless 
of death, and intent only on seeing justice and religion 

Before the dissolution of monasteries in England, twenty-' 
seven abbots, sometimes twenty-nine, sat in the upper house 
of parliament ; to prepare for the devastation, Henry created 
some close boroughs, .whereby he got his creatures returned 
to ensure a majority, and thus the corruption of parliament 
was the interlude to the destruction of church property, and 
the robbery of the poor of their rights. The abbeys which 
enjoyed the privileges of being represented by their abbots 
in parliament, were, St. Alban's ; Glastonbury ; St. Austin's 
at Canterbury ; Westminster, the richest in all England ; 
Winchester, founded by the first Christian king of the West 
Saxons ; St. Edmund's Bury, founded by king Canute ; Ely ; 
Abingdon, founded by Cedwella and Ina, kings of the West 
Saxons ; Beading, built by Henry I. ; Thoniey, in Cam- 
bridgeshire ; Waltham, founded by Earl Harold, in 1062 ; 
St. Peter's, in Gloucester, founded by Wulfere and Etheldred, 
kings of Mercia ; W inchelcomb, in Gloucestershu'e, founded 
by Ofla and Kenulph, kings of Mercia also ; Bamsey, in 
Huntingdonshire, founded by Ailwyne, alderman of England, 
and earl of the East- Angles; Bardney, in Lincolnshire. 
This abbey was demolished by the Danes, in 870, who slew 
three hundred monks, and was rebuilt by William the Con- 
queror. Crowland; St. Bennett's, at Hulm, in Norfolk, 
founded about the year 800 ; Peterborough, begun by Peada, 
king of Mercia, in 665, and rebuilt by Adulf, chancellor to 
king Edgar; Battel, in Sussex, founded by William the 
Conqueror ; Malmsbury, in Wiltshire ; Whitby, founded by 
king Oswy in 657 ; Selby, in Yorkshire, begun by WiUiam 
the Conqueror ; St. Mary's, at York, built in the reign of 
William Bufus; also Shrewsbury, Cirencester, Evesham, 
Tavistock, and Hide at Winchester. Besides these mitred 
abbeys, two priors had seats in the House of Lords, namely, 
of Coventry, and of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem. 

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248 BETIEW OF fox's 

According to the most exact calculation, at the suppression 
of the religious houses in England, the sum total of the 
revenues of the greater monasteries amounted to .£104,919 ; 
of the lesser, ^29,702 ; of the head house of the knights 
hospitallers, or of Malta, in London, X2385 ; of twenty- 
eight other houses of that order, £S02Q, The revenues of 
the clergy were laid at a fourth part of the revenues of the 
kingdom, in the 27th of Henry VllL, and Mr. Collier, in 
his Ecclesiastical History, says, that the revenues of the 
monks never did exceed a fifth part With these revenues, 
the poor were not only provided for, churches huilt, and tra- 
vellers hos{Htably entertained, but the church lands contri- 
buted to all public burdens,, equally with the lands of the 
laity, while the leases granted by the monks were always on 
easy rents and small fines. Walsingham and Patrick say, 
that, in 1379, every mitred abbot paid as much m an earl ; 
and 6«. 8c^. for every monk in his monastery. In 1289, a 
century previous, the abbot of St. Edmund's Bury paid 
JC666 1^. 4d, to the fifteenth granted that year, — an enor- 
mous sum if reckoned according to the rate of money at this, 
^ay. And when we take into consideration that this Sum 
was paid by only one abbey, what an immense revenue must 
have been raised for the exigencies of the state, by the eon- 
tributions of these institutions throughout the kingdom. 
The people then were not harassed by the calls of the tax- 
gatherer, or the distress- warrant of the broker; nor were 
they subjected to the insults and tyranny of parish-ofiiceKs^ 
if overwhelmed with pecuniary difficulties; they had only 
to apply to these mansions of charity, where they were sure 
to find succour in their distress, and comfort to the wounded 
mind. If money was required, it was lent without interest ; 
if rest and sustenance, they wwe bestowed from brotherly 
love, not wrung from the fear of legal pains and penalties. 

It has been fashionable, since what is called the era of the 
Beformation, to represent the clergy of Catholic times as 
ignorant, and the people superstitious ; but these representa- 
tions were no other than base devices to cover the deformity 

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of that horrible fanaticism and worse than savage barbarism 
which marked the progress of the first pretended reformers' 
days. The libraries of the monasteries, as we have before 
sti^, were filled with works of literature, and the destruction 
of these seats <^ learning and the sciences has been an irre- 
parable loss to the country. Tyrrell, in his History of Eng- 
land, writes: — ** From the conyersion of the Saxons most of 
the laws made in the Wittena Gemote, or great councils, 
were carefully preserved, and would have been conveyed to 
us more eadre, had it not been for the loss of so many 
eurions monuments of antiquity, at the suppression of monas- 
teries in the reign of Henry YIII." How valuable would 
these records have been in our days as standards of reference 
for omr statesmen, and models of legislation of which, God 
knows, we stand mudi in need, when we look at the verbosity 
of our present acts of parliament, and the shortness and 
perspicuity of the laws of our ancestors. Then the laws 
were made so plain that the meanest capacity could under- 
stand them ; now they are couched in such terms as to bear 
various constructions, and in many instances it has been re- 
eorded in the public papers that one magistrate will define a 
law in a very diffisr^it sense to what another will, and each 
aet upon his own oonstruction. Even the libraries of the two 
univendties of Oxford and Cambridge were not spared in the 
gothie rage displayed by the visitors and reformers of imputed 
monastio abuses. At Oxford there were two most noble 
public libraries, the one founded by Bichard of Burg, or 
Hichard Aungerville, lord treasurer of England and bishop 
of Durham in the reign of Edward III., who spared no cost 
or pidns, and he was a bishop be it remembered, to render 
this coUedion eon^lete ; the odier was furnished with books 
by Thomas Cobham, bishop of Worcester in 1367, which 
were greatly augmented by the munificence of Henry IY.,his 
sons, and by the addition of the library of Ebmiphrey, duke 
of Gloucester, filled with many curious manuscripts from 
ibreign parts. Of the fate of this last library, Mr. Collier, 
in his Eodeaiaatical History, says, << These books were many 
M 3 

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260 REVIEW OF fox's 

of tbem plated with gold and sUver, and curiously embossed* 
This, as far as we can guess, was the superstition which 
destroyed them. Here avarice had a very thin disguise, and 
the courtiers discovered of what spirit they were to a very 

remarkable degree Merton college had almost a cart load 

of manuscripts carried off and thrown away to the most 

scandalous uses This was a strange inquisition upon 

sense and reason, and showed that they intended to seize the 
superstitious foundations, and reform them to nothing. The 
universities languished in their studies the remainder of this 
reign, and were remarkable for nothing, but some trifling 
performances in poetry and grammar." The same author 
writes, ** The books instead of being removed to royal libra- 
ries, to those of cathedrals, or the universities, were frequently 
thrown into the grantees, as things of lender consideration. 
Now oftentimes these men proved a very ill protection for 
learning and antiquity. Their avarice was sometimes so 
mean, and their ignorance so undi^inguishing, that when the 
. covers were somewhat rich, and would yield a little, they 
pulled them oS, threw away the books, or turned them to 
waste-paper. Thus many noble libraries were destroyed/* 
He further observes, that John Bale, sometime bishop of 
Ireland, " a man remarkably averse to Popery and the mo- 
nastic institution,'' gives thb lamentable account of what he 
himself was an eye witness to : — ** I know a merchant (who 
shall at this time be nameless) that bought the contents of 
two noble libraries for forty shillings a piece ; a shame it is 
to be spoken. This stuff has been used instead of grey 
paper by the space of more than these ten years. A prodi- 
gious example this, and to be abhorred of all men who love 
their nation as they should do. Yea, what may bring our 
realm to more shame, than to have it noised abroad, that we 
are despisers of learnmg ? I judge this to be true, and utter 
it with heaviness, that neither the Britons under the Romans 
and Saxons, nor yet the English people under the Danes and 
Kormans, had ever such damage of their learned monuments 
as we have seen in our time/' {John Balers Declaration or^ 

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LelancVs Joumalf an. 1549.) Fuller, too, has borne testi- 
mony to the devastating spirit of the reformers in those days. 
He breaks out into a passionate declamation on the occasion, 
and complains, '^ that all arts and sciences fell under the 
common calamity. How many admirable manuscripts of the 
fathers, schoolmen, and commentators were destroyed by 
these means? What number of historians of all ages and 
countries ? The holy scriptures themselves, as much as the 
gospellers pretended to regard them, underwent the fate of 
the rest. If a book had a cross upon it, it was condemned 
Jbr Popery ; and those with lines and circles were interpreted 
the black arts, and destroyed for conjuring. And thus (he 
adds) divinity was profaned, mathematics suffered for corres- 
ponding with evil spirits, physic was maimed, and riot com- 
mitted on the law itself." We shall produce one testimony 
more. Chamberlain, in his Present State of England^ thus 
describes the havoc committed by the vandalic reformers, 
headed by Cranmer and Cromwell: — "These men, under 
pretence of h}oting out Popery, superstition, and idolatry, 
utterly destroyed these two noble libraries, and embezzled, 
sold, burnt, or tore in pieces all those valuable books which 
those great patrons of learning had been so diligent in 
procuring in every country of Europe. Nay, their fury was 
BO successful as to the Aungervillian library, which was the 
oldest, largest, and choicest, that we have not so much as a 
catalogue of the books left. Nor did they rest here. They 
visited likewise the college libraries, and one may guess at 
the work they made with them, by a letter still kept in the 
archives, where one of them boasts, that New- College quad- 
rangle was all covered with the leaves of their torn books, <fec. 
The university thought fit to complain to the government of 
this barbarity and covetousness of the visitors, but could not 
get any more by it than one single book, given to the library 
by John Whethamstead, the learned abbot of St. Alban*s, 
wherein is contained part of Valerius Maximus, with the 
commentaries of Dionysius de Burgo ; and to this day there 
is no book in the Bodleian Hbrary besides this and two more 

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252 REVIEW OF fox's 

which are certamlj known to have belonged to either of the 
former libraries. Naj» and the university itself* despairing 
ever to enjoy any other public library, thought it advisable 
to dispose of the very desks and shelves the books stood on, 
in the year 1555." Enough is here related to make the 
cheek of a Protestant redden with shame, and cause him to 
forbear in future from charging the calumniated monks with 
ignorance and idleness. 

The Booh of Martyrs tells us that there were debates 
going on in the convocation concerning the different opinions 
which were found to be spreading in the kingdom, of which 
the lower house made a complaint to the upper house of no 
less than sixty-seven, in that early period of the king's 
supremacy. Of these opinions we shall have occasion to say 
something by and by; we must confine ourselves at present 
to the dissolution of the monasteries. On this head the 
book says, '* At this time visitors were i^pointed to survey 
all the lesser monasteries : they were to examine the state of 
their revenues and goods, and take inventories of them, and 
to take their seals into their keeping; they were to try 
how many of the religious would return to a secular course 
of life; and these were to be sent to the archbishop of 
Canterbury, or the lord chancellor, and an allowance was to 
be given them for their journey ; but those who intended to 
continue in that state were to be removed to some of the 
great monasteries. A pension was also to be assigned to the 
abbot or prior during life ; and the visitors were particularly 
to examine what leases had been made during the last year. 
Ten thousand of the religious were by this means driven to 
seek for their livings, with forty shillings and a gown a man. 
Their goods and plate were estimated at £100,000 and the 
valued rents of their houses was ^2,000 ; but they were 
above ten times as much. The churches and cloisters were 
in most places pulled down, and the materials sold.'' , 

Here then we have it admitted that Cranmer, the first 
Protestant primate of England, took a conspicuous part in 
the work of spoliation and robbery. It b also confessed that 

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ten iTiousaid of these innocent and useful class of men were 
turned out of their peaceful habitations into the wide world, 
to seek a living wherever they could^ with only forty shillings 
and a gown a man. The churches and cloisters in which 
many of them dwelt were pulled down and sold, and the 
proceeds went to enrich some base and hungry courtier, for 
his readiness to pander to the beastly vices of an unfeeling 
and depraved monarch. These doings, however, we are told, 
gave great discontent to the people ; and who can wonder at 
it? So to remove this discontent, Burnet writes, that 
*' Cromwell advised the king to sell these lands (belonging to 
the monks) at very easy rates, to the nobility and gentry y and 
to oblige them to keep up the wonted hospitality. This (he 
intimated) would both be grateful to them, and would engage 
them to assist the crown in the maintenance of the changes 
that had been made, since their own interests would be inter- 
woven with those of their sovereign.^* Such was the advice 
of Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, and from this counsel we 
may date the division of England into parties, whereby 
the people have lost a great portion of their civil privileges, 
and a boroughmongering faction has been established in the 
room of the once free parliaments of the country. The 
degree of hospitality shewn by the new possessors of the 
lands of the hospitable monks we may gather from Dr. 
Heylin, who in his History of the Beformation, speaking of 
the sacrilegious devastations carried on by Cranmer and the 
courtiers of Edward VI., writes, " But bad examples seldom 
end where they first began. For the nobility and inferior 
gentry possessed of patronages, considered how much the 
lords and great men of the court had improved their fortunes 
by the suppression of those chantries, and other foundations 
which had been granted to the king, conceived themselves in 
a capacity of doing the like, by taking into their hands the 
yearly profits of those benefices, of which by law they only 
were entrusted with the presentations. Of which abuse 
complaint is made by bishop Latimer, in his printed sermons, 
in which we find, ^ That the gentry of that time invaded the 

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254 REVIEW OP pox's 

profits of the church ; leaving the tithe only to the incum- 
hent : ' and * That chantry-priests were put by them into 
several cures, to save their pensions/ (p. 38) ; that ' many 
benefices were let out in fee-farms,* (p. 71) ; 'or given unto 
servants for keeping of hounds, hawks, and horses, and for 
making of gardens,' (pp. 91, 114); and finally, *That the 
poor clergy, being kept to some sorry pittances, were forced 
to put themselves into gentlemen's houses, and there to serve 
as clerks of the kitchen, surveyors, receivers,' &iC. (p. 241). 
All which enormities (though tending so apparently to the 
dishonour of God, the disservice of the church, and the dis- 
grace of religion) were getierally connived at by the lords 
and others, who only had the power to reform the same, 
because they could not question those who had so miserably 
invaded the church's patrimony, without condemning of 
themselves." That the interests of these receivers of stolen 
property were interwoven with the interests of their sovereign, 
or, in other words, that they considered it their interest to 
have a sovereign of the same disposition as themselves, is 
clear from the records of history. On the death of Edward, 
the faction attempted to set aside the right of Mary, a 
Catholic princess, in favour of Jane Grey, who had no claim 
whatever to the crown, and the same faction occasioned James 
the Second, another Catholic sovereign, to abdicate the throne, 
because he sought to establish freedom of conscience for all. 

Under such circumstances it is not surprising that the 
discontents of the people should increase, which was the case, 
until at length they broke out into open rebellion. The 
account given by Burnet of this resistance on the part of the 
people is in part true, and in other parts false. The insur- 
rection commenced in the north, where the people retained 
a strong feeling in favour of the ancient faith, and the clergy 
were removed from the influence of the court. Every suc- 
ceeding innovation produced increased discontent. The 
people had looked with reverence from their childhood on 
the monastic establishments, from which they had experienced 
so much kindness and affection, and could not behold the ruin 

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of these institutions without irritation and grief. To see the 
monks driven from their houses, and compelled, in most 
instances^ to heg their hread ; to behold the poor, who were 
formerly fed at the doors of the convents, now abandoned to 
despair and hunger, excited the indignation of the people, who 
flew to arms, to demand a redress of these grievances. " They 
complained chiefly," writes Dr. Lingard, " of the suppression 
of the monasteries, of the statutes of uses, of the introduction 
of such men as Cromwell and Rich, and of the preferment in 
the church of the archbishops of Canterbury and Dublin, and of 
the bishops of Rochester, Salisbury, and St. David's, whose 
chief aim was to subvert the church." Others of the insur- 
gents required, the same writer says, ** that heretical books 
should be suppressed, and that heretical bishops (alluding 
probably to Cranmer and his party) and temporal men of 
their sect, should either be punished according to law, or try 
their quaiTel with the pilgrims (the insurgents had taken the 
name of the pilgrims of grace) by battle : that the statutes 
which abolished the papal authority, bastardized the princess 
Mary, suppressed the monasteries, and gave to the king the 
tenths and first fi*uits of benefices, should be repealed : that 
Cromwell, the vicar general, Audley, the lord chancellor, and 
Bich, the attorney general, should be punished as sub verier s 
af the law, and maintainers of heresy : that Lee and Layton, 
the visitors of the northern monasteries, should be prosecuted 
Jbr extortion, peculation, and other abominable acts : and 
that a parliament should be shortly held at some convenient 
place, as Nottingham or York.'' These terms were re- 
jected ; but, after some negociation, an unlimited pardon was 
oflered and accepted, with an understanding that the griev- 
ances complained of should be shortly discussed in a parlia- 
ment to be holden at York ; but, with true Protestant 
magnanimity, the royal pope of England, as soon as he was 
freed from his apprehensions, did not think proper to keep 
his promise, and the parliament was never called. Two 
months after, the pilgrims were again in arms, but were de- 
feated in their measures^ their leaders were taken and sent to 

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256 &BVt£W OP fox's 

London to be executed, and oUiers were hanged bj scores at 
York, Hull, and Carlisle. 

This was the only forcible opposition that Henry expe- 
rienced in his designs upon the liberties of the church of 
England, which had been of so long standing, and were 
secured by the Charter. Of this insurrection, Mr. Oollier 
thus speaks : '* If resistance of the chief magistrate bftd been 
justifiable in any case, those who appeared in arms upon the 
dissolution of monasteries had a strong colour for their undw- 
taking. For were not the <dd landmarks set aside, and the 
constitution newly moddled ? For do not the liberties and 
immunities of the church stand in Ihe front of Magna Charta ? 
and are they not particularly secured in the first place ? Was 
not the king's coronation oath lamentably struned, when he 
signed the dissolution act ? For had he not sworn to guard 
the pr<^erty of his subjects ? to protect the religious ? and 
maintain them in the legal establishment ? The andent nobi- 
lity were thrown out of the patronage of their monasteries, lost 
their corrodies, and the privilege of their ancestors' bene&c- 
tions. The rents were rused> and the poor forgotten, as they 
complained, by the new proprietors. Besides, they were 
afraid their friends in another world might suffer by these 
alienations, and the dead fare worse for want of the prayers 
of the living. Granting therefore the matter of fact, that the 
prosecutions were legal, which way are the abbots more to be 
blamed (who rose in the north) than the barons who took up 
arms in defence of liberty and property, and appeared in the 
field against king John and Henry III. ? The abbeys, with- 
out question, had all the securities the civil magistrate could 
give them ; no estate could be better guarded by the laws. 
Magna Charta, as I observed, was made particularly in favour 
of these foundations, and confirmed at ^e beginning of every 
parliament for many succeeding reigns. These things con- 
sidered, we must of necessity either condemn the barons, or 
acquit the monks, and justify the northern rebellion." 

From these facts it may be discovered that Cranmer and 
his vile associates, though they could keep in favour widi tk 

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brutal monarchy bj catering to his passions, and dissembling 
tbeir own views, were by no means popular with the people 
of England. We have always contended that the people 
generally are on the side of virtue and justice, and though, 
we have seen acts of injustice sanctioned by popular assem- 
blies, yet they have always been done with a view (erroneous 
certainly) of punishing those who were supposed to have 
been the betrayers of their country, and the violators of the 
laws of society. Till this period England had been a truly 
free and happy country, and the office of judge was alniost 
a sinecure. When the reformers meditated their designs on 
the church, they began by calumniating the clergy and de- 
ceiving the people ; but, notwithstanding, when facts developed 
the baseness of their conduot, the multitude, we see, became 
sensible of their error, and called for the punishment of the. 
* betrayers of their country's welfare. But power is some- 
times, and we will say too frequently, an overmatch for jus- 
tice ; and the complaints of the people are too often disre- 
garded, through the interests of courtiers. So it was in this 
case ; though Oranmer and Cromwell, and the rest of the 
corrupt gang, were hated by the people, they nevertheless 
continued in office, and converted the once happy England 
into a great slaughter house. New crimes were created, and 
new penalties enacted ; men w^e put to death without being 
arraigned or heard in their defence^ or even without any direct 
charge against them, and the jails were filled to suffocation 
with persons arrested on suspicicMi only. Hitherto^ the sys- 
tem of spoliation had been confined to the lesser monasteries, 
and it was supposed by some that the dangerous insurrection 
which had been quelled would have induced Henry to stay 
his hand and preserve the greater monasteries in their rights* 
This he had promised the nobility and gentry in the north, 
before they consented to lay down their arms. But the king 
having nothing now to apprehend from the insurgents, the 
seizure of the great monasteries was resolved i^ton, and the 
same means were resorted to as before to deceive the people. 
Rumours of an invasion by France were set afloat, and that,. 

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258 REVIEW OF fox's 

as heavy taxes would be the natural consequence to meet the 
invaders, the seizure of the monasteries would be a better ex- 
pedient, inasmuch as their revenues would defray all the 
expenses, and be a great easement to the people. These and 
such like specious pretences were found to be necessary now, 
because the charges of immorality could not be put forth, the 
character of the religious being established by the very act 
of parliament that dissolved the lesser convents. Therefore 
management and mystery must be resorted to, and how well 
they were practised the reader has seen in the account we 
quoted from Sir Wm. Dugdale. Suffice it to say, that by 
stratagem and device, the commissioners, in about two years 
time, demolished the monuments of British, Saxon, and Nor- 
man glory, which, for above one thousand years, had given 
undeniable proofs of virtue and had been the fountains of 
learning and the arts. 

To give an exact number of the religious houses thus de- 
molished is a matter of difficulty. Mr. Camden states them at 
645 in England and Wales ; but a list taken out of the court of 
first fruits and tenths makes them 754. The annual revenue of 
these religious houses was computed at 135,522/. IBs. lOd., 
and the moveable goods were, it may be said, incalculable. 
To this list we have to add 90 colleges, 2374 chantries 
and free chapels, and 110 hospitals, which met with the 
same fate. Sir Robert Atkyns says, there were in England, 
before the Reformation, 45,009 churches, and 55,000 chapels, 
from which we may judge of the piety of our ancestors in 
Catholic times, and the great share of employment that was 
given to the people by the erection of these temples to the 
■ worship of God, many of which were of the most beautiful 
structure and workmanship, and give a flat denial to the foul 
sneers so lavishingly thrown out, by the vain conceited Pro- 
testants of these days, of the darkness and ignorance of those 
ages. Of these the greater part were destroyed by the ruth- 
less hands of the pretended reformers of religion, and time 
has nearly decayed the remainder. Though the abbey lands 
were granted to the king to be applied to the benefit of the 

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nation, but few of them wont into the exchequer, the greater 
part being distributed amongst his favourites and partners in 
guilt. Thus a new race of upstarts sprung up to beard the 
ancient nobility of the king, and to this work of spoliation and 
sacrilege do many of the. present noble families of this king- 
dom owe their origin and wealth. Of these we may name 
the families of Eussell, Cavendish, and Powlet. To give 
some idea of the manner in which these possessions of the 
church were disposed of. Stow relates, that he (Henry) made 
a grant to a gentlewoman of a religious house, for presenting 
him with a dish of puddings, which happened to please his 
palate ; that he paid away many a thousand a year belonging 
to the monasteries, and particularly that Jesus' bells belong- 
ing to a steeple not far from St, Paul's, London, very 
remarkable both for their size and music, were lost at one 
throw to Sir Miles Partridge. Many other of the ancient 
places of the divine worship were turned into tippling houses, 
stables, and dog kennels, while others, as we have before 
observed, were left a heap of ruins, which made Sir William 
Davenant complain of this havoc in the following elegant 
Jin^s i—r 

*^ Who sees these dismal heaps* but will demand. 
What barbarous invader sack'd the land ? 
But when he hears no Ooth, no Turk did bring 
This desolation, but a Christian king — 
When nothing but the name of zeal appears 
*Twixt our best actions, and the worst of theirs, 
What does he think our sacrilege would spare. 
Since these th' ejects of our devotions are V* 

Having described the manner in which the monastic insti- 
tutions fell by the hands of a barbarian king and his villanous 
courtiers, we will conclude by drawing a brief contrast between 
the situation of the country, when these institutions flourished, 
and the* present days of enlightened wisdom, as they are 
termed. But first, it may not be amiss to give a slight sketch 
of the early consequences of this work of destruction. The 
lure held out to the people to reconcile them to the project of 

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260 REVIEW OF F0X*8 

a general dissolution was, tliat by the kiug*s taking the^ 
revenue of these establishments into his own hands, he would 
be able to maintain an army of 40,000 well trained soldiers, 
with skilful captains and commanders, without calling upon 
his subjects for subsidies, fifteenths, loans, and other common 
aids. But no sooner did he get possession of the lands and 
revenues of the monks, than he called upon the people for 
subsidies and loans, and received them ag^st the law; The. 
first step taken, on the passing of the act of parliament to 
dissolve the monasteries, was the i^pointment of a Court of 
Aiigmentation, to manage the revenues accruing to the crown 
bj the dissolution ; and well did the members of this court 
manage the business for their own interest, as Fuller tells us, 
in his Church History, that ** the officers of the court were 
many, their pensions great, crown profits thereby very small, 
and causes there defending few ; so that it was not worth the. 
while to keep up a mill to grind that grist where the toll 
would not quit cost" But though this Protestant historian 
held this opinion, the reformers ^ere of another, for they 
continued to " keep up the mill " during a space of eighteen 
years, chiefly for the benefit of the clerks, <&c., and it was not. 
stopped grinding the public till the first year of Mary I., 
better known by the name of " bloody queen Mary,'* because 
she was a Catholic princess, and governed her subjects ac- 
cording to the ancient laws of the land. While the courtiers 
were thus feeding their own nest, eveiy other order of men 
in every station of life felt the heavy weight of this calami- 
tous event. Nobility and gentry, rich and poor, young and 
old, clergy and laity, the ignorant and the learned, the living 
and the dead, were alike sufferers, and experienced numerous 
miseries flowing from it. Tn the same parliament that gave 
the king the great and rich priory of St. John of Jerusalem, 
(the last that was seized upon, because the only one left to 
be seized), a subsidy from both Idity and clergy was demanded. 
Sir Bichard Baker says, in hi» Chronicle, *' In his one and 
thirtieth year, a subsidy of two shillings in the pound of 
lands; and twelve of goods, with four fifteens, were grants. 

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to the king, towards his charges of making bulwarks. In 
his five and thirtieth year, a subsidy was granted, to be paid 
in three years, every Englishman being worth in goods 
twenty shillings and upwards to five pounds, to pay four pence 
of every pound ; and from five pounds to ten pounds, eight- 
pence ; and from ten pounds to twenty pounds, twelve pence ; 
'from twenty pounds and upwards, of every pound two 
fihillings : strangers, as well denizens as others, being in- 
habitants, to pay double. And for lands, every Englishman 
paid eight pence of the pound, from twenty shillings to ^ve 
pounds ; and from five pounds to ten pounds, sixteen pence ; 
and from ten pounds to twenty pounds, two shillings ; and 
from twenty pounds and upwards, of every pound three 
fihillings ; strangers double. The clergy six shillings in the 
pound, of benefices ; and every priest having no benefice, but 
an annual stipend, six shillings and eightjpence yearly, during 
three years." The same writer tells us that *' In his six and 
thirtieth year, proclamation was made for the enhancing of 
gold to eight and forty shillings, and silver to four shillings, 
the ounce ; also ke caused tp be coined base money, mingling 
it with brass, which was, since tiiat time, called down the 
fifth year of Edward YI., and called in the second year of 
queen Elizabeth." Such were the consequences to the 
country immediately following the baneful measure ; we will 
now proceed to a detail of the more remote results. 

The spoils of the church and the lands of the monasteries 
were not appropriated to the benefit of the people, but were 
distributed amongst the favourites and panderers of Henry, 
and subsequently, that is in the reign of the boy-pope, his 
successor, Edward YI., amongst the hirelings of the ruling 
factions whidi alternately governed the young monarch. 
These creatures were not selected for their attachment to the 
principles cf the constitution, and their love of rational free- 
dom, though they had the cry of " Liberty " constantly in 
their mouths ; but the possessions they obtained were the 
recompense, from a bloody and merciless tyrant, for the 
viUanous services which they performed to gratify his in- 

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262 REVIEW OF fox's 

satiable lust and brutal passions. Thej were the dross of 
the nation, famed only for their vices and yiUanj, and thus 
they became the bane and scourge of the unhappy people of 
England. Conscious of the illegal tenure of their property, 
and fearful that a knowledge of the truth might oblige them 
to disgorge the property thus unjustly obtained^ the possessors 
thereof raised themselves into a party, the grand principle of 
which was intolerance and fraud. Thus, whenever a dispo- 
sition was shewn to favour the Catholics of this country, false 
reports and unjust accusations were immediately circulated to 
inflame the minds of the ignorant, and conspiracies were 
forged to alarm the timid. The gunpowder plot in James I. 'a 
reign, and Gate's plot in Charles II.'s, had no other founda- 
tion than the intrigues of this party to keep ajive the embers 
of religious fanaticism, and thus prevent the public mind 
from discerning the evils preying upon the country. The 
wishes of James II to establish liberty of conscience for all 
his subjects again alarmed the party, and in the end, being 
a Catholic, he was driven from the throne. The reign of his 
successor, William III., was one of war for the safety of the 
Protestant interest, and in support of it the national debt was 
commenced, the* weight of which is now become insup« 

We will now proceed to contrast the benefits derived to 
the country from the monasteries, with the miseries the peo- 
ple now endure from the want of them. In the first place, 
the convents both of men and women were schools of learn- 
ing and piety, and were therefore of the greatest service to 
the education of children. In every monastic institution one 
or more persons were assigned for the purpose of teaching ; 
and thus the children of the neighbourhood, both rich and 
poor, were taught grammar and music, without any charge 
to their parents, and in the nunneries, the female children 
were instructed in the useful branches of housewifery. Now, 
however, the case is altered. In those endowed schools, 
which bear tbe name of charity, interest must be used to get 
the children admitted, and though there are some supported 

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by voluntary contributions, yet it can be considered in no 
other light than a tax, which many pay from fear^ and others 
from ostentation. 

In the second place, the monasteries were, in effect, great 
hospitals, where the poor were relieved and nursed in the 
time of distress and sickness ; and they were likewise houses 
of entertainment for Utivellers of all ranks. From their 
revenues they provided with a liberal hand for the wants of 
others, while their own diet was slender aiid frugal. Then 
we had no assessment upon parishes to relieve the indigent ; 
now we have upwards of eight millions sterling, levied upon 
the land and trade, to supply the poor with but half a suffi- 
ciency, and indeed scarcely that. Then the poor fared 
sumptuously, the villagers were happy and cheerful, their 
hours were spent in paymg homage to God, labouring for 
their families, and harmlessly enjoying themselves over a 
plenteous board of meat and nut brown ale. ^ow the 
labourer is scarcely able to procure even bread for his family, 
and in most cases, he has to apply to the parish for relief ; 
there he meets with the surly growl of the overseer, instead 
of the smiling welcome of the cowled monk, and is too often 
sent away with a refusal of assistance ; instead of the plump 
and florid countenance of the rural swain, we see nothing but 
pallid and emaciated figures, pining in sorrow and care, or 
totally regardless of that noble feeling of independence which 
marked the peasantry of ancient days. Then the population 
were chiefly employed in agricultural pursuits and the dif- 
ferent branches of trade connected with the land, and the 
monks bmng the best landlords, a little colony was sure to 
spring up near a monastery ; now the people are congregated 
in large towns, and employed in great manufactories, whereby 
their morals are corrupted and their health injured, while 
the profits of their labour go to enrich perhaps one individual, 
whose property is already immense, and applied probably 
only to his own individual gratification* 

Thirdly, the nobility and gentry had, by means of the 
monasteries, a creditable mode of providing for their younger 

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264 HEViEW OF fox's 

children and old servants. Now they are fastened upon the 
nation in the way of pensions, places, the half-paj list, and 
such like devices, hy which they live out of the sweat of the 
poor, whereas in Catholic times they contributed to the com- 
fort of the poor, hy being their instructors, physicians and 

Fourthly, the monasteries were of the greatest advantage 
to the commonwealth, inasmuch as they not only contributed 
to preserve the dignity of the crown and the rights of the 
people, but they had services reserved by their founders, 
which were of a military nature, but widely different from a 
standing army. For example, the abbeys that held by knights' 
service, were bound to provide such a number of soldiers as 
their services required, and furnish them for the field at their 
own charge. Thus, when the country called, their men 
appeared at their musters, to attend the heirs of the founders, 
or such as had settled a knight's fee upon them. Here then 
we had an army equipped at a moment's notice, to support 
the honour of old England, and without a tittle of tax upon 
the people. Now, however, we are compelled to employ 
recruiting officers and men at a heavy charge ; individuals 
are bought or trepanned into the service ; a large sum of 
money is annually wrung out of the sweat of the poor to 
maintain this army ; and in the event of its being reduced, 
the officers are saddled upon the nation for life, so that one 
part of the people may be said to live upon the labour of the 
other; whereas in Catholic times, in the absence of debt, 
loans, pensions, sinecures, taxes, and tax-gatherers, every 
class of the community was usefully employed, and each con- 
tributed to the other's comfort. 

When Henry VIII. came to the crown, he found his ex- 
chequer well filled. The nation was without debt and the 
people content and happy. In this state he reigned over 
them nearly twenty years, when the passion of lust first turned 
him from the path of duty, and he became an inexorable 
tyrant. In this raging temper he was surrounded by men 
of the vilest qualities, who fumed the flame of his desires to 

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an ungovernable fury, and by tbe most deceptive arts led 
him to sanction the most disgraceful outrages, while they 
took care to profit by the villanies they projected. But as 
Ihe vengeance of God fell on the persecutors of the primitive 
Christians, so did his justice fall on the evil doers in the work 
of devastation we have just described. Harry, who, as the 
head and supreme in these horrible sacrileges, demands the 
first notice, ^fter living a voluptuous life, grew so corpulent 
and unwieldy that he was not able to go up stairs, or from 
one room to another, but was obliged to be hoisted up by an 
engine; his body too was filled with foul and nauseous 
humours, which caused such a stench as made it loathsome to 
attend upon him. In his dying illness he affected some re- 
ligious compunction, but no one gave oredit to his actions, 
and he who had made so many men's wills void, had his own 
totally disregarded by those who had been his greatest 
favourites. He died unregretted, and his memory is only 
held in remembrance to execrate the bloody deeds which 
slain his life. Dr. Heylin records that " he never spared 
woman in his lust, nor man in his anger ;'* and Sir Walter 
Kaleigh says of him, " That if all the patterns of a merciless 
prince had been lost in the world, they might have been 
found in this king." Of his six wives, the memory of one 
only is held in veneration by posterity ; this is the unfortunate, 
but magnanimous Catharine, whose cruel persecution has 
been dearly paid for by the nation. His second wife, Anne 
Boleyn, who was instrumental in the sufferings of Catharine, 
was beheaded for incest with her own brother ; the third, 
Jane Seymour, being in childbirth and in danger of death, 
as well as the child, had her body ripped up by order of the 
king to preserve the child ; the fourth, Anne of Cleves, was 
cast off within two or three months; the fifth, Catharine 
Howard, was beheaded for adultery ; and the sixth, Catharine 
Parr, was near sharing the same fate, but had the good 
fortune to escape and survive him. 

We must now say a word or two on Cromwell, who was a 
principal actor in this tragedy of depredation and cruelty. 

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266 REVIEW OP fox's 

This creature of crime and violence had risen so high in 
royal farour, that he seemed to engross all the power and 
influence of the court. He obtained a grant of thirty manors 
belonging to the suppressed monasteries, the title of earl of 
Essex was conferred upon him, and he was appointed to the 
office of lord chamberlain, in addition to hb situation of vicar 
general, and other trusts. In this sunshine of court patron- 
age he conducted the business of the crown in parliament, and 
thought himself omnipotent. Indeed so littie did he ap- 
prehend the &te that awaited him, that he actually com- 
mitted tlie bishop of Chichester and Dr. Wilson to the Tow^^ 
on a charge of having relieved prisoners confined for refusing 
the oath of supremacy ; and threatened with the royal dis- 
pleasure the duke of Norfolk, and the bishops of Durham, 
Winchester, and Bath, who were opposed to his views, when 
he suddenly found himself the object of the king's anger. 
Henry, it will be recollected, had taken a dislike to Anne of 
Cleves, his fourth wife, and he learned that Cromwell had 
been the prime negociator in this disagreeable match. Hence, 
he contracted as violent a dislike to his favourite as he had 
entertained a strong partiality for him, and he was not slow 
in wreaking his vengeance. The butchering vicar-general 
seems not to have had the least suspicion of his fall, until he 
found himself, after he attended the house of lords in th^ 
morning, and the council board in the afternoon, on the 10th 
of June, 1540, arrested and taken to the Tower on a charge 
of high treason. As minister, he was accused of receiving 
bribes and encroaching on the royal authority by issuing 
commissions, pardoning convicts, and granting licences for 
the exportation of prohibited merchandize. As vicar-generali 
he was charged with having betrayed his duiy, by not only 
holding heretical opinions himself, but also by protecting 
heretical preachers. And to make him a traitor, he was ac- 
cused of having expressed a resolution to fight agfdnst the 
king, if it were necessary, in support of his religious opinionSb 
He was confronted with his accusers in presence of the com- 
missioners, but was refused the benefit of a public trial before 

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Mi peers. He was proceeded against hy a bill of attainder, 
ttf whi<^ be bad no reason^ bowever^ to complain^ as be was 
the first to employ tbe iniquitous measure against otbers. Tbe 
modem editors of tbe Book of Martyrs, copying from Burnet, 
fUkf, ** GroMwdl experienced the common fate of fallen minis- 
ters ; bis pretended friends forsook him, and bis enei&ies pur- 
sued their revenge itgainst bim without opposition, except from 
Cran%Ber> who, with a rtxre fidelity, dared to avow an attacb- 
tnent to bim, even at this time, and wrote a very earnest letter 
to tbe king in bis favour. But Henry was not easily turned 
from his purpose, and being resolved on the rum of Cromwell, 
was not to be dissuaded lirom his design/' Crantier did, to be 
-s«re, interpose in beludf of his friend and compeer in villany,but 
he todc care to use such measured Hinguage, that the king could 
aotti^ offence, for Tom was very eareiul to keep his own skin 
whole dA long as be could. His epistle rather enumerated the 
^MiBt services of Cromwell than defended his innocence, as th^ 
i9&>lnng extract will shew: — ^** A man,'* writes Cranmer, 
*' dkat Was BO advanced by your majesty, whose surety was 
enly by your majesty, who loved your majesty no less than 
God [what blasphemy !], who studied always to set forward 
•whatsoever was your majesty's will and pleasure, who cared 
for no man's <tispleasure to serve your majesty, who was such 
a servant, in my judgment, in wisdom, diligence, faithfulness, 
und experience, as no prince in this realm ever had the like ; 
who was so vigilant to preserve your majesty from all treasons, 
that few could be so secretly conceived but be detected the 
same in the beginning ; such a man, that, if the noble princes 
<tf mem<)ry, king John, Henry 11., Eichard II., had bad such 
a ebunsdlor about them, I suppose they would never have 
%een so treacherously abandoned and overthown, as those good 
princes were. Who shall your grace trust hereafter, if you 
mistrust him? Alas! I bewail and lament your grace's 
^mnee herein : I wot Hot whom your grace may trust," Ac 
Such was the character given by Cranmer of his friend Crom- 
wdl; ye* five days after this pattern of " rare fidelity " had 
ihuft addressed' hb majesty, this very Tom Cranmer, this Pro- 

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.268 REVIEW OF FOX -8 

testant archbbhop of Canterbury, this prime reform^ of ih^ 
cliurch of England, on the second and third readings of the 
"bill of attainder, gave his vote in favour of it, thinking i( 
safer to go with the stream than contend against the tide <^ 
Harry's will. Oh ! blessed Tom Cranmer. In oonsequ^ce 
of Tom*B compliance, the bill passed the lords without a dis-* 
sentient voice, and probably with as little opposition through 
the commons. The bill was no sooner passed, than the prir 
soner was led out and beheaded on Tower-hill a few dayp 
after he was arrested. 

Thus fell the great &vourite of Henry, whom he made os^ 
of to do his dirty work, and who was too ready, it cannot be 
denied, to perform the task set him. In the £eJ1 of this man 
there were three singular circumstances attending his £e^. 
Though appointed vicar-general to the head of the chords 
with a power to reform all heresies, he was accused of here^ 
himself. Agidn, although he had, in his life-time, been the 
greatest destroyer of the church of all the innovators of that 
age, yet^ in his dying speech, he declared himself i^ stanch 
Catholic. *' I pray you," says he, " that be here, to bear me 
record, I die in the Catholic faith, not doubting in any article 
of my faith ; no, nor doubting in any sacrament of the church. 
Many have slandered me, and reported that I have been a 
hearer of such as have maintained evil opmions, which is 
untrue ; but I confess, that like as God, by his Holy Spirit, 
doth instruct us in the truth, so the devil is ready to seduce 
us, and I have been seduced : but bear me witness, I die of 
the faith of the Catholic church.*' Next, he fell by a law of 
his own framing, the most odious and diabolical that eould be 
devised, and intended to revenge himself of those individuals 
who had the courage and honesty to oppose his in^Eunoos 
practices. We find in Dodd*s account of the life of this mon- 
ster in human shape, the following singular relation of his 
posterity : — ** I meet with a pedigree of this family,*' writer 
this historian, '* which makes the infamous Oliver CromweU 
a branch of it, in the following manner : Lord Cromwell, am 
to the earl of Essex, dying without issue male, a daughter of 

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tlie famOy was married to one Morgan Williams, of Glamor- 
ganshire, whose son, Sir Eichard Williams, took the name of 
Cromwell, and settled in Huntingdonshire, from whom de- 
BOended Sir Oliver Cromwell,knight of the Bath in king James 
I.'s reign, who had a younger brother called Robert, father to 
Oliver the protector. Now, if this pedigree may be depended 
Bpon, it is very remarkable how fatal the name has been both 
to church and state, both to Catholics and Protestants. About 
a hundred years after Thomas Cromwell had stripped the 
church of Rome of monastic lands, Oliver carried on the Refor- 
mation, and stripped the church of England of bishops' lands. 
Now, to draw a parallel of their irreligous proceedings, there 
seems to be some resemblance both as to their motives and 
methods, and Catholics may be in hopes of being pitied under 
iheir oppression; for altering the date of years, the same apol- 
ogy will serve for both churches.*' 

Such was the fate of Cromwell, who fell unpitied by his 
^ends and despised by the people ; nor was he the only 
example of Gods vengeance on the cruel and remorseless 
destroyers of the pious monuments and charitable institutions 
ctf their religious forefathers. The instances of the resent- 
ment of Heaven at the injuries done to church property and 
the rights of the poor were numerous and awful. The monas- 
tic institutions were chiefly designed to revive the piety of the 
primitive Christians, and promote the great end of charity. 
We have seen how well they performed the task, and the 
many benefits they conferred upon those nations that fostered 
lAiem, but especially on England, as regarded religion, the 
sciences, and civil freedom. The destruction of these institu- 
tions was the death blow of England's liberties and happiness ; 
but the perpetrators fell in the vortex of ruin they had pre- 
pared for the church. The abbey lands, which were seized 
to grafafy the avarice aild cupidity of courtiers, became the 
ctir»B of the families who alienated them from their lawful 
owners. The effect of this curse was so visible, that, within 
twenty years after the dissolution, more of the nobility were 
attainted and died under the sword of justice, than suffered 

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370 MViBW OP fox's 

in that way from the Conquest to the deriuitation, making & 
period of 500 years. To give the winrk an af^pearanoe of 
legality, the sanction of parliament was obtained by corrapttng 
the members; and see the consequences which foUowed. Mr. 
Fuller, in his Church Hist(n*y, c. vi., writes, '* If you examine 
the list of the barons in the pariiament of the 27th of Henry 
VIII. I you will find very few of them whose sons do, at thifi 
day, inherit their fathers' titles and estates ; and of these few^ 
many to whom the king's favour hath restored what the rigor-' 
ous law of attainder took, both dignity, lands, and posterity. 
And, doubtless, the commons have drunk deeply of thi» cup 
of deadly wine ; but they, being more numerous and leee 
eminent, are not so obvious to observation. However, it will 
not be amiss to ins^ the observation of a most worthy an^* 
quarian. Sir Henry Spelman, in the county whwe he was boni, 
and best experienced ; who reporteth that, in Norfolk, th^ro 
were 100 houses of gentlemen, before the dissolution, pes- 
sOBsed oi fair estates, of whom so many as gained acoessioa 
by abbey lands are at this time extinct, or much impaired, 
bemoaning his own &mily, under the latter notion, aa 
(|ixabis)ied hy such an addition." That Norfolk, our BotivB^ 
oounty. was not alone marked with the finger of God, may he 
traced by history, for it will be found that every county 
throughout England bore the same visiUe marks of God'a sig- 
nal displeasure of this woik (^ sacrilege and spoliation. 


Having shewn how the temporalities of the chureh fell it 
prey to the avaricious designs of the panders of Henry, it is 
now time to take some notice of the theological pcoceediaga 
which took place among Henry's divines, while the work of 
robbery and saerilege was going on. The king, it wUl bo 
observed, had caused himself to be* aduiowledged by th* 
ol^gy and parliament, the supreme head of the churdi of 
England, and consigned many of the most virtuous and 
learned men, such as Fisher, More, Foreat, and others, to die 
fagot and the block, for recusing to acknowMge tlus aii- 

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premacy in bim, so far as i^irituals were concerned. Having 
submitted to his supreme headships the clergy^ in convocatioD^ 
obsequiously became the mere tools of the royal lay-pope. 
A conyoeation is an assembly of the clergy for consultation 
upon matters ecclesiastical^ and in this coimtry consisted of 
two distinct houses, like the parliament '; the archbishops and 
bishops constituted the upper house, and the inferior clergy^ 
represented by deputies, forming the lower house. Frevioos to 
the Reformatioui as it is called, this assembly was uninflu^ced 
by royal power, as the church was secured in her priyileges 
by Magna Charta, and in return was highly instrumental in 
securing to the people their privileges enjoyed under the same 
diarter. To bring the matter about, Henry had got all the 
dergy into tkpremunire, whereby they had forfeited all their 
temporal possessions to the king, and were in danger of being 
sent to prison at the king's pleasure. When the statutes of 
premunire were passed, a power was given to the sovereign 
to mitigate or suspend their operation, and hence it was 
customary for the king to grant letters of license or protec- 
tion to particular individuals. Wolsey held one of these 
patents under t^e great seal for fifteen years, during which 
no one ever accused him of violating the law. When the 
cardinal was indicted for the offence, for some reason or other 
he neglected or refused to plead the royal permission, and 
suffered judgment to pass against him, and it was argued, on 
the ground of his conviction, that all the clergy were liable 
to the same penalty, because, by admitting his jurisdiction, 
they had become partners in his guilt. Accordingly, the 
aittiHmey-general, to their consternation, was instructed to file 
an information against the whole in the court of king's bench. 
To get out of this predicament, into which they had fallen, 
the cl^gy of the province of Cant^bury hastily assembled in 
convocation, and t^idered to the king a present of one him- 
^d thouMmd pounds in return for a full pardon. Henry, 
however, under the advice of Cromwell, through whose 
ooaning the lushops and clergy had been caught in the snare, 
to their great |prief and astonishment, refused the proposal^ 

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onless they at the same time consented to acknowledge him^ 
the king, " to be the protector and onfy supreme head of the 
ohurch and dergy of England.'' Three days were consumed 
in useless consultation^ and conferences were held with Crom- 
well and the royal commissioners. In the course of the 
debates, bishop Fisher, who appeared to be almost the only 
kidividual of the clergy that had the courage to speak the 
sentiments of his mind, and oppose, as far as he was able, 
Ifee irreligious innoTation meditated by Henry, delivered hiff 
sentiments in the following terms : " My lords, it is true, we 
are all under the king's lash, and stand in need of the king's 
good favour and clemency ; yet this argues not that we 
should therefore do that which will render us both ridiculous 
and contemptible to all the christian world, and hissed out 
from the society of God's holy Catholic church : for, what 
good will that be to us, to keep the possession of our houses, 
cloisters, and convents, and to lose the society of the Christian 
world; to preserve our goods, and lose our consciences? 
Wherefore, my lords, I pray 1^ us conwder what we do, and 
what it is we are to grant ; the dangers and inconveniences^ 
that will ensue thereupon ; or whether it lies in our power to. 
grant what the king requireth at our hands, or v^hether the 
king be an apt person to receive this ; that so we may go 
groundedly to work, and not like men that had lost all honesty 
and wit together with their worldly fortune. As concerning 
the first point, viz., what the supremacy of the church is, 
which we are to give unto the king; it is to exercise the 
spiritual government of the church in chief; which, accord- 
ing to all that ever I have learned, both in the gospel and* 
through the whole course of divinity, mainly consists in these - 
two points : — 

'*1. In loosing and binding sinn^^; according to that 
which our Saviour said unto St. Peter, when he ordained 
him head of his church, viz., ^ To thee will I give the keys of 
the kingdom of heaven.* ^ow, my l<»*ds, can we say unto 
the king, tibi, to thee will I give the keys of the kingdom 
of heiiven ? If you say ay, where is your warrant? if you- 

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flay no, then you have answered yourselves, that you cannot 
put such keys into his hands. 

"2. — The supreme government of the church consists 
in feeding Christ's sheep and lamhs ; according unto that, 
when our Saviour performed that promise unto Peter, of 
making him his universal shepherd^ hy such unlimited juris- 
diction^ *Feed my lamhs ;* and not only so, but feed those 
that are the feeders of those lambs ; * Feed my sheep.' 
Now, my lords, can any of us say unto the king, pasce oves f 

•* God hath given unto his church, some to be apostles, 
some evangelists, some pastors, some doctors ; that they 
might edify the body of Christ : so that yon must make the 
ling one of these, before you can set him one over these ; 
and, when you have made him one of these supreme heads 
of the church, he must be such a head as may be answer- 
able to all the members of Christ's body : and it is not the 
few ministers of an island that must constitute a head over 
the universe ; or at least, by such example, we must allow as 
many heads over the church, as there are sovereign powers 
within Christ's dominion ; and then what will become of the 
supremacy ; every member must have a head : attendite 
vobis, was not said to kings, but bishops. 

" Secondly, let us consider the inconveniences that will 
arise upon this grant : we cannot grant this unto the king, 
but we must renounce our unity with the see of Kome ; and, 
if there were no further matter in it than a renouncing of 
Clement VII., pope thereof, then the matter were not so 
great: hut in this we do forsake the first four general 
councils, which none ever forsook ; we renounce all canonical 
ecclesiastical laws of the church of Christ ; we renounce all 
Other Christian princes ; we renounce the unity of the 
Christian world ; and so leap out of Peter's ship, to be 
drowned in the waves of all heresies, sects, schisms, and 

" Yoc the first and general council of Nice acknowledged 
Silvester's (the bishop of Rome) authority to be over them,, 
by sendbg thdr decrees to be ratified by him^ 

N 3 

Digitized by LjOOQiC 


*' The council of Constftirtiiiople did acknowledge pope 
DamasuB to be their chief, by admittiag him to gire s^ntenoe 
against the heretics Maced<HiiuBy Sabellinus, and Ennomius. 

<< The council of Ephesus acknowledged pope Celestine to 
be their chief judge^ by admitting his condemnation upon the 
heretic Nest<mus. 

'^ The council of Chalcedon acknowledged pope Leo to be 
their chief head ; and all general councils of the world e?er 
acknowledged the pope of Rome (only) to be Uie supreme 
head of the church. And now shall we acknowledge another 
head ? er one head to be in England, and another in Bome ? 

'* Thirdly, we deny all canonical and ecclesiastical laws ; 
which wholly do depend upon the authority of the apostolical 
see of Eome. 

" Fourthly, we renounce the judgment of all otiier 
Christian princes^ whether they be Protestants or Catholics^ 
Jews or Gentiles ; for, by this argument, Herod must have 
been head of the church of Uie Jews, Nero must have been 
head of the church of Christy the emperor must be head ci 
the Protestant countries in Germany, and the church of 
Christ must haye had neyer a head till about three hundred 
years after Christ. 

"Fifthly, the king's majesty is not susceptible of this 
donation : Ozias, for meddling with the priest's office, was 
resisted by Azarias, thrust out of the temple, and told that it 
belonged not to his office. Now if the priest spake truth in 
this, then is not the king to meddle in this business : if he 
spoke amiss, why did God plague the king with leprosy for 
this, and not the priest? 

" King David, when the ark of God was in bringbg home, 
did he place himself in the head of the priests' order ? did he 
so much as touch the ark, or execute any the least, properly 
belonging to the priestly function ? or did he not rather go 
before, and abase himself amongst tiie people, and say that 
he would become yet more yile^ so tibat God might be 

"All good Christian emperors have erermore refused 

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ecclesiastica] authority ; for^ at tiie first general council of 
"Mdee, certain bills were privilj l»rouglit unto Oonstantine^ to 
be ordered by his authority ; but he caused item to be bumt^ 
saying, Dommus vob constkuit, kc», God has ordained you 
(priests)^ and' hath given you power to be judges over us ; 
and therefore, by right, in these things, we are to be judged 
ty you ; but you are not to be judged by me. 

** Valentine, the good emperor, was required by the bishops 
to be present with them, to reform the heresy of the Arians ; 
but he answered, ' Forasmuch as I am one of the members of 
tiie lay-people, it is not lawful for me to define such contro- 
versies ; but let the priests, to whom God hath given charge 
thereof, assemble where they will in due Order.' 

** Theodosius, writing to the council of Ephesus, saith, * It 
is not lawful for him that is not of ihe holy order of bishops, 
to intermeddle with ecclesiastical matters :' and now shall we 
cause our king to be head of the church, when all good kings 
have abhorred the very least Uiought thereof, and so many 
wicked kings have been plagued for so doing ! Truly, my 
lords, I think they are his best friends that dissimde him from 
it ; and he would be iJie worst enemy to himself, if he ^ould 
obtain it. ' 

" Lastly, if this thing be, farewell all unity with Chnisten- 
dom ! For, as that holy and blessed martyr S^t Cypriaa 
satth, all unity depends upoa thait holy see, as upon the 
authority of St. Peter's successors; for,^ saith the same holy 
father, aU heresies, sects, and schisms, have no other rise but 
this, that men will not be obedient to the chief bishop ; and 
BOW, for us to shake off our communion with that church, 
• either we must grant the church of Rome to be the church of 
Gbd, or else a malignant churcL If you answer, she is of 
0od, and a chi^rch where Christ is truly taught, his sacrai- 
menta r%htly administered, <fec., how can we forsake, how 
ctan we % from such a chiurch ? certainly we ought to be with,. 
and not tOr separate ourselves from suck a one. 

"If we answer, that the church of Rome is not of God,. 
hoi a maligQajit church; then it will foUow^.that we» ^^ 

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270 REVIEW OF fox's 

inhabitants of this land, have not jet receired the true ^eiitb 
of Christ ; seeing we have not received any other gospel, any 
other doctrine, any other sacraments, than what we have 
received from her, as most evidently appears by all the 
ecclesiastical histories: wherefore, if she be a malignant 
church, Yfe have been deceived alt this while ; and if to 
i*enounce the common father of Christendom, all the general 
councils, especially the first four, which none renounce, all 
the countries of Christendom, whether they be Cathdic 
Countries or Protestant, be to forsake the unity of the Christian 
world ; then is the granting of the supremacy of the church 
imto a king, a renouncing of this unity, a tearing of the seem- 
less coat of Christ in sunder, a dividing of the mystical body 
of Christ his spouse limb from limb ; and tail to tail, like 
damson's foxes, to set the field of Christ's holy church all 
on fire ; and this is it which we are about : wherefore let it be 
said unto you in time, and not too late, look you to that."-— 
{Bailey's Life of Fisher.) 

This profound and unanswerable speech had eonnderaUe 
efiect upon the whole convocation for a time, but, in the end, 
the king obtained the consent of the assembly, through the 
artful persuasions of his emissaries, and the worldly-minded- 
uess of some of the leading dignitaries. In the mean time 
Cranmer, as we have before stated, got appointed to the high 
dignity of archbishop of Canterbury* and primate of all 
England. The link of unity formed by the divine founder 
of the church being thus dissevered, the only means left to 
preserve a uniformity of faith were acts of parliament and 
pains and penalties ; but those were found ineffectual idmost 
as soon as the king assumed the character of pope. Harry 
himself, with the exception of the supremacy, was rigidly 
attached to the dogmas of the Catholic church, but as he had 
no divine authority to rule the consciences of men, he could 
^ot prevent others from exercismg their visionary fancies in 
tlie way of religion-making as well as himself, and hence, th^ 
nation soc^ swarmed with religious tinkers, each battering 
tiie other'^ ket^tle^ untilther people were distracted andaUnoat 

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maddened with the discordant sounds. It is now time to gire 
the acoomit of ike modem editors of Fox of these proceedings^ 
which we peroeiye they have extracted from Burnet's Abridg- 
ment. They say, '* The convocation sat at the time, and was 
much employed. Latimer preached a Latin sermon before 
them ; he was the most celebrated preacher of that time ; the 
simplicity of his matter, and his zeal in expressing it, being 
preferred to more elaborate compositions. The convocation 
first confirmed the sentence of divorce between the king and 
queen Anne. Then the lower house made an address to the 
u{^>6r house, complaining of sixty-seven opinions, which they 
found were very much spread in the kingdom, These were 
either the tenets of the old Lollards, or of Ihe new Reformers, 
or of the Anabaptists ; and many of Ihem were only indis- 
creet expressions, which might have flowed from the heat and 
folly of some rash zealots, who had endeavoured to disgrace 
both the received doctarines and rites. They also complained 
of some bishops who were wanting in their duty to suppress 
such abuses. This was understood as a reflection on Cranmer, 
Shaxton, and Latimer, the first of whom it was thought was 
now declining, in consequence of the fall of queen Anne. 
. '* But all these projects failed, for Cranmer was now fully 
established in the king's £&vour ; and Cromwell was sent to 
the convocation with a message from his majesty, that they 
should reform the rites and ceremonies of the church accord- 
ing to the rules set down in smpture, which ought to be pre- 
ferred to all glosses or decrees of popes. 

** There was one Alesse, a Scotchman, whom Cromwell 
entertained in his house, who, being appointed to deliver his 
opinion, shewed that there was no sacrament instituted by 
Christ but baptism and the Lord's supper. Stokesly answered 
him in a long discourse upon the principles of the school 
divinity ; upon which, Cranmer took occasion to shew the 
wmity of that sort of learning, and the uncertainty of tradition ; 
and th«t religion had been so corrupted in the latter ages, that 
there was no finding out the truth but by resting on the au-- 
th.ority (^ the scriptures. • Fox, hisAiOf of Hereford, seconded 

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278 REVIEW OF fox's 

lum, and told them that the world was now awake^ and would 
be no longer imposed on by the niceties and dark terms o£ ihe 
sdiools ; for the laity now did not only read the scriptures in 
the vulgar tongaes> but searched the originals themselyea; 
therefore they must not think to govern them as they had 
been gov^ned in the times c^ ignorance. Among the bishc^M^ 
Granmer, Goodrick, Shaxton, Latimer^ Fox, Hilsey, and 
Barlow^ pressed the Reformation ; but Lee^archbishop of York, 
Stoksley, Ttmstally Gardiner, Longland, and several others^ 
opposed it as much. The contest would have been mueh 
sharper, had not the king sent some' articles to be considered 
of by them, when the following mixture of truth and error wis 
agreed upcm:— > 

^' 1. ^Hiat the bishops and jH^achers ought to instruct the 
pjBople according to the scriptures, the three creeds, and the 
four first general eouncils* 

''2. That baptism was necessary to salvation, and that 
children ougl^ to be baptized for the pardon of original sin, 
and obtaining the Holy Ghost. 

^^ 3. That penance was necessary to salvaticm, and Hiat it 
consisted in confession, contrition, and amendment of life> 
with the external works of charity, to whidi a lively faith ought 
to be joined ; and that confession to a priest was necessary 
where it might be had. 

^' 4» That in the eucharist, under Ihe f(»rms of bread and 
wine, the very flesh and blood of Christ were received. 

^' That justification was the remission of sins, and a perfect 
renovation in Christ ; and that not only outward good works, 
but inward holiness, was absolutely necessary. As for the 
outward ceremonies, Ihe people were to be taught. — 1. That it 
was meet to have images in churches, but they ought to avoid 
all such superstition as had been in times past, and not to 
worship the image, but only God. 2, That they were to 
honour the samts, but not to expect those things fix>m than 
which God only gives. 3. That they might pray to them for 
their intercession, but all superstitious abuses weie to cease ;. 
andif the king should lessen the number (rf saints' days, they 

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ought to obe j him. 4* That the ode of the ceremonies was 
good» aod tiiat the j eontained maaj mystical significaticms 
thai tended to raise the mind towards Qod ; soch were yest^ 
meo^ in dirine worship^ holy water> holy breads the carrying 
of oandlea^ and palms and ashes^ and creeping to tibe cross, 
and hallowing tiie font, With other exorcisms. 5. That it 
was good to pray for departed souls, and to hare masses and 
exequies said for them ; but the scriptures haying neither 
declared in what place they were, nor what torments tiiey suf^ 
fered, that was uncertidn, and to be left to €K>d ; therefore all 
the abuses of the pope's pardons, or saying masses in such 
and such plaoeS) or before such images, were to be put away* 
These articles were signed by Cromwell, the two ^rdibisbops^ 
sixteen bishops, forty abbots and priors, and fifty <^ the bwer 
house. The king afterwards added a preface, dedaring tlie* 
pains that Le and the dergy had been at for the remoYiug 
the differences in religion which existed in the nation, and 
that he approved of these articles, and required aU his subjects 
to accept them, and he would be thereby encouraged to take 
further pains in the fike matters for the future. 

*' On the publication of these things, the fovourers ci the 
Reformation, though they did not i^proYO of every par- 
ticular, yet were well pleased to see things brought under 
examination; and i»nce some things were at this time changed,, 
they did not doubt but more changes would foUow ; they were 
glad that the scriptures and the ancient creeds were made the 
standards of the faith, without adding tradition, and that the 
nature of justification and the gospel-covenant was rightly 
stated ; that the immediate worship of images and saints was 
condemned, and that purgatory was }»h uncertain : but tiie 
necessity of auricular confession, and the corporeal presence,, 
the doing reverence to images, and praying to saints, were of 
hard digestion to them ; yet they rejoiced to see some grosser 
abuses removed^ and a Reformation once set on foot. The 
popish party, on the other hand^ wene sony to see four sacra- 
ments passed ov^ in silence, and the trade in masses for the 
dead put do wn» At the sa^ne time other things wero in eon.- 

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280 REVIEW OF fox's 

sultation, though not finished. Oranmer offered a paper to 
Ihe king, exhorting him to proceed to further reformation , 
and ihsA nothing should be determined without dear proofe 
from scripture, the departing from which had been the occa- 
sion of dl the errors that had been in the church. Many 
things were now acknowledged to be erroneous, for which 
dome, not long before, had suffered death. He therefore 
proposed several points to be discussed, as, Whether there 
were a purgatory ? Whether departed saints ought to be 
invocated, or traditions to be believed ? Whether images 
ought to be consideped only as representations of history? 
And, Whether it was lawful for the clergy to marry ? He 
prayed the king not to give judgment in these points till he 
heard them well examined ; but all this was carried no fur- 
ther at that period." ^ 

We must now examine this account, which has a mixture 
of truth with falsehood, and is calculated to disguise the 
former for the purpose of leading the people into the latter. 
Why Latimer should be named as the preacher, without 
giving the substance of the discourse, remains to be explained,, 
for the simplicity of his matter, and his zeal in expressmg it, 
conveys just nothing, unless we know what the matter con- 
sisted of. However, the first act of the convocation was to 
confirm the sentence of divorce passed by Cranmer between 
Henry and Anne Boleyn. Here, then, we have a specimen 
of the mean submission which this once learned and spirited 
body of men paid to the mandates of a tyrant. Cranmer 
and his associates were as pliant to the king's amours as ever 
he could wish, and never was head of the church so well ac- 
commodated in his lewd and irreh'gious woik as Henry 
found himsdf* The clergy very civilly dissolved the mar- 
riage of Anne Boleyn, as they had dissdved the previous 
marriage of Catharine with Henry, and the parliament, a» 
kindly, declared the issue of Anne, namdy Elizabeth, ille- 
gitimate, as it had declared Catliarine's daughter, Mary, to 
be the same. But what shall we say of Cranmer's conduct 
in the case of Anne^ to whom, of aU persons living, he. was 

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under the greatest obligations ? His treatment of his bene- 
factress was so barefacedly ungrateful, that even his greatest 
panegyrist, Burnet, could not view without concern this 
odious blot on the life of this most notorious dissembler and 
eold-bloodcd yillain. Well, this matter being settled to the 
king's wish, the lower house, we are told, made complaint of 
the diversity of opinions which were found to spread in the 
kingdom, and they fiurther complained of the negligence of 
some of the bishops, who were understood to be (>anmer, 
and Shazton, and Latimer. The former was raised to his 
high situation by Henry, the two latter by the influence of 
Anne Boleyn, So, then, as we have before observed, the 
acknowledgment of Henry as supreme head of the churchy 
was followed by the introduction of innumerable heresies, 
and the perpetration of countless injustices and murders. 
For more than a thousand years the people, by being locked 
in the bonds of unity with the whole universe, by the pro- 
fession of the same /aith, devoted themselves to the practice 
of every virtue, and were careful to preserve their civil 
rights. Secure from the distraction of silly fanatics, and 
grounded in the sure rule of Christianity, they devoted their 
time to the cultivation of the arts and sciences, and while 
they raised magnificent temples to the worship of the living- 
God, they were not less tenacious of their country's honour, 
and by the prowess of theu* deeds in arms, they became as 
renowned for their attachment to religion, as for their 
valourous exploits. The laws of England were founded on 
justice, and the people w^e then the freest of the free in 
all Christendom. Every man could then sit and repose 
under the shade of hb own vine, and England was really- 
then, what she is now nominally considered, the envy of 
surrounding nations, and the admiration of the world. Now 
she is represented by Burnet, under the new pope, as the 
prey of faction, and the nursery of heresy and inquietude. 
Whatever might have been the tiioughts of Cranmw's oppo- 
nents, Tom knew very well how to keep in Harry's good 
graces. Bqrnet tells ys thi^t these three worthies, to secure 

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their favour with Henry, protested to him " that they raeaat 
to do nothing that might displease the king^ whom thej 
acknowledged to be their supreme head- ; that they were re- 
solyed to obey his laws^ and they renounced the pope's au- 
thority with all his laws." This compilable declaration the 
modem editors have suppressed, probably, as reflecting no 
great credit upon the reforming heroes. 

We must now look into the other proceedings of this 
shackled and corrupted assembly. One Alesse, a Scotchman^ 
and a creature of Cromwell, we are told, was appointed to 
shew that there never were more than two sacraments ol 
Divine institution, though the whole Christiim world, from the 
fimt foundation of the church, believed there were seven. 
Who this Scotchman was we have no clue whatever, other 
than Uiat he was a sojourner in Cromwell's house; but 
whether he was a learned divine, or an ignorant fanatic, we 
cannot learn, nor have we one argument stated, that he pro- 
duced, supposing him to have argued the case, on which ta 
fcrm a conclusion. Stoksley, the then bishop of London, 
it is said, answered this Scotchman in a long discourse upon 
the principles of the school divinity ; upon which Cranmer 
took occasion to shew " the vanity of that sort of leartiing, 
and the uncertainty of tradition ; and that religion had been 
BO corrupted in the latter ages that there was no finding out 
the truth but by resting on the authority of the scriptures, ^^ 
Well said, Tom I but pray tell us on whom the authority of 
the scriptures rested. If religion had become so corrupted 
in the latter ages as to raider it difficult to discover the 
truth, what assurance have you that the scriptures were not 
corrupted by those who had so c(»Tupted religion? When 
the reformers began to discover the truth, they began at the 
same time to corrupt the scriptures. This is a notorious 
fsifii. The reformers, in preaching the word oi God, a/s 
rather, in passing off their chimmoal notions of divbity aa 
articles of divine fedth, corrupted and adulterated the <»iginal 
text of the bible, and imposed it upon their credulous heareia 
a9 the word of Gpd. Wbitt blasphemy i;ras not j^ractised b^ 

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B00& OF MAfiTYRS. 2S3 

tl^e abandoned hypocrites, in addition to the work of sacri- 
lege» and robberjy and bloodshed, we have already detailed ? 
For our part, we look upon this account to be purely fictitioiui, 
the inyentioa of Fox or Burnet's brain ; for, is it to be sup- 
posed that Cranmer, or any other of the bishops, who were 
Lutherans in their hearts, would dare openly to deny the 
di?ine origin of the seyen sacraments, which Henry himself 
had defended against Luther, and held so steadfast that he 
would have shortened even his favourite ardibishop Tom a 
head, if he had dared to impugn any one of them ? But 
let us go a little further into this disputation. Fox, Inshop 
of Hereford, we are informed, seconded Cranmer against 
Stok^y, ** and told them that the world was now awakb, 
and would no longer be imposed on by the niceties and dark 
terms of the schools, for the laity now did not only read 
IIm scriptures in the fmlffar tongues, bi^ learehed the 
originals themselves ; therefore they must not think to gorem 
them as they had been gov^ned in the times of ignorance/' 
Ah ! Gilbert Burnet, when you told this fine tale, you did 
not expect th^ people would really begin to see through 
the Edsratagems played (rfT to lull them to sleep. We do 
not believe that Fox was so lost to his character as to make 
such a statement as you have imputed to him; but^ allowing 
iiim to have made it, what does it amount to^ ? Absurdity and 
falsehood ! 1!h& worid was said to be now wide awake ; in 
whi(di case it must be aUowed to have slept a long time, nnce 
the Christian part of it had then existed 1500 years with ita 
eyes shut. But the e<mcluding part of the statement is the 
most extra(»rdinary. The laity are said not only to have read 
the translati<m of &e smptures, but even to have searched 
the originals ! Is there any one credulous enough to believe 
this? The laity searching the originals of the sacred 
wrings I To be sure they must have been a very learned 
laity indeed ; and we wond^ much that, in this case, there 
was so great and Yandalic a deslaruction of the libraries of 
tto OKmastories and colleges whidi tofk. place just at that 
time. And then as to the tn^nshitioiis into ih^ vulgar 

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284 REVIEW OF fox's 

tongue, we believe at thb period there was only one, namely 
Tyndal's, which was found to be filled with so* many cor- 
ruptionSy and adulterated with such gross and scandalous 
(^Hnions, that the king issued a proclamatbu, ordering all 
persons to deliver up their copies of this version, declaring 
tiiat, in respect to the malignity of the times, it was better 
that the scriptures should be expounded by the learned than 
exposed to the misconstruction of the vulgar. Now this 
proceeding looks very much like the world being wide awake^ 
and no longer inclined to be imposed upon, since it appears 
the reformers wished to impose upon them with their eye& 
open. To prevent this was the object of the king's procla- 
mation, and he promised the people, that if it should afiter-. 
wards appear that erroneous opinions were forsaken, and 
Tyndal's version destroyed, he would then provide them & 
new translation through the labours of learned, tried, and 
Catholic divines. But what necessity could there be for all 
this attention on the part of his royal popeship, if the people 
were of themselves able to search the originals? The false- 
hood of the statement imputed to tdie bishop, by Burnet is 
palpable. . The suppression of Tyndal's bible, to be sure,, 
took place before the elevatbn of Cranmer to the primacy, : 
and as Tom had witnessed the success of so powerful a 
weapon among the reformers in Germany, he took care, 
after he was raised to his high station, to recall to the reool- 
.^ lection of the royal pope, his promise to give a translation of 
liie scriptures in tiie vulgar tongue, and his endeavours to 
procure one were seconded by petitions from the convocation, 
and the reconmiendation of Cromwell. The king consented 
to this importunity, and two printers, named Grafton and 
Whitchurch, obtained the royal license to publish a folio 
edition of the bible. " It bore,'* says Dr. Lingard, ** the 
name of Thomas Matthewe, a fictitious signature ; and was 
made up of the version by Tyndal, and of anotiier by Covw- 
dale, printed very lately, as it was tiiought, at Zurich. In- 
junctions were now issued, that a bible of this edition should 
be placed in every church, at the joint exp^ise of the in*- 

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bumbent and the parishioners ; and that any man might 
have the liberty of reading in it at his pleasure^ provided he 
did not disturb the preacher in his sermon^ nor the clergyman 
during tlie service. Soon afterwards this indulgence was 
extended from the church to private houses ; but Henry was 
.at all times careful to admonish the readers^ that, when they 
met with difficult passages, they should consult persons more 
learned than themselves; and to remind them, that the 
iiberty which they enjoyed, was not a right tcr which they 
possessed any claim, but a favour granted ' of the royid 
Hberality and goodness.' '^ The recommendation and per • 
mission to print, took place about 1534, the work was com- 
pleted in 1537, and tiie indulgence to allow the bible in 
private houses in 1539. We give these dates, as they will 
be f>und useful when we come to detail the persecutions 
^hich followed, and which were sanctioned by Cranmer and 
his base compeers. r 

- It is now tme to examine the articles of faith which were 
jsent by Ihe king to be considered by the convo<^ation, and 
which, we are further told, though compounded of truth and 
error, were signed by Cromwell and Cranmer, and several oi 
the dignified clergy. With regard to the first, by adopting 
the three creeds, and the first four general councils, they ad- 
mitted the doctrines of the Catholic church, for Catholics 
believe no more now than the fathers of the councils believed 
then. Of baptism there is no difference in the belief, and 
.with regard to penance we have the Catholic doctrine at once 
•confirmed. We have confession to the priest taught, as 
necessary to salvation, then we have contrition, and satisr 
faction by the external works of charity ; all which aro con- 
sidered as essentially necessary acts of the sacraments of 
penance. As to the eucharist, or sacrament of the altar, 
.the recU presence is most distinctly admitted, and, observe 
reader, Tom Cranmer, though he rejected this doctrine in 
his heart, yet he nevertheless subscribed to it, and continued 
not only to say mass during Henry's lifetime, but consecrated 
priests to do ^e same. The eucharist is here said, as it is 

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^S!66 RETiBW OP fox's 

in the present church catechism, to be the yeiy flesh and 
blood cf Christ, under the ^ortns of bread aod wine ; Oranmor 
solemnly subscribes to this ^otrine, which all Cathdics hoid, 
and sbordj after he bums a poor fellow, and a fanatic old 
womon^ ior not b^eving in this doctrine, as we shall pro*- 
sently see ; yet do Protestants, at tliis day, swear that sudi 
doetrine is damnable and idolatrous, to qoaHiy tliemBeh«B 
for office. 

We ha^e the system of venerating images retained ako, 
though an injuncti(m is attached, that the people ought to be 
taught to aroid superstition. And so they were taught, for 
there is not a Catholic that will not deny that he renders any 
homage to the image he may pray befere, but that his adora^- 
tion is directed to God, and to God ^one. The custom of 
pi:ayingfor tiie dead is also admitted, as w^ as saying 
masses for the repose of their souls, which included the doe- 
trine of purgatory ; so that we have here nothing but Ca- 
tholic doctf ine, and ibe reformers subseriMng to sudi doc- 
trine. It is true, Burnet and the modern editors tdl us that 
when these things were published the reformers did not 
approve " of every particular," yet they rejmced to see *of»e 
grosser abuses removed, and a Reformation ^ on foot This 
was tsome consolation to these dissembling and innovating 
spirits, to be sure ; but if they did not a{^ove <rf them, why 
did the heads of the reforming piurty sign them ? Were 
these learned reformers ignorant of what was most essesitial , 
in the Beformation^ or were they intimidated by the over- 
bearing temper of Henry? Principle was made to give 
way to policy, and though it is attempted to botch up 
Cranmer's reforming spirit by the introduction of a pi^Mor, 
which it is pretended he presented to the king, esiiorting 
him to proceed further in the work of Eeforma^n, yet it is 
very well known Henry did not listen to Tott's suggestions, 
and the latter continued to profess Henry^s o'eed with the 
most obsequious dkpoditiicm. The points proposed for 
discussion had already been decided, and as to Cramner's 
praying the king not to give judgment oa them till he had 

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BOOK 05- MARTYRB. 287 

heard them well examined, the act of the six articleB, which 
soon followed, shewed how little influence Tom had oyer 
his master, and that Harry was resolved that Tom should 
obey him. 

This assent of the convocation to Henry's book of *' arti- 
cles/' whi<^ were presented to that assembly by Cromwell, 
was followed by the publication of a work caU^, " The godly 
and pious institution of a Christian Man/' subscribed by the 
archbishops, bishops, archdeacons, and certain doctors of 
canon and civil law, and pronounced by them to accord, '^ in 
an 'iMngs, with the very, true meaning of scripture." Br. 
Lingard writes: — ** It explains in succession the creed, the 
seven sacraments, which it divides into three of a higher and 
four of a lower order, the ten commandments, the Pater 
Noster and Ave Maria, justification and purgatory. It is 
chiefly remarkable for the earnestness with whidi it refuses 
salvation to all persons out of the pale of the Catholic church, 
denies the supremacy of the pontiff, and inculcates passive 
obedience to the king. It teadies that no cause whatever 
can authorize the subject to draw the sword against his prince ; 
that sovereigns are accountable to God alone ; and that the 
only remedy against oppression is tO pray that God would 
change the heart of the despot, and induce him to make a 
right use of his power." Here then it is placed beyond 
contradiction that Cranmer, being a Lutheran in his heart, 
must have been one of the rankest dissemblers that ever bore 
human shape, seeing that he subscribed to a work which 
maintained the doctrine of the seven sacraments, purgatory, 
and exclusive salvation, all which were according to the true 
meaning of scripture. Another of the blessed fruits of 
Henry's supremacy, as set forth in this book and subscribed 
by Cranmer and the clergy, was the doctrine of the divine 
right of lings, which till this period was never heard of in 
England. Sir Thomas More, who was a sound lawyer, laid 
it down as a fundamental principle of the British Constitu- 
tion, that Parliament could make and unmake a king, though 
it could not alter a law of God. Thus, then, with the inno- 

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yation of religion, we may trace the invasion of the consti«> 
tution, and from the destruction of the monasteries we may 
lay all the evils which have afflicted this now unfortunate^ hut 
once happy country, for the last three centuries. 


The reader is now in possession of the proceedings regard- 
ing religion which accompanied the work of spoliation and 
sacrilege in the destruction of monasteries and seizure of 
bhurch property. While this work of impiety was going^on, 
the reformers of Germany sent envoys over to Henry to 
bring the monarch into their views, but the obstinacy of 
Henry was insurmountable. This embassy was the work of 
Cranmer, who knowing well that if he dared to thwart his 
master his head would soon £y from off his shoulders, con- 
ceived that foreigners might take a liberty which he dared 
bot do, and flattered himself that through their influence and 
learning the king might be won over. Several conferences 
were accordingly held, and Henry, with the aid of the bishop 
of Durham, was pleased to answer their arguments, which 
having done, he thanked them for the trouble they had 
taken, and sent them home. The pope, on the other hand, 
hearing of the scene of devastation that was going on in 
England, issued out a bull of excommunication against Henry, 
and threatened him with spiritual censures. Of this latter 
affair Burnet thus speaks : — " When these proceedings were 
known at Home, the pope immediately fulminated against 
the king all the thunders of hb spiritual store-house ; ab- 
solved liis subjects from their allegiance, and his allies from 
their treaties with him ; and exhorted all Christians to make 
war against and extirpate him from the face of the earth. 
But the age of crusades was past, and this display of impo- 
tent malice produced only contempt in the minds of the king 
iand his advisers, who steadily proceeded in the great work of 
reformation ; and the translation of the bible into English 
being now completed, it was prmted, and ordered to be read 

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in aII churobes, with penniesion for every person to re«d it 
who might be so disposed. 

'^ But, notwithstanding the king's disagi^eement with the 
pope on many subjects, there was one poiht on which &ey 
weie alike*— thej were both intolerant, furious bigots ; and 
while the former was excommunicated as an heretic^ he was 
himself equally aealous iu rooting out heresy, and burning 
all who presumed to depart from the standard of faith 
which he had established. Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, 
str^igthened thb disposition of the king, and persuaded him, 
under the pretext of a zeal for religion, to persecute the 
Sacramentarists, or those who denied the corporeal presence 
in the sacrament." 

This is Burnet's account, and we have here two remark- 
able circumstances connected with the work of Reformation, 
which it will be well for the Protestant reader to notice. 
First, the steady progress of '^ the king and his adyisers in 
the great work of Eeformation," exemplified in the circula- 
tion of the bible in the English language ; and secondly, its 
accompaniment of fer8E€UTI0N, by burning those who dared 
to differ in opinion from the king and his advisers. Burnet 
w(Hild persuade us there was very little difiSdrence between the 
then pope of Rome and the royal pope of England ; both, he 
says, were intolerant, furious bigots. Well, let it be so; still 
it must be confessed that the fury of the pope was given to 
the winds, while the rage of the English pope, unallayed by 
bis advisers, Cranmer, Cromwell, and the like, knew no 
bounds, and saturated the earth with the blood of his victims. 
The crafty historian has placed Gardiner, bishop of Win- 
chester, in front of the -stage ; but we shall see, by and by, 
even in his own w(M*ds, that Cranmer was not an unconcerned 
spectator in these scenes of cruelty and slaughter. We have 
before shewn that Cranmer was no sooner in the primate's 
c^air, than he was an actor in the burning of Frith and a 
poor tailor, for denying the real presence. Of this fact we 
have the testimony of Cranmer himself, who gives the follow- 
ing account of the affair in a letter which he wrote to Master 
vpL. II. o 

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290 BEViEW OP fox's 

Hawkins : — " One FrytK which was in the Tower in pryson, 
was appoynted by the kyng's grace to be examyned before 
nae, my lorde of London, my lorde of Wynchester, my lorde 
of Suffolke, my lorde Chancelloure, and my lorde of Wylt- 
shire, whose opynion was so notably erroneouse, that we culd 
not dispatche hym : but was fayne to leve hym to the deter- 
mynacion of his ordinarye, which is the bishop of London. 
Bis said opynion ys of such nature, that he thoughte it not 
necessary to be believed as an article of our faythe, that ther 
ys the very corporall presence of Christe within the oste and 
sacramente of the alter: and holdeth of this poynte most 
after the opynion of Oecolampadious. And surely I myself 
sent for hym iii or iiii tymes to perswade hym to leve that 
his imaginacion; but for all that we culd do therein he 
woulde not apply to any counsaile : notwithstandyng he ys 
nowe at a fynall ende with all ezaminacions, for my lorde of 
London hathe gyven sentance, and delyvered hym to the 
secular power, where he looketh every day to go to a fyer. 
And ther ys condempned with hym one Andrewe a tayloure 
of London for the said selfsame opynion." — Arch, xyu. p. 8L 

Two years after the burning of Frith, that is, in 1535, a 
colony of Anabaptists came over to England from Germany^ 
and were instantly apprehended ; fourteen of them, refusing 
to recant, were consigned to the flames. In 1538 another 
batch of them followed, and Oranmer was ordered by the 
king to call them before him (the archbishop) and three other 
prelates, to admonish them of their errors, and deliver the 
contumacious over for punishment. Tom readily complied : 
four of the number abjured, and a man and woman suffered 
for their obstinacy, at the stake. The next sufferer was one 
of more than ordinary interest, and we will here give the 
account as we find it in the Book of Martyrs, before we 
make any comment upon it. 

<< Martyrdom of John Lambert. — In consequence of 
this determination, John Lambert, a teacher of languages in 
London, who had drawn up ten arguments against the tenets 
of Dr. Taylor, on the above subject, as delivered in a sermon 

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at St. Peter'6 cburch, and presented tbem to the doctor, was 
brought before the archbishop^ a court, to defend his writings ; 
and, having appealed to the king, the royal theologian, who 
was proud of every occasion of displaying his talents and 
learning, resolved to hear him in person. He therefore 
issued a commission, ordering all his nobility and bishops to 
repair to London, to assist him against heretics. A day was 
appointed for the disputation, when a great numbca: of per- 
sons of all ranks assembled to witness the proceedings, and 
Lambert was brought from his prison by a guard, and placed 
directly opposite to the king. Henry, being seated on his 
throne, and surrounded by the peers, bishops, and judges, 
regarded the prisoner with a stern countenance, and then 
commanded Day, bishop of Chichester, to state the occasion 
of the present assembly. The bishop made a long oration, 
stating that, although the king had abolished the papal au- 
thority in England, it was not to be supposed that he would 
allow heretics with impunity to disturb and trouble the church 
of which he was the head. He had therefore determined to 
punish all schismatics ; and being willing to have the advice 
of his bishops and counsellors on so great an occasion, had 
assembled to hear the present case. 

'* The oration being concluded, the king ordered Lambert 
to declare his opinion as to the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper, which he did, by denyiug it to be the body of Christ 
The king then commanded Cranmer to refute his assertion, 
which the latter attempted; but was interrupted by Gardiner, 
who vehemently interposed, and, being unable to brmg argu- 
ment to his aid, sought, by abuse and virulence, to overpower 
his antagonist, who was not allowed to answer the taunts 
and insults of the bishop. Tonstal and Stoksley followed 
in the same course, and Lambert, beginnmg to answer them, 
was silenced by the king. The other bishops then each 
made a speech in confutation of one of Lamb^'s argu- 
ments, till the whole ten were answered, or rather, railed 
against ; for he was not permitted to defend them, however 

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292 BEViEW OF fox's 

'^ At last^ when the day wets passed, and torches began to 
he lighted, the king, desiring to break up this pretended dis- 
putation, said to Lambert, * What sajest thou now, after all 
these great labours which thou hast taken upon thee, and all 
the reasons of these learned men ? Art thou not jet satis- 
fied? Wilt thou live or die? What sayest thou? Thou 
hast yet free choice/ Lambert answered, * I yield and sub- 
mit myself wholly unto the will of your majesty/ ' Then/ 
said the king, ' commit thyself unto the hands of God, and 
not unto mine/ Lambert replied, ' I commend my soul unto 
the hands of God, but my body I wholly yield and subnlit 
unto your clemency/ To which the king answered, ' If you 
do commit yourself unto my judgment, you must die, for I 
will not be a patron unto heretics ;' and turning to Crom- 
well, he said, ' Bead the sentence of condemnation against 
him ;* which he accordingly did. 

*' Upon the day appointed for this holy martyr to suffer, 
he was brought out of the prison, at eight o'clock in the 
morning, to the house of Cromwell, and carried into his inner 
chamber, where, it is said, Cromwell desired his forgiveness 
for what he had done. Lambert being at last admonished 
that the hour of his death was at hand, and. being brought 
out of the chamber into the hall, saluted the gentlemen pre- 
sent, and sat down to breakfast with them, shewing neither 
sadness nor fear. When breakfast was ended, he was car- 
ried straight to the place of execution at Smithfield. 

'< ^he manner of his death was dreadful ; hr,^ after his 
legs were consumed and burned up to the stumps, and but 
a small fire was left under him,^two of the inhuman monsters 
who stood on each side of him, pierced him with their hal- 
berts, and lifted him up as far as the chain would reach ; 
while he, raising his half-consumed hands, cried out unto 
the people in these words: *None but Christ, none but 
Christ ;' and so, being let down again from their halberts, 
fell into the fire and there ended his life. 

•* The Popish party greatly triumphed at this event, and 
endeavoured to improve it. They persuaded liie king of the 

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good effects it would have en his people, wha would, in this, 
see his zeal for the faith ; and they forgot not to magnify 
all that he had said, as if it had heen utt^ed hy an oracle, 
whioh proved him to he hoth ^ Defender of the Faith, and 
Supreme Head of the Church/ All this wrought so much 
on the king, that he resolved to call a parliament, for the 
oontradictoiy purposes of suppressing the still remaining 
monasteries^ and extirpating the ' new opinions.' " 

We have given this long account of the death of Lamhert, 
that the reader may he ahle to judge for himself, of the 
manner in which the rest of these pretended martyrdoms are 
detailed. We have no clue to learn from whence the account 
was obtained, and common sense dictates that the tale is too 
highly coloured to hetrtie. However, there is one thing to 
be remembered, which is, that though great pains are taken 
to impress the reader that this execution of Lamhert was the 
exclusive work of the Popish party, the chief actors in the 
drama were the prime movers of the Beformation, Cromwell 
and Cranmer, and the time of performance after the king 
and his advisers had resolved to proceed steadily in the great 
work of the Beformation, by translating the Bible into 
English, and granting permission for ev^ person to read it. 
This fact must always be borne in mind. It is admitted 
that Lambert, in the first instance, was brought before *^ the 
archbishop* 8 court, to defend his writings," and this arch- 
bishop was no other person than Tom Cranmer, a Lutheran 
in his heart, and who held the very opinions which Lambert 
himself held. Before this man's court was the unfortunate 
victim brought, and from the judgment of this court, he 
appealed to the king himself. Of the proceedings before 
Henry we have a Icmg and minute relation, indeed it is too 
minute to be correct ; there is oije circumstance, however, 
that must not be overlooked. Cranmer is ordered by the 
king to refute Lambert, which the base hypocrite, we are 
told, attempted to do, but, it should seem, failed in the at- 
tempt, as, it is said, he was interrupted by Gardiner, who 
took up the cudgels with vehemence and abuse. Tins attempt,, 

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294 REVIEW OF fox's 

on the part of Burnet, to screen the abject and slavish com- 
pliance of his hero, Cranmer, at the expense of another 
prelate, who, though culpable in acknowledging the supremacy 
of Henry, was stiH attached to the ancient faith, is only to 
be equalled by the infamy of Cranmer himself. What are 
we to think of the man who, holding such a high station as 
the primacy of England in spiritual affairs, woiJd submit to 
be interrupted by one of his suffragans while in the per- 
formance of a duty imposed upon him by the king ? Could 
he have the feelings of an upright mind ? Must he not have 
been a most debased slave, or the most consummate hypocrite 
that ever breathed ? But, as we shall see, and have seen, 
the whole life of Cranmer, during the reign of Henry, was 
one continned act of dissimulation, in the practice and 
profession of religious rites and doctrines which he inwardly 
renounced and disbelieved. The hired cut-throat, the mid- 
night assassin, the wretch who perjures himself for his daily 
bread, is a moral character compared with this hoary villain 
and sanctified murderer, who filled the primate's chair of 
England, under Henry, the first pope of the reformed church, 
and his successor Edward, the boy-head of the same church, 
though altered in faith and discipline. But, to return to 
Lambert ; he was not, Burnet says, allowed to answer the 
taunts and insults of Gardiner, but was even compelled to 
listen to further outrages on his own feelings from the other 
bishops, who had each a separate error to confute, and when 
Lambert made an effort to reply to them he was stopped by 
the king. Will any unprejudiced mind give credit to this 
story ? Will it be believed that ten bishops were selected 
to convict one unhappy heretic of the same number of 
erroneous opinions he had imbibed, and this before the new 
pope to whom poor Lambert had appealed ? The thing is 
incredible. To believe such a preposterous tale would betray 
a mind warped with the most bigoted prejudice, or devoid 
of the slightest pretensions to common sense. 

The bishops having spent their breath in railing at the 
poor prisoner^ and torches being about to be lighted, (had 

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tbej no candles at that day?) Henry began to be a little 
weary, and wishing to break up the disputation, which, by 
the by, was all on one side, put some questions to Lambert, 
whose answers not being satbfactory, he ordered Cromwell to 
read the sentence of death against him, which was accordr 
ipgly done. So then, we have one of Fox's blessed 
martyrs passing sentence of death upon another of. these 
soldiers of the Beformation. Pretty work this, it must be 
admitted. Well, the martyr Lambert is brought out of 
prison on the morning of his execution, and taken to the 
chamber of afterwards-martyr Cromwell, in order that the 
latter might ask of the former for|iveness for what he had 
done! What! is it probable? Is it at all likely that the 
criminal should be paraded to the chamber of his judge on 
his way to execution, and that this judge, who was a principal 
.performer in the work of desolation then going forward, and 
subsequently fell a victim to his crimes, should ask pardon 
for what he had done ? But not only was he permitted to 
pay this visit to Cromwell, he was also allowed to salute the 
gentlemen present in the hall, and then to sit down to 
BREAKFAST WITH THEM, shewing neither sadness nor fear ! 
Well said, Gilbert Burnet ! We defy Baron Munchausen to 
beat this specimen of the devil's art One word more on 
poor Lambert. Could we believe the description of his death, 
we should blush for human nature ; at least, we meant to say, 
we should blush for the honour of our country, because w^ 
are sorry to say, the cruelties practised by the reformers have 
equalled the sufferings detailed of Lambert, if nature were 
capable of sustaining what he is here stated to have under- 
gone. But we do not believe it possible ; the description is 
intended to excite a feeling of horror and abhorrence of the 
supposed cruelty of Popish executioners, but the tale is 
evidently overcharged, and palpably untrue. For example ; 
it is said that after his legs were consumed, they were burned 
up to ^ stumps; and when the fire was nearly consumed 
under him, two monsters lifted him up with their halberts as 
far as the chain would allow them, and letting him fall into 

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the almost expiring embers, the fire was noi put out by the 
feUl, but his life was ended. But if the chain restricted the / 
itet of rainngy would it not also prerent his falling — and 
would not the flames that ccmsumed the poor rictim^s legs to 
ashes^ stifle his breath, and rislease him from his UMrments? 
What prerented him from falling into the flames, wbile at 
their utmost height, if the chain permitted lum to fall into 
them when nearly eztingoished ? Oh t it is a bungling taler, 
calculated to impose on the unthinking and besotted fanaitie; 
but cannot have any weight witli the sensiMe and reflecting 
part of the community. 

Sa much for the manner of Lambert's execution; with 
regard to the insinuation that his death was considered as a 
triunvph by the Popish party, iliis is a trick of Burnet to 
cover the i^ame of his heroes, who basely truckled to Harry's 
indinations, and flattered him in all his excessive vanities. 
The paragraph contradicts itself. It is said the Popish party 
did not forget to magnify what the king had said, and repre- 
sented his words as an oracle, proving him to be both 
'' Defender of the Faith and Supreme Head of the Church." 
Now, unluckily for Burnet's veracity, it so happened, thi^ 
the Popish party not only denied this supremacy by word of 
mouth, but they exhibited a degree of fortitude which the 
reforming party did not possess ; laying down their lives in 
support of their doctrines, and evincing by then* courage and 
demeanour the purity of their lives and stability of their 
faith. Had the Popish party admitted the supremacy of the 
king in ecclesiastical niatters, they would have renounced 
their faith, and consequent!^ have ceased to have been of ihat 
party. The fact, however, is as we have stated it, the te- 
formert were the flatterers. This is placed beyond a doubt 
by a letter which Cromwell wrote to Wyatt, the ambassador 
in Germany. In this epistle, the vicar general says : '^ The 
king's majesty presided at the disputation, process, and 
judgment of a miserable heretic sAcramentary, who was 
burnt the 20th of November. It was wonderfbl 'to see how 
princely, with how excellent gravity and inestimable majesty. 

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Ilis highness exercised ikere the very ofSce of supreme head 
« of the church of England: how benignly his grace essayed 
to convert the miserable man: how strong and manifest 
reasons his highness alleged against him. I wish the princes 
and potentates of Christendom to have had a meet'j^ace to 
have seen it.'' Collier, iii. 152. After this testimony who 
will credit Fox or Burnet? Dr. Lingard notices the long 
stories told by Godwin and Fox of this trial, which he con- 
siders unworthy of credit. The account states that Henry 
** regarded the prisoner with a stem countenance ; " but this 
is contradicted by Cromweirs letter, and as Cromwell was 
afterwards one of Fox's blessed martyrs, surely he will 
not be charged with falsehood by the enemies of Popery. 
Lambert is also represented as *' shewing neither sadness nor 
fear," when lead out for death ; but, according to Hall, who 
was present at his trial, he had so little courage and as little 
ability, that he exhibited signs of great terror on that occa- 
sion, and it is not too much to presume that he was not more 
firm on one of greater nM>ment 


We come now to another important trimsaetion in this 
work of (as it is called) Eeformation. The Book of Martyrs 
says: "All this," that is, the flattery of the Popish party, 
(which we have proved belongs to the reformers), and the 
condemnation of Lambert ; " all this wrought so much on 
the king, that he resolved to call a parliament for the 
contradictory purposes of suppressing the still remaining 
monasteries, and extirpating the new opinions." Oh, oh ! 
HEW OPINIONS ! Then the blessed work of Reformation was 
not grounded on unchangeable principles, but upon new 
OPINIONS ; and these opinions were so often renewed and have 
been so much multiplied, thatt it is really difficult now-a- days 
to know what men's opinions are with regard to religion. 
The modem editors say the parliament was called for the 
" contradictory " purposes of suppression and extirpation : 
on looking into Burnet's Abridgment, we find that the words 

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298 REVIEW OP fox's 

•* coutradictoiy " and '* extirpation '* have been introduced, 
by the way, we suppose, of improyement. Burnet writes, . 
that the king *' resolved to call a parliament, both for the 
suppression of the monasteries and the new opinions.'' By 
this mode of expression it would seem that the bishop of 
Sarum did not consider the two purposes for which the 
parliament was called " contradictory," though the modem 
editors represent them as such. But no matter ; it is little 
to our purpose whether they were contradictory or not, our 
object is to shew the result and the conduct of the actors in 
the proceedings. To do this clearly we must borrow a little 
from Burnet, as we perceive the modem editors have culled 
from this fabulous historian, and suppressed at their pleasure 
facts which will throw much light on the subject, but which 
they did not wish should be elicited. 

Burnet says : " Upon Fox's death, Bonner was promoted to 
Hereford ; and Stoksley dying not long after^he was translated 
to London. Cromwell thought that he had raised a man that 
would be a faithful second to Cranmer in his designs of 
Eeformation, who indeed needed help, not only to balance 
the opposition made to him by other bishops, but to lessen the 
prejudices he suffered by the weakness and indiscretion of 
his own party, who were generally rather clogs than helps to 
him. Great complaints were brought to the court of the 
rashness of the new preachers, who were flying at many 
things not yet abolished. Upon this, letters wei-e writ to the 
bishops, to take care that as the people should be rightly 
instructed, so they should not be offended with too many 
novelties. Thus was Cranmer'^B interest so low, that he had 
none to depend on but Cromwell. There was not a queen 
now in the king's bosom to support them; and therefore 
Cromwell set himself to contrive how the king should be 
engaged in such an alliance with the princes of Germany, as 
might prevail with him, both in affection and interest, ta 
carry on what he had thus begun." 

From this account we may clearly perceive that the work 
80 improperiy termed a B^formation waa nothing more nor 

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less than the straggles of faction and interest, in which the 
people were the greatest sufferers, and the actors the most 
abandoned villains. Cromwell it appears was at this time 
greater in influence at court than Tom Cranmer, who, we are 
told, needed help in his designs. Again, the preachers of 
the new opinions are charged with rashness, and were rather 
clogs than helps in the godly work. There was not a queen 
in the king's bosom to support the brace of diabolical villains, 
Cromwell and Cranmer, and therefore it was necessary to 
look out for one to further their ends. After the death of 
poor Jane Seymour, who was ripped open, the king could 
not find a woman of sense and virtue willing to share his bed, 
80 Cromwell looked out for one among the Protestants in 
Germany, and pitched upon Anne of Cleves. He went to 
work, and got the lady's consent, and afterwards obtained 
Harry's, but it proved in the event his own rain. While 
Cromwell and Cranmer were concerting these things between 
them, their interest with the king was declining, and the 
duke of Norfolk, an old opponent of the archbishop, was 
rising again in favour. The Catholic sovereigns of Europe, 
by their negociations with each other, had excited some 
serious apprehension in the mind of Henry, and he therefore 
resolved on some project to convince the foreign powers that 
though he had renounced all subjection to the common father 
of Christendom, he was still determined to adhere to the 
ancient doctrine of the church. He therefore summoned a 
parlimnent to meet, which accordingly assembled at the call 
of the monarch. Before we proceed with the transactions of 
this body, we will give the modem editors' account, which we 
see is an abridgment of Buraet^s Abridgment They say : 
" The parliament accordingly met on the 28th of April, 1538; 
and afi;er long debates, passed what was called ' a Bill of 
Religion,' containing six articles, by which it was declared, 
that the elements of the sacrament were the real body and 
blood of Christ ; that communion was necessary only in one 
kind ; that prieetts ought not to marry ; that vows of chastity 
ought to be observed ; that private masses were lawful and 

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uaefol ; and that auricular confession was oecestory. This 
act gare great satisfaction to the Popish party, and induced 
them to consent more readily to the act for suppreaeing the 
monasteries, which immediately followed ; hy virtue of which 
their total dissolution soon after took place. The king 
founded six new hishoprics from a small pottioB of their 
immense revenues, and lavished the remainder on his profligate 
courtiers and favourites.'' 

Here, then, we have another admission that in the founda- 
tion of six new hishoprics hy the king, hut a small portiim 
of the immense revenues obtained by the suppression system 
was appropriated to tliat purpose, and the greater part was 
lavished on his profligate courtiers and favourites. Now, 
these courtiers and favourites were the creatures of the prime 
villains, Cranmer and Cromwell, as well as the panders of 
the king, and we gather therefrom the precious materials 
used to build the new church of England. It is hinted that 
the six articles gave great satisfaction to the Popish party, 
and induced them to consent more readily to the work of 
desolation and robbery ; now we believe the Popbh party 
had very litUe hand in the matter, for though many actors 
in the drama might profess themselves Catholics, the ohuieh 
itself, Ve believe, did not acknowledge thenu We admire 
the easy manner in which this vwy interesting subjeet is 
glossed over by the modem editors ; Burnet himself is more 
explicit, but he takes special care to screen the conduct of 
Cranmer in this affair. Let us, then, see how the case 
stands, and then the reader may decide for himself. We 
have befcnre noticed that the renunciation of the pope's 
supremacy, which being of divine right, is the link of uaity 
in the Catholic church, let in a flood of opinions which in- 
creased daily, and induced Heniy, as head oi the diurdi, to 
devise some method to preserve uniformity. Acoordingfy, 
on the meeting of this parliament, which took place oa the 
28th of April, 1539, a committee of spiriiual kwds was ap- 
pointed to examine into this diversity of religion opinioiks. 
This committee wa» composed of the archbiabopft of Canter- 


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bury and York, the bish<^ of Durham, Carlisle, Batb, 
Ban^r, Salisbury^ and Ely, and Cromwell the lay yieav- 
general. On every question the members divided £ve agabst 
four. The prelates of York, Durham, Carlisle^ Bath» and 
Bangor, being opposed to Cromwell, Cranmer, and the 
bishops of Salisbury and Ely. Eleven days were consumed 
in these divisicms, and the he»d of the new church grew im- 
patient. The duke of Norfolk, who had been commissioned 
by the king to conduct the affairs of the crown in the house 
of peers, observing the new pope's impatience, remarked that 

. there was nothing to be expected from the labours of the 
^mmittee, and proposed that six questions conc^ning cer- 
tain points of doctrine should be submitted to the house,^ 
w^ch was accordingly done* The questions selected were,^ 
the real presence, communion under one kind, private masses,, 
the celibacy of the priesthood, auricular confession, and vow» 
of chastity. The bishops only to<^ a part in the debate on 
the first day, and on the second day the king-pope ^ame 
down to the house, and took a share in the discussion* Here 
was a trial for the two arch deformers ; they had hitherto 
opposed with vehemence their prelatic brethren, but to resist 
Ihe kikig, to place themselves in o|^K>sition to the new head 
of the church, in whom was centred the good things of this 
world, and who could send them at almost ati hour'» notice 
to know their fate in the next ; to resist such a mighty per- 
sonage as this was another matter *; it required more courage 
than either of them possessed, and with meanness the most 
base 8nd truckling, did CromweU and bight Tom Cranmer,. 
Burnetts famous hero of the Keformation, gulp down in the 
pres^oee of the king^ all they had advanced before their 
fellow eommittee-m^, and, excepting the bishop of Salisbury, 
acknowledged liiemselves vfmquished by the superior reas«n- 

, ing and leamiog^ of his. pope^ip, a» they said, but, as we 
believe, and as the reader will bdieve witin us, by the terror 
ei displeasing the inexorable tyrant. Though Crattmer and 
Crcfflnwell eould send poor Lambe]^ to the stake, they bad no 
inclination to follow him in defence of their Mmona^ Fox 

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302 REVIEW OP F0X*8 

and Bnmet both assert that Cranmer persisted in his oppo- 
sition, but these niendaeious writers are contradicted bj the 
journals of the house, and bj the assertion of one of the 
lords who were present. — {See Ltn^ard, note, roL, iv. p» 287, 
4to. edit.) 

Henry, ha^ng thus far succeeded, was not a little proud 
of his victory, and sent a message to the lords, congratulating 
them on their unanimity, and recommending the introduction 
'of a bill to enf(H:ce conformity by pains and penalties. To 
comply with the royal recommendation, two separate com- 
mittees were appointed to prepare a bill, and it is very sin- 
gular that three of the prdates who were opposed to the 
measure at first, but became conyerts through royal influence, 
namely, the prelates of Canterbury (Tom Cranmer), Ely, 
and St. David's, were selected to form one committee, and 
the bishops of York, Durham, and Winchester, constituted 
the other. The two bills were submitted to the king by the 
lords, who chose that drawn up by the latter. The lord 
Chancellor then introduced H in the usual form to the house, 
through which it was passed, as also the commons, in a few 
days, and received the royal assent. As this is one one of 
the most important acts of Henry'a reign, we will here 
transcribe it at length for the satisfaction of the reader. 

" The king's royal majesty, most prudently considering, 
that, by occasion of various opinions and judgments concern- 
ing some articles in rdigion, great discord and variance hath 
arisen, as well amongst the clergy of this realm, as amongst 
a great number of the vulgar people; and being in a fall 
hope and trust that a fuU and perfect resolution of the said 
articles would make a perfect concord and unity generally 
amongst all his loving and obedient subjects; of his most 
excellent goodness not only commanded that the said articles 
should deliberately and advisedly, by his archbishops, bishops, 
and other learned men of his clergy, be debated, argued, 
and reasoned, and their opinions therein to be understood, 
declared, and known ; but also most graciously vouchsafed, in 
his own princely person, to come unto his high ooovt of 

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parliament and council, and there, like a wise prince of most 
high prudence, and no less learning, opened and declared 
many things, of the most high learning and great knowledge, 
touching the said articles, matters, and questions, for an unity 
to be had in the same. Whereupon, after a great and long, 
deliberate and advised disputation and consultation had, and 
made concerning the said articles, as well by the consent of 
the king's highness as by the assent of the lords spiritual 
and temporal, and other Ibamed men of the clergy, in their 
convocations, and by the consent of the commons in parliament 
assembled, it was, and is, finally resolved, accorded, and 
agreed, in manner and form following ; that is to say, 

'* 1. That in the most blessed sacrament of the altar,. 
by the strength and efficacy of Christ's mighty word, (it 
being spoken by the priest), is present really, under the forms 
of bread and wine, the natural body and blood of our Saviour 
Jesus Christ, conceived of the Virgin Mary ; and that, after 
the consecration, there remains no substance of the bread or 
wine, nor any other substance but the substance of Christ, 
God and man. 

" 2. That the communion in botb kinds is not necessary 
(to salvation) by the law of God, to all persons ; and, that it 
is to be believed, and not doubted, but that in the ffesh, under 
the form of bread, is the very blood, and with the blood, 
under the form of wine, £s the very flesh, as well apart, as 
if they were both together. 

** 3. That priests, after the order of priesthood received, 
may not marry, by the law of God. 

" 4. That vows of chastity, widowhood, &c., are to be kept. 

" 5. That it is meet and necessary that private masses be 
continued in the king's Ehglish church and congregation ; 
as whereby good Christian people, ordering themselves ac- 
cordingly, do receive both godly and goodly consolations and 
benefits, and it is agreeable also to God's law. 

<< 6. That auricular confession is expedient, and necessary 
to be retained, and continued;^ used, and frequented in thoa 
eharcb of God* 

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304 BEYIEW OF fox's* 

** For the whidi most godly stadj, pain, and travel of lib 
majesty, and determination and resolution of the premises, 
his humble and obedient subjects, the lords spiritual and 
temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled^ 
not only render and give unto his highpess their most high 
and hearty thanks, and think themselres most bound to pray 
for the long continuance of his grace's most royal estate and 
dignity ; but being also desirous that his most godly enter* 
prize may be well accomplished and brought to a full end and 
perfection, and so established that the same might be to the 
honour of God, and after to the common quiet, unity, and 
concord, to be had in the whole body of this realm for ever, 
do most humbly beseech his royal majesty, that the resdution 
and determination, above written, of the said articles may be 
established, and perpetually perfected, by the aathority o( 
this present parliament. 

^' It is therefore ordioned and enacted by the king our 
sovereign lord, and by the l<»:ds spiritual and temporal, and 
by the commons in this present parliament assembled, and 
by the authority of the same, that if any perscm oc persons, 
within this realm oi England, or in any other of the king's 
dominions, do, by word, writing, printing, cyphering, or any 
otherwise, publish, teach, preach, say, affirm, declare^ dis- 
pute, argue, or hold any opinion : 

^< First, That in the blessed sacrament of the altar, under 

the form of bread and wine such persons are to 

suffer pains of death, as in cases of felony, without any 
benefit of the clergy, or privilege of church, or sanctuary ; 
and shall forfeit all their lands and goods, as in cases of 

The passing of this act not only struck poor archbbhop 
Tom with terror, but all the rest of the tribe were in great 
alarm. So little were they inclined to become martyrs for 
their " NEW opinions," and so desirous were they of keep- 
ing a whde skin, that it was deemed by them most prudent 
to submit to the king's will, and, to insure their safety, re^ 
main silent. Latiiner and Shaxton, bishops of Worcester 

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and Salisbiiry, resigned their sees, and Cranmer fonnd it 
necessary to be oantions in his conduct for his own safety. 
It will be borne in mind^ that Tom, before his promotion to 
the archiepiscopal dignity, had taken a niece of Osiander, 
the reformer, to be his wife, and that he nsed to transport 
her from place to place, in a box, afiter his promotion to the 
primacy. By this woman he had several children^ and 
though the matter was not made public, yet the secret was 
sufficiently known to induce many priests to follow Tom's 
example. The making it felony to cohabit with the sex was 
an awkward dilemma to the^e lewd wretches, who already 
began to feel the rope round their necks, and to avoid its 
being drawn tight, many of them scampered out of the way, 
said some oHiers put aside their wives. Tom Cranmer had 
tried, previous to the passing of this tremendous law, to 
soften Harry's inflexible aversion to a married clergy, but 
the king was not to be moved ; so the archbishop, on the 
passing of this act, not willing to lose his dignity, packed off 
his wife and children to Germany, and then following up 
his consummate baseness, wrote a crawling apology to Henry, 
for his presumption in daring to differ from the monarch's 
will on this point. 

Burnet tells us, " The poor reformers were now exposed 
to the rage of their enemies, and had no comfort from any 
part of it, but one, that they were not delivered up to the 
cruelty of the tcclesiastical courts, or the trials ex officio y 
but were to be tried by juries ; yet the benefit of abjuration 
was a severity without precedent, and was a forcing martyr- 
dom on them, since they were not to be the better for their 
apostacy. It was some satisfaction to the married clergy, 
[he adds], that the incontinent priests were to be so severely 
punished ; which Cromwell put in, and the clergy knew not 
how they could decently oppose it" Surely this act must 
have been devised by the archfiend, that it put ^e godfy 
reformers into such a fright. But why did they not follow 
the example of the two chiefs, Cromwell and Crimmer, but 
especially the latter, who had been so long a Lutheran in his 

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806 RBVIRW OF fox's 

heart. Toniy when he saw no other resouree, mik his accu8« 
tomed baseness, yielded to circumstances and subscribed to 
the doctrine of the six articles, though he disbelioTed them* 
But what did that signify to him ; it was the king's will, 
and therefore it was right he should obey the supreme head 
of the church, though he condemned inwardly the doctrine 
which the new lay-pope promulgated. To preserve his life 
and his place, this hero of the BeformaticMi, so called, could 
subscribe outwardly to what he inwardly rejected, thus setting 
the firet example of mental reservation, which succeeding 
reformers fastened upon Catholics, though their church moat 
strongly condemns such conduct* Though Oranmer denied 
infallibility to the pope, who could do him no harm, yet he 
was ready to allow Harry infallibility, because he had power 
over his life, and that Tom did not wish to part with by any 
premature means. 

Connected with this measure was an act of this parliament 
which few of the people of this country are acquainted with, 
but which every one of them should know, as it materially 
affects the principle of civil and religious liberty, and abso- 
lutely subverted the constitution. It was this : in the act 
which invested all the real and moveable property of the re- 
ligious houses in the hands of the king, a clause was intro- 
duced which laid prostrate at the foot of the throne the 
liberties of the whole nation. It declared that the king's 
proclamations ought to have the effect of acts of parliament, 
and adjudged all transgressors of such proclamations to fine 
and imprisonment, and those who might endeavour to evade 
the punishment, by quitting the realm, incurred the guilt of 
high treason. Only think of thb, reader. The ipse dixit 
of a tyrant was made equal to the decrees of two deliberate 
assemblies, and in cases, too, involving the life and property 
of the people. This scheme to obtain absolute power was 
the offspring of Cromwell, who was supported in it by that 
slave of despotism, Tom Oranmer. The act was not carried 
through the two houses without eonsiderable <^poution, so 
repugnant was its enactments to everything lUie British 

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justice and liberty. But the nation was now distracted hy two 
factions, and the crafty Cromwell succeeded in carrying this 
odious measure, by the Machiayelian policy, divide and 
conquer. It is a fruitful theme with Fox and Burnet, and 
other corrupt historians, to represent Gardiner, bishop of 
Winchester, as a merciless and tyrannical character ; yet it 
is dear, even by the testimony of Fox himself, that Gardiner 
was averse to this unconstitutional measure, and opposed it 
even to Harry's face. The wretch Cromwell had frequently 
inculcated this despotic doctrine before Henry, as we gather 
from a letter written by Gardiner. " The lord Cromwell,** 
says he, ** had once put in the king's head to take upon him 
to have his will and pleasure regarded for a law ; and there- 
upon I was called for at Hampton Court. And as he was 
very stout, * Come on/ my lord of Winchester, quoth he, * an- 
swer the king here, but speak plainly and directly, and shrink 
not, man. Is not that,' quoth he, ^ that pleaseth the king, a 
law ? Have ye not that in the civU laws, qiwd principi 
placuit, (fee. V I stood still, and wondered in my mind to 
what conclusion this would tend. The king saw me musing, 
and with gentle earnestness said, ' Answer him whether it be 
so or no.' I would not answer the lord Cromwell, but de- 
livered my speech to the king, and told him, that ' I had read 
of kings that had their will always received for law ; but 
that the form of his reign, to make the law his will, was 
more sure and quiet ; and by this form of government yet 
be established,' quoth I, * it is agreeable with the nature of 
your people. If you begin a new manner of policy, hpw it 
frame, no man can tell' The king turned his back ,and left 
the matter."— Foar, ii, 65, 

This attempt of Cromwell to establish an absolute despotism 
in this once free country, is only to be equalled by the con- 
duct of Cranmer, the prime reformer, the hero of the Refor- 
mation, and the idol of John Fox and Gilbert Burnet, who 
endeavoured to promulgate the idea of a divine right in kings 
to govern both in church and state, which notion he committed 
to paper, and Burnet has preserved in his records. The 

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308 BEVIEW OF fox's 

doctnDe is uuexampled, slayish, and disgraceful, as the reader 
will see by Hie following citation : — ^He (Cranmer) teaches, 
^* that all Christian princes hare committed unto them imme- 
diately OF God the whole care of all their subjects, as well 
concerning the administration of God's word, for the cure of 
souls, as concerning the ministration of political and civil 
governi^ice ; and, in both these ministrations, thej musthaye 
sundry ministers under them to supply that which is appointed 
to their several offices : as, for example, the lord chancellor, 
lord treasurer, lord great master, and the sheriffs for civil 
ministers ; and the bishops, parsons, vicars, and such other 
priests as be appointed by his highness in the ministra- 
tion of the word : as, for example, the bishop of Oaaterburyy 
the bishop of Duresme, the bishop of Winchester, the parson 
of Winwick, &o. All the said officers and ministers, as well 
of that sort as the other, must be appointed, asugned, and 
elected, and in every place, by the laws and orders of kings 
and princes, with diverse sdemnities, which be not of 
necessity, but only for good order and seemly fashion ; ibr 
if such offices and ministrations were committed without 
sudi solemnity, they were, nevertheless, truly committed : and 
there is no more promise of God, that grace is given in the 
committing of the ecclesiastical office, than it is in the com^ 
mitting of the civil office." It is the fashion with Protestants 
to boast of the liberty produced by what they call the Reforma- 
tion ; but did the world ever before witness such doctrine 
of passive obedience and divine right as the ardi-reformer 
Cranmer here taught? Did England ever witness a parlia- 
ment in Catholic times, that by its own act abrogated its own 
power, contrary to the crown ? Oh I no : Catholics, imbibing 
the principles of true liberty from the doctrines and canons of 
their church, knew not only haw to establish it, but likewise 
7u>w to preserve it ; while Protestants, dei^ising the unerring 
rules of Divine Wisdom, and trusting to the vain caprices of 
the human mind, have thrown away the substance of that 
celestial blessings without which life is valueless, to grasp at 
the shadow. 

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The submission of Cromwell and Cranmer to the act of the 
six articles, though the latter was, according to Burnet, a 
Lutheran in his heart, was followed by another proceeding 
still more disgraceful and infamous on the part of the latter. 
We have seen the fate of Anne Bolejn and her relatives, who 
were accounted, by this far-famed historian, the prop and 
pillar of the reforming party. Jane Seymour, who supplied 
her place, fell by the doctor's knife, being ripped open in 
child-bed, to gratify the king's wish for a son, who was after- 
wards the boy-pope, Edward VI. Her fete, combined with 
that of her predecessor, alarmed the sex, so that Harry could 
find no one willing to share his bed, and it was while 
the king remained a widower, that the six articles of religion 
were enacted and the reformers put into such a fright. 
Cromwell was not insensible of the ticklish situation in which 
he stood, now that there were no more prizes to distribute 
from the spoils of the church, and, under these circumstances, 
he turned his eyes towards Germany, and sought among the 
Lullieran courts a mistress for his capricious master. At 
length he pitched upon Anne of Cleves, whom Cromwell 
found willing to engage with Harry, and he succeeded in 
gaining the king's consent to the marriage. Cromwell and 
Cranmer both thought to forward the Beformation scheme by 
this match, but, by a singular instance of the Divine hand, it 
proved to be the downftdl of the monastery destroyer. The 
marriage contract had scarcely been concluded, than Harry 
conceived an utter aversion to his new wife, and as suddenly 
became enamoured with Catherine Howard. In consequence 
of this change in his desires, he took a dislike to Cromwell, 
considering this minister to be the cause of the hated match', 
and his being yoked for life, as he then thought, to a partner 
he detested. Harry resolved therefore to be revenged on 
Cromwell, who was soon after arrested and, as we have before 
shewn^ consigned to the executioner's hands. Previous, how- 

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310 Bsvisw OP fox's 

ever, to his death, his partner m the work of BeformatiOD, Tom 
Oranmer, was caUed npon to perform a work, whioh even his 
panegyrist, Burnet, blushed at. Harry having disgraced his 
former favourite, CromweU, was resolved to be separated from 
his new wife, and accordingly he sent for Cranmer, who was 
ordered to summon the convocation, and prepare the business 
agreeably to the king s wishes. As Tom had readily per- 
formed such a job for his master before, it was not to be 
expected that he would be backward in complying with the 
second request, so he set to work, and though there was not 
a shadow of a pretext to disannul the marriage, it being 
legally and lawfully contracted, the king's whim must be 
gratified, and after only two days' sham ceremony of reoeiving 
depositions and examining witnesses, the sentence of divorce 
between Henry and Anne of Cleves was pronounced on the 
9th of July, 1540, by the oompliable Tom Cranmer, in his 
capacity of primate of England. Burnet, as we have before 
observed, was ashamed of this act, and acknowledges that this 
was the greatest piece of compliance the king had from Cran- 
mer and the clergy, for they all knew that there was nothing 
on which they could ground a sentence of divorce. Cranmer 
presided over the convocation, gave sentence, and afterwards 
carried the result to parliament, in which body Hany found 
as ready slaves to his will as he found among the clergy, so 
great a change was made in the dispositions of the nobility 
and gentry with the change of religion. An act was passed 
confirming the decision of the synods and every person who 
should presume to believe or judge the marriage lawful was 
subjected to the penalties of treason. Cromwell, the reader 
will observe, was at this time in disgrace and under arrest ; 
and this situation of the once overbearing and haughty 
favourite is made an excuse by Burnet for the archbishop's 
obsequious conduct. This bishop historian represented his 
^ro, Tom Cranmer, as a second Athanasius for his courage, 
and a second Cyril for his virtue ; yet, in this case, he is 
obliged to admit that Tom's courage failed ^lim, and how £ur 
his virtue came off vfithout a stain we will leave the reader to 

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conclude. Burnet says, that " overcome with fear (for he 
knew it was contrived to send him quiclUj after Cromwell) he 
(Cranmer) consented with the rest." Yes, yes ; this pillar 
and underprop of the Reformation was too fond of life to lose 
it in defence of virtue and justice. The modem editors of the 
Book of Martyrs, speaking of this divorce, say, " The con- 
vocation unanimously dissolved the marriage, and gave him 
(Henry) liberty to marry again ; indeed it is probable, that if 
he had desired to have two or more wives at once, the meai^ure 
would have been sanctioned, so hose and servile were the 
courtiers and priests by whom this monstrous tyrant was sur- 
rounded." Say you so, most worthy instigators of hatred and 
^horrence to the professors of Popery ! But who were these 
hcLse and servile courtiers and priests ? Was not GRAKMEft 
at the Tiead of the latter ? Base and servile was Tom to the 
monstrous tyrant, who is said to have rescued this country 
from the tyranny of the pope. Anne, you know, most learned 
instigators of uncharitableness, was brought over from G^e^- 
many by the reforming party ^ to be their prop in the bosom 
of the king ; and yet this very party, base and servile to the 
king's wishes, no sooner found the king disliked her, than she 
was abandoned by them, without any ceremony. The clergy 
were base and servile, to be sure, but they were not Catholics, 
strictly speaking, for they had forsaken and forsworn the head 
of the Catholic church, though some of them still adhered to 
her doctrines. But there were reforming clergy in the con- 
vocation, and as that body was unanimous in its consent, the 
** godly crew *' were as base and servile as those represented 
to form the Popish party. This fact cannot be got over, and 
we agree with tiie editors, that Cranmer and his reforming 
brethren would have made as little scruple in granting EEarry 
as many wives as the Koran allows to Mussulmen, had he 
required it, for we have a proof of the readiness of the 
reformers to gratify the beastly appetites of monarchs, in the 
license granted by Luther, Melancthon, Bucer, and other 
reforming divines, to the Landgrave of Hesse to have two 
wives at once. 

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So much lor Cranmer and Anne of Cleves, who was ex» 
pected to be as useful in the work of Eefonnation as her 
namesake, but was abandoned without reserve when it was 
discovered she could not advance the cause. Her fate, how- 
ever, was different from ih&t of her predecessor, as she had 
the sense to submit without a murmur to the king's will, and 
retired to Bichmond with a pension. The next wife selected 
by Henry was a Protestant lady too, namely, Catharine 
Howard, neice to the duke of Norfolk. She gained an 
ascendancy in the king's affections, which she maintained 
about a year, but as she was related to his grace of Norfolk, 
who had always been a stout opposer of Cranmer and Crcmi- 
well, and their party, a plot was formed which proved her 
downfall, and brought her to an untimely end. The modem 
editors say, on the testimony of Burnet, that the king was so 
delighted with the charms of Oatiiarine Howard, his ^th 
wife, that he " even gave public thanks to God for the ex- 
cellent choice he had made." The royal pope, however^ was 
somewhat hasty in his conclusions, for the same historian 
states, that the very day after his public prayers, Cranmer 
appeared before his lay holiness, with an account of the 
infidelity of his most excellent wife. Harry was thunder- 
struck ; he could not believe the tale, but Cranmer wrought 
on the unfortunate lady to make confession of her guilt, on 
which she admitted having been guilty of lewdness before 
her marriage, but denied that she had defiled the nuptial bed. 
The modern editors say, " she was convicted on the clearest 
evidence,'' which does not appear to have been the case, at 
least so far as regarded her marriage. However, guilty or 
not, she was condemned and executed on the 14th of 
February, 1541, along with the lady Hochford, who was in- 
strumental in bringing Anne Boleyn to the block. Burnet 
and the modem editors make a mystery of this circumstance^ 
and consider it a Divine judgment on her baseness and fedse- 
hood to that injured queen ; we have no affection for this 
lady, as we consider them aH tarred with the same stick, but 
we must deny that Anne Boleyn was " an injured queen^" 

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any more than Catharine Howard. Mrs. Anne was the con- 
cubine of Henry during the lifetime of his lawful wife, 
Catharine of Arragon, and was married to him after his 
mock divorce from that noble-minded princess. Kate Howard 
was a lewd hnssy previous to her marriage with the king, 
which marriage, observe, was during the life of his lawful 
wife, Anne of Cleves. 

Beside the lady Eochford, Dereham and Calpepper were 
put to death under suspicion of improper intimacy with 
Catharine, and the lord Howard, her father, his wite, four 
men, and five women, were condemned in the penalties of 
misprision of treason, because they had not revealed the pre- 
vious incontineney of the queen. On the execution of this 
fifth wife of Henry, the first pope of England, Dr. Lingard 
has the following remarks : — " To attaint without trial was 
now become customary ; but to prose^cute and punish for that 
which had not been made a criminal offence by any law, was 
hitherto unprecedented. To give, therefore, some counten- 
ance to these severities, it was enacted in the very bill of 
attainder, that every woman about to be married to the king 
or any of his successors, not being a maid, should disclose 
her disgrace to him under the penalty of treason ; that all 
other persons knowing the fact and not disclosing it, should 
be subject to the lesser penalty of misprision of treason ; and 
that the queen, or wife of the prince who should move 
another person to commit adultery with her, should suffer as 
a traitcr." Truly this is pretty work, and well worthy the 
event which gave rise to these scandalous and unholy doings, 
inimical alike to freedom of conscience, purity of morals, 
and personal liberty of the subject. 


Hairy, having thus rid himself of his fifth wife, began to 
turn his attention to the duties imposed upon him as head of 
the church. The translation of the bible into the vulgar 
tongue, had generated a race of teachers who propounded 
the most discordant and absurd doctrines. The scriptures 
VOL. II. p 

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314 BEVIEW OF fox's 

were tak^ to alehouses and taverns ; discussions, heated bj 
the potent fiimes of strong liquors, were carried on, and 
generaJlj ended in breaches of the peace. With a view to 
remedy these evils, a restraint was placed on reading the 
scriptures, Tindall's bible was condemned as '* cra%, £Edae, 
and untrue," but that the people might not be without spi- 
ritual food, his royal highness issued a code of doctrines and 
ceremonies, published under the title of ^^ A Necessary Doc- 
trine and Education for any Christened Man ;" it was also 
distinguished as ** The King's Book," and being approved 
by both houses of the convocation, was considered the only 
authorized standard of English orthodoxy. On these labours 
of mending and devising new articles of faith, Father Par- 
sons has a very pleasant story in his Three Conversions of 
England^ written in answer to Fox's Acts and Monuments^ 
which has afforded us some amusement, and as it is equally 
applicable to the present times as to those in which the 
learned author wrote, we will here insert it. 

'^ A certain courtier at that day, (some say it was Sir 
Francis Byran), talking with a lady tha^t was somewhat for- 
ward in the new gospel, about this book of the king's then 
lately come forth, she seemed to mislike greatly the title 
thereof, to wit. Articles devised hy the King's Highness j ^c, 
saying* that ' it seemed not a fit title to authorize matters in 
religion, to ascribe them to a mortal king's device.' Where- 
unto the courtier answered, ' Truly, madam, I will tell you 
^ my conceit plidnly : if we must needs have devices in religion, 
I would rather have them from a king than from a knave, as 
your devices are ; I mean that knave friar Martin, who, not 
yet twenty years agone, was deviser of your new religion, 
and behaved himself so lewdly in answering his majesty with 
scorn and contempt, as I must needs call him a knav#; 
though otherwise I do not hate altogether the profession of 
friars, as your ladyship knoweth. Moreover (said he) it is 
not unknown neither to your ladyship nor us, that he devised 
these new tricks of religion, which you now so much esteem 
and reverence, not for God, or devotion, or to do penance, 

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but for ambitioii, and to revenge himself upon the Dominican 
ii*iars> that had gotten for him the preaching the pope's bulls ; 
as also to get himself the use of a wench> and that a nun 
also, which now he holdeih. And soon afiter him again 
three other married priests, his scholars, to wit, (Ecolam- 
padius, Carlostadius, and Zuinglius, devised another religion 
of the Sacramentarians, against their said master. And 
since these again, we hear every day of fresh upstarts that 
would rather devise us new doctrines, and there is no end of 
devising and devisers. And I would rather stick to the de- 
vising of a king, that have majesty in him, and a council to 
assist him, (especially such a king as ours is), than to a 
thousand of these companions put together.' 

'' ' It is true (said the lady) when they are devices indeed 
of men ; but when they bring scriptures with them to prove 
their sayings, then they are not men's devices, but Grod's 
eternal truth and word.' * And will you say so, madam ?' 
quoth he. ' And do you not remember what ado we had the 
last year about this time, with certain Hollanders here in 
England, whom our bishops and doctors could not overcome 
by scriptures, notwithstanding they held most horrible here- 
sies, which make my hair to stand upright to think of them, 
against the ipanhood and flesh of Christ our Saviour, and 
against the virginity of his blessed Mother, and against the 
baptism of infants, and the like wicked blasphemies. I was 
myself present at the condemnation of fourteen of them in 
Paul's church on one day, and heard them dispute and allege . 
scriptures so £BU3t for their heresies, as I was amazed thereat ; 
and after I saw some of these knaves burnt in Smithfleld, 
and they went so merrily to their deith, singing and chant- 
ing scriptures, as I began to think with myself whether their 
device was not of some value or no ; until afterwards, think- 
ing better of the matter, I blessed myself from them, and 
80 let them go.' 

'' ^ Oh (said the lady) but these were knaves indeed, that 
devised new doctrines of their own heads ; and were very 
heretics, not worthy to be believed.' * But how shall I know 


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(quotb the courtier) that jour devices have not done the like, 
seeing these alleged scriptures no less than they ; and did 
one thing more, which is, that they went to the fire and 
burned for their doctrine, when they might have lived, which 
your friar and his scholars before named have not hitherto 
done. And finally, madam, I say, as at the beginning I ' 
said, if we must needs follow devising, we courtiers had much' 
rather follow a king than a friar in such a matter. For how 
many years, madam, have friars shorn their heads, and no 
courtier Ifath ever followed them hitherto therein ? But now 
his majesty having begun this last May (as you know) to 
poll his head, and commanded others to do the like, you' 
cannot find any unshorn head in the court among us men, 
though you women be exempted. And so I conclude that 
the device of a king is of more credit than the device of a ' 
friar. * And with this the lady laughed ; and so the con- 
ference was ended." 


We have now forty-four pages of the modem book devoted 
to a relation of the martyrdoms and burnings of some of 
Fox's " godly " heroes, who, though holding notions the mt)st 
wild, discordant, and ridiculous that can be imagined, are all 
cks'-ed as soldiers of Christ, though some of them denied his 
Godhead, and others his existence. To enter into a minute 
detail of this mass of rodomontade and nonsense would sicken 
the reader ; we shall therefore confine ourselves to some few 
particular cases. First on the list is an account of the 
" Mabttrdom op Dr. Robert Barnes," which is followed 
by the "Story of ThomCas G-arrett," and of "William 
Jerome." These effusions of a fanatic brain are ushered in 
with the following remai^ :-*-" The clergy now, elated by the 
victory which they had gained by the death of Cromwell, 
persuaded the king to new severities against the reformers ; 
and three eminent preachers, Drs. Barnes, Gerard, and 
Jerome, were picked out for sacrifices on this occasion." ' 
Here we have the clergy again charged with these acts of 

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crudtj, and Tom Cranmer, observe, at the head of this 
clergy. But to the stories. The first hero, we are informed, 
.was educated at Louvain, in Brabant, and on coming to 
England he went to Cambridge, which he found steeped in 
the darkest ignorance, but, with the assistance of one Pamel, 
his scholar, he not only promoted knowledge and truth, but 
he instructed the students in the classical languages, and soon 
caused learning to flourish in that university. Barnes was 
certainly a clever man, but not such a prodigy as he is here 
represented.. The long account given of the proceedings 
between him and Wolsey is mere fiction ; but if true, he 
must have been as base a^ villain as Tom Cranmer, for let it 
jiot be forgotten that he was the- man who was consulted by 
Taylor, in the case of Laipbert, and disclosed the matter to 
Cranmer, and, in consequence, Cranmer had the poor Lambert 
summoned before his archiepiscopal court to answer for his 
presumption. Barnes was also a dependent of Cromwell, 
and by his imprudence hastened that minister's fall. Gar- 
diner of Winchester, as we have before said, was a stickler 
for the old doctrine, though through weakness ke admitted 
the supremacy of the king. In a sermon preached by him 
at St Paul's cross, he censured the extravagance of those 
preachers who inculcated doctrines opposite to the established 
•creed. A fortnight after, Barnes, who had imbibed Lutheran 
principles, boldly defended, in the same pulpit, the doctrines 
'Gardiner had reprobated, and cast many scurrilous invectives 
against the bishop. Harry got a hearing of his conduct, 
and summoned the doctor before himself and a commission 
of divines, where the several points of controverted doctrine 
were discussed, and Barnes was prevailed upon to sign a re- 
cantation. He read his recantation before the audience, 
.asked pardon of Gardiner, and immediately proceeded, in a 
seimon, to maintain the very doctrine he had but a few 
minutes before renounced. Such ))ase and insulting conduct 
irritated the king, who committed him to the Tower, with 
Garrett and Jerome, two fanatics of the same stamp, who 
had placed themselves in similar circumstances. 

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318 BBYIEW OF pox's 

These men were tried for heresy and condemned, and we 
have a long account of their ezecation ; hut the editors forgot 
to relate, or have wilfully suppressed the fact, that with these 
three men were other thi-ee executed for denying the supre- 
macy of the king, namely, Ahel, Powd, and Featherstone. 
These six victims were coupled together, Catholic and Pro- 
testant, on the same hurdle, from the Tower to Smithfield, 
where the Catholics were hung and quartered as traitors, and 
the Protestants burned as heretics. Thus it appears the 
Catholics cannot with justice be blamed for the persecutions 
in this reign, especially after Henry was acknowledged head 
of the church, as they suffered in greater proportion than the 
Protestants. Fox reckons ten Protestants who suffered during 
the remainder of Henry's reign, and Dodd counts fourteen 
Catholics in the same period. It must be borne in mind too, 
that Cranmer, the hero of the thing called the Eeformation, 
sat in the primate's chair during this work of blood and 
slaughter. In the account given by Fox of the Protestant 
martyrs, Barnes, Jerome, and Garrett, they are, of course, 
represented as the most perfect lighU of the new gospel, and 
the most successful exposers of the supposed errors of the 
church of Home. But there is a circumstance related of 
Barnes, so extravagantly presumptuous, that we must place it 
upon record. He is represented as making hb profession of 
faith at the place of execution ; after which, ** a person pre- 
sent asked him his opinion upon praying to saints. * I believe,' 
said he, * they are in heaven with God, and that they are 
worthy of all the honour that scripture wiUeth them to have. 
But 1 say, throughout scripture we are not commanded to 
pray to any saints. Therefore I neither can nor will preach 
to you that saints ought to be prayed unto ; for then should 
I preach unto you a doctrine of my own head. Notwith- 
standing, whether they pray for us or no, that I refer to GK)d. 
And t/ saints do pray forius, then / trust to pray for you 
within this half-hour, Mr. Sheriff, and for every Christian 
living in the faith of Christ, and dying in the same as & mnf . 
Wherefore, if the dead pray for the quick, I will surely pray 

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for jou.' " We have no stated authority for this precious 
narradve ; hut^ taking it for granted that such were the words 
of Dr. Barnes, it is clear that his opinions were new and con- 
trary to the received doctrine of the Christian world. All 
England helieved in the doctrine of praying to the saints^ and 
that saints prayed for us, without any ify and it was the doc- 
trine of the Catholic church from the time of the apostles. 
No nation whatever received the faith of Christ without 
receiving this dogma at the same time ; and even here the 
martyr speaks as of an uncertainty, heing made to introduce 
a convenient if, by the way of evading a direct answer to 
the question. What reliance then is to be placed on Barnes's 
creed, when he himself is dfyiMful of its accuracy ? The 
martyrs of the primitive ages never doubted a single article 
of their faith, of which this of praying to the saints was one. 
The fathers who wrote in defence of the Catholic church 
spoke positively of this doctrine as one of divine revelation, 
and th^ quote scripture in proof of it. But though the doc- 
tor-martyr was uncertain as to the veracity of his notions, he 
seems to have no doubt as to his fate in the other worid ; this 
was as sure to him as if he had been before his judge and 
received the promised reward. But enough has been said of 
these sufferers, for such they were though they were enthu- 

We have now an account of the persecution of one Testwood, 
but so ridiculous a tale that we shall not notice it. Then 
follows the persecution of Anthony Pearson, and others equally 
as absurd, which the reader will admit when he has gone 
through the following relation given of the proceedings of one 
of Pearson's companions : — '* Marbeck was five times ex- 
amined before the council ; the bishop of Winchester ; one 
of the bishop's gentlemen ; the bishops of Salisbury, Here- 
ford, and Ely; Dr. Knight ; and the bishop of Winchester's 
secretary. Throughout these examinations he defended the 
cause of truth with a spirit and boldness which confounded 
his accusers, but could not turn them from their cruel and 
bigoted purposes. 

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320 REVIEW OF fox's 

'^ Alarbeck had began a concordance of the bible in Eng- 
lish, which was taken, with his other papers, and laid before 
the council The bishop of Winchester asked him if he 
understood Latin, and would scarcely believe that he did not ; 
telling the other lords of the council that it was probable his 
concordance was a translation from the Latin, and asserting 
that, ^ if such a book should go forth in English, it would 
destroy the Latin tongue/ Marbeck was much pressed to 
disclose ' the secrets of his party,' and promised great rewards 
and preferment, if he would betray what he had heard of the 
opinions of Testwood, Pearson, and Haynes, on the mass, &c. 
He steadily refused all these offers, declaring that he knew 
nothing against them. 

** On his fourth examination, he was told by the bishop of 
Salisbury that he must answer, on oath, faithfully and truly, 
to such questions as the commissioners should judge it neces- 
sary to put to him ; which he promised to do, and was 
accordingly sworn. Then the bishop laid before him his 
three books of notes, demanding whose hand they were. He 
answered they were his own hand and notes, which he had 
gathered out of other men's works six years ago. ' For what 
cause,' said the bishop, ' didst thou gather them? ' * For ho 
other cause, my lord, but to come to knowledge. For I, 
being unlearned, and desirous to understand some parts of 
scripture, thought by reading of learned men's works to come 
the sooner thereby : and where I found any place of scripture 
opened and expounded by them, that I noted, as ye see, with 
a letter of his name in the margin, that had set out the 
work.' * So, methinks/ said the bishop of Ely, who had one 
of the books of notes in his hand all the time of their sitting, 

* thou hast read of all sorts of books, both good and bad, as 
seemeth by the notes.' • So I have, my lord,' said Marbeck. 

* And to what purpose ? ' said the bishop of Salisbury. * By 
my troth,' replied Marbeck, * for no other purpose but to see 
every man's mind.' Then the bishop of Salisbury drew out 
a quire of the concordance, and laid it before the bishop of 
Hereford, who, looking upon it awhile, lifted up his eyeg to 

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Dr. Oking, standing next to him^ and said, * This man hath, 
been better occupied than a great many of our priests.' 

" Then said the bishop of Salisbury, * Whose help hadst 
thou in setting forth this book ? ' * Truly, my lord,' replied 
Marbeck, ' no help at all.' * How couldst thou/ said the bishop, 
J invent such a book, or know what a concordance meant, 
without an instructor ? ' * I will tell you, my lord,' said the 
prisoner, * what instructor I had to begin it. When Thomas 
Matthew's bible came out in print, I was much desirous to 
have one of them ; and being a poor man, not able to buy 
one of them, determined with myself to bon*ow one amongst 
my friends, and to write it forth. And when I had written 
out the five books of Moses in fair great paper, and was 
entered into the book of Joshua, my friend Mr. Turner chanced 
to steal upon me unawares, and seeing me writing out the 
bible, asked me what I meant thereby. And when 1 had 
told him the cause, ' Tush,' quoth he, * thou goest about a 
vain and tedious labour. But this were a profitable work for 
thee, to set out a concordance in English.' * A concordance.' 
said I, * what is that ?' Then he told me it was a book to 
find out any word in the bible by the letter, and that there 
was such an one in Latin already. Then I told him I had 
no learning to go about such a thing. ' Euough,'^ quoth he^ 
*^ for that matter, for it requireth not so much learning as 
diUgence. A°<1 seeing thou art sa industrious a man, and 
one that cannot be unoccupied, it were a good exercise for 
thee.' And this, my lord, is all the ins^ctioa that ever I 
had, before or after, of any man.' 

" * And who is that Turner ? ' asked the bishop of Salisbury.. 
' Marry,' said Dr. May, ' an honest and learned man, and a 
bachelor of divinity, and some time a fellow in. Magdalen^ 
College, in Oxford.' * How couldst thou,' said the bishop of 
Salisbury, * with this instruction, bring it to this order and 
form, as it is ? ' * I borrowed a Latin concordance,' replied 
he, ' and began to practise, and at last, with great labour and 
diligence, brought it into this order, as your lordship doth. 
9ee.' < It is a great pity,' said the bishop of £ly^ ' he hadi 

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322 BBYIEW OF fox's 

not the Latin tongne.' * Yet I cannot believe/ said the bishop 
of Salisbury, ' that he hath done any more in this work 
than written it out after some other that is learned.' 

^* ' My lords/ said Marbeck, ' I shall beseech yon all to 
pardon me what I shall say, and grant my request, if it shall 
seem good unto you.' * Say what thou wilt/ said the bishop. 
' I do marvel greatly whereof I should be so much examined 
for this book, and whether I have committed any ofifence in 
doing it, or no. If I have, then were I loth for any other to 
be molested or punished for my fault. Therefore, to clear all 
men in thb matter, this is my request, that ye will try me in 
l^e rest of the book that is imdone. Ye see that I am yet 
but at the letter L, beginning now at M, and take out what 
word ye will of that letter, and so in every letter following, 
and give me the word in a piece of paper, and set me in a 
place alone where it shall please you, with ink and paper, the 
English bible, and the Latin concordance ; and if I bring 
you not these words written in the same order and form, that 
the rest before is, then was it not I that did it, but some 

" * By my truth, Marbeck,' cried the bishop of Ely, * that 
is honestly spoken, and then shalt thou bring many out of 
suspicion.' This being agreed to by the commissioners, they 
bade Dr. Oking draw out such words as he thought best on a 
piece of paper, which he did ; and while the .bishops were 
perusing them. Dr. Oking said to Marbeck, * Hake haste, for 
the sooner you have done, the sooner you shall be delivered.' 
And as the bishops were going away, the bishop of Hereford 
(who, as well as the bishop of Ely, had formerly known the 
prisoner, and was in secret his friend) took Marbeck a little 
aside, and informed him of a word which Dr. Oking had 
written false, an^ also, to comfort him, said, * Fear not, there 
can no law ccmdemn you for anything that ye have done, for 
if you have written a thousand heresies, so long as they be 
not your sayings nor your opinions, the law cannot hurt you.' 
And so they all went with the bishop of Salisbury to dinner, 
taking Marbedi with them, who dined in the hall at the 

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Steward's board, and had wine and meat sent down from the 
bishop's table. 

*' When dinner was done, the bishop of Salbburj came 
down into the hall, commanding ink and paper to be given to 
Marbeck, and the two books to one of his men to go with 
him ; at whose going he demanded of the bbhop, what time 
hb lordship would appoint him to do it in. * Against to- 
morrow this time/ replied the bishop, and bo departed. Mar- 
bee^, now being in his prison chamber, fell to his business, 
and so applied himself, that bj the next day, when the bishop 
sent for him again, he had written so much, in the same order 
and form he had done the rest before, as filled three sheets of 
paper and more, which, when he had delivered to the bishop, 
Dr. Oking standing by, he said, ' Well, Marbeck, thou hast 
put me out of aU doubt. I assure thee,' said he, putting up 
the paper into his bosom, ^ the king shall see this, ere 1 be 
twenty-four hours older.' But he dissembled in every word, 
and did not shew it to the king ; but afterwards,^ the king 
being informed of the concordance which Marbeck had written, 
said, that he was better occupied than those who persecuted 

We have copied this long account that our readers may be 
able to judge for themselves what stupid and gross nonsense, 
what palpable falsehoods, and what improbable incidents, are 
coupled together to amuse and deceive the wise children of 
the Reformation, the learned disciples of bible-interpretation. 
Can any individual in his proper senses be capable of believing 
this account of Marbeck's adventures ? What ! a man who 
is unlearned, by his own confession, set about writing a 
concordance of the scriptures, and observe too, this con- 
cordance was to supply the place of the bible. Marbeck 
could not read Latin, but he meets with a copy of Matthew's 
bible in English, which pleases him so much that he wishes 
for a copy, but being a poor man he could not afford to 6uy 
one ; but mark, reader, though he could not find money to 
buy a printed bible, he could buy puper to copy it out, and 
f^pare lime for copying too, though it must have taken au 

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324 REVIEW OF fox's 

immensity of time. Well, with much labour this poor unlearned 
man gets through the five books of Moses, and is beginning 
Joshua, when a friend pops in upon him, and seeing what he 
is about, tells him he was vainly occupied, and that a con- 
cordance in English would be a more PROFITABLE work. 
Of the nature of this work Marbeck is completely ignorant, 
but being told what it was, and that there was one in Latin 
already, he makes another objection, namely, that he had no 
learning, and did not understand Latin. This obstacle, how- 
ever, is soon renr oved by telling him that learning was not 
80 much required as diligence. Let us here observe, that we 
wonder much there has never appeared a concordanoe to the 
scriptures from the hands of an ignorant but diligent Pro- 
testant since the time of Marbeck, and we regret much that 
the MS. of our illiterate author has not been preserved, as it 
would form a curious relic in one of our learned universities. 
The concordances now in use have the name of some learned 
divine prefixed to the work by way of recommendation, as it 
has been generally supposed that learning and ability were 
essential requisites in the performance of such a literary task ; 
but it would appear from this tale that we have all along been 
in error, and that it requires no more learning to compile a 
concordance than it does to write a rhapsodical philippic 
against the supposed errors of Popery. 

But to return to the diligent and unlearned Marbeck. The 
only instruction he ever got, we are told, was from his fiiend 
Turner, who said that it required not so much learning as 
diligence, and that as he, Marbeck, was so industrious a soul 
t'lat he could not remain idle, it were a good exercise for him. 
Now reader, what instruction do you call this ? What informa- 
tion could Marbeck gain from Turner's words? Marbeck 
is ignorant of the constiiiction of a concordance. He is 
ignorant of the Latin language — he had never he^ird of sudi 
a work — he was engaged in copying a bible ; but all at once 
he quits his original intention, and engages in a work . which 
he knows nothing about, and which would be of no use to 
,him whatever, as it appears he could not get a bible, and 

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without a bible a concordance is perfectlj useless. Well 
might the bishop of Salisbury express his surprise that Mar- 
beck was able to bring his manuscript into such form and 
order with such instruction as he said he had received, Wdl 
might the prelate be marvellous at hearing a man profess ta 
be ignorant of the Latin language, and yet declaring that he 
obtained his knowledge from a book of that language? The 
whole relation is a mass of inconsistency and falsehood, but 
the more inconsistent and wonderful a tale, the better and 
readier it is gulped down by Protestant credulity * From 
whence this circumstantial account was borrowed, we are not 
informed. Burnet mentions Marbeek as a singing man, and 
gives some account of his great ingenuity in thi& work of the 
concordance, but he gives us no authority for his statement, 
any more than the modern editors ; and surely, if it were not 
a work of fiction, sueh a circumstance might have been 
Authenticated. Burnet admits that the work appeared to be 
the production of some learned man, and that it seemed in- 
credible ihat Harbeck, who was known to be an illiterate 
man, was the author of it. Of the rest of the tale we need 
gay no more, but it would appear that the persecutors of this 
learned illiterate singer were a little civil and hospitable to 
.him, as they gave him plenty of wine and meat, and in the 
end he was let off scot free. 

Pearson, Testwood, and Filmer, were not so fortunate, 
being condemned and led out to execution. From the account 
given by Fox. of l^eir last moments, we may suppose they 
were jolly old topers, as well as martyrs ; for " being all 
three bound to the post," says Fox, "a young man of Filmer's 
acquaintance brought him a pot of drink, asking, * If he 
would drink V * Yea,' cried Filmea*, * I thapk you ; and 
now, my brother,' continued he, * I desire you, in the name 
of the lining Lord, to stand fast in the truth of the gospel of 
Jesu^ Christ, which you have received;' and so, taking the 
pot into his hand, he asked Pearson if he would drink, 
* Yea, brother Filmer/ replied he, ' I pledge you in the Lord*' 
Then all three drank ; and Filmer, rejoicmg in the Xiord^ 

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said, * Be merry, my brethren, and lift up your hands unto 
God, for after this sharp breakfast I trust we shall have a 
good dinner in the kingdom of Christ, our Lord and Ee- 
deemer.' At which words Testwood, lifting up his hands 
and eyes to heaven, desired the Lord above to receive his 
spirit, and Anthony Pearson joined in the same prayer." 
These guzzling devotions and tippling pledges must have 
been truly edifying to the spectators ; and no doubt have ex- 
cited many a heavy and pious sigh from the readers of Fox, 
at the godly heroism of these Beformation martyrs, who 
practised good drinking to their last moments. One of these 
guzzling saints, we are told, on arriving at the place of 
execution, ** embraced the post in his arms, and kissing it, 
said, * Now welcome my own sweet wife ; for thb day shalt 
thou and I be married together in the love and peace of 
God.'" What are we to understand from this nonsense of 
the post and Pearson, for that was the sufferer's name, to be 
married^ whea they were both to be consumed ? And then 
the kissing bout,*— was not this rank idolatry? The Catholic 
is charged with idolatry for kissing and venerating the Cross, 
— the emblem of man's redemption, and surely the kissing 
a post must amount to the same offence ; or is a Protestant 
martyr to have a greater indulgence for kissing than a 
Catholic sinner? 

In concluding this account of the executi(m of these three 
tippling heroes, the editors say, " Thus they yidded up their 
souls to the Father of heaven, in the faith of his dear Son, 
Jesus Christ, with such humility and steadfastness, that many 
who saw their patient suffering were convinced that nothing 
but real" religion could bestow so much constancy and Chris- 
tian courage." If this were the case, we wonder much that 
the conversions were not greater than they are said to have 
been ; and it is still greater matter of astonishment that it 
was soon found necessary to frame cruel and bloody penal 
laws to prevent the people from relapsing into Popery. Not- 
withstanding the great exertions used to blind the people, 
and the horrid conspiracies entered into to alarm 4he timid 

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with the supposed bloodthirstiness of the Papists, the Catholic 
religion has stood its ground in this country, and is now 
gaining in estimation among the people, while Protestantism 
has been shivered into a thousand different sects, and its 
advocates are sinking fast into the gulf of infidelity. 

We are now treated with another martyrdom and history, 
namely, of one Adam Damplin, who had once been a zealous 
Papist, but proceeding to Kome, he there found " such blas- 
phemy of God, contempt of Christ's true religion, looseness 
of life, and abundance of all abominations and filthiness,"^ 
that he soon discovered "the errors of Popery,'* and gamed 
" a perfect knowledge of the true religion ;" at least, so the 
story goes in Fox's Martyrology. Thus gifted with new 
lighty " this godly man, every morning at seven o'clock [how 
very minute is Fox in his relations] preached very learnedly 
and plainly the truth of the blessed sacrament of Christ's^ 
body and blood, inveighing against all Papistry^ and con- 
futing the same, (but especially those two most pernicious 
errors — transubstantiation, and the propitiatory sacrifice of 
the Romish mass), by the acripturea^ and from the ancient 
doctors;'* but what this truth wa& we are not informed. 
Now we have clearly proved, in our first volume of this woi^^ 
that the ancient fathers and doctors were decidedly in favour 
of these " two most pernicious errors," and that they pro- 
duced icripture, as well as tradition, in support of the doc- 
trmes of transubstantiation and the mas». It cannot be 
denied that these *• two pernicious errors," as they are called, 
were coeval with Christianity, and were received with the 
Christian faith by the people of this country, and by them 
held at the very moment thia Adam Damplin was inveighing 
against them, and that Tom Cranmer, the Protestant arch- 
bishop, had set lus name to this belief; and are we to sup- 
pose that Adam was wiser than afi the rest of the generation ? 
To entertain such a notion would exhibit very little common 
sense ; and, in truth, the people were actually frightened out 
of their senses, before they gave credit to such preposterous 
tales as Fox, and Burnet; and the lying crew of interested 

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. writers had told them. But though Master Adam rejected 
the real presence and the mass, we find he practised confession, 
for the story makes him meet the celebrated concordance- 

. maker, Marbeck, at this rdigious ceremony ; so that here 
we have this Protestant martyr practising at least one Popish 
error. In another part o( this precious tale, we find Adam 
was a bouser, as well as the three just mentioned, for he eat 
and drank as heartily, the narrative says, when he was 
informed of his sentence, as before. But the conclusion 
we think more extraordinary than any other part. Without 
any reason assigned, the prisoner is taken from London, after 

. sentence, to Calais, and there, we are told, he was executed 
for treason, in receiving a trifling sum of money of cardinal 

;,Pole, a pardon having been granted him for his heretical 
opinions. Is this probable ? Is it at all likely ? We do 
not see him mentioned by Burnet, nor have we, as usual, any 
clue to ascertain the authenticity of the tale. 

Next we have a long account, but whence taken we 
know not, of the case of Anne Askew, who sufiered for 
denying the real presence. Upwards of seven pages are de- 
voted to this lady^s examinations, which are pretended to be 
given from her own pen. We do not find that Burnet is very 
elaborate in his detail of her trial, and Dr. Lingard mentions 
a fact or two but little known to the generality of the people. 
This lady, was married to one Kyme, but left her hus- 
band, and assumed her maiden name of Askew, that she 
might practise the work of an apostle mc^re freely, along with 
another female, who was afterwards burned by Tom Cran- 
mer*s order. This woman was evidently an enthusiast^ like 
our modern Johanna Southcott^ though she did not possess 
80 much cunning as the latter, and lived in more violent 
times. She got it into her head that Christ was not present 
in the blessed eucharist, though the fathers and all the world, 
from the time of the c^ostles, believed He was; and as it 
was against the act of the six articles, she was condenmed 
to be burned for her contumacy, and sufiered, after two r^- 
eantation.; in 1546. The council book mentions that op. 

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June 19th, in that year, " hoth Kvme and his wife were called 
before the lords ; that the former was sent home to remain 
there till he was sent for ; and that the latter, who refused 
him to be her husband, without alleging any honest allegation, 
for that she was very obstinate and heady in reasoning mat- 
ters of religion, wherein she shewed herself to be of a 
naughty opinion, seeing no persuasion of good reason could 
take place, was sent to Newgate, to remain there to answer 
to law."— ZTarZ. MS. 256, fol. 224. Thus it is clear this 
martyr of Fox's was no other than a crazy madcap ; yet is 
she represented as inspired with the spirit of wisdom, and 
more learned than all the bishops put together, even with 
Tom Cranmer at their head. But why is her death to be 
charged on the Catholics, when Cranmer, the renowned 
Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, and chief pillar of the 
Keformation, was consenting to this woman's death, although 
being a Lutheran and a reformer in his heart, he himself 
did not believe in the doctrine, for rejecting which he con- 
sented to the death of this Anne Askew ? Oh ! let this 
never be forgotten. When the Protestant bigot is launching 
forth in the praises of this hero of that thing called the 
Beformation , let it be rung in his ears, that Cranmer, the 
vile, the truckling Cranmer, was assenting to the burnings 
and hangings of Protestant heretics, and Catholic pretended 
traitors, and never crossed the will of the tyrant he served, 
whether it was to rob the church and poor of their property, 
the people of their rights, or the king's wives of their lives. 
The will of the tyrant was a law for Cranmer, who even 
preached in favour of despotism and passive obedience. 

These burnings, wo are told, " were so many triumphs to 
the Popish party," though the Catholics had no more hand in 
them than John Fox. The nation was at this time divided 
into two factions, and the Catholics were as .much persecuted 
for the denying the supremacy of the king, as the hot headed 
reformers for denying the real presence in the blessed sacra- 
ment. How unjust then is it to charge these executions to 
"the account of the Catholics, when they were themselves, the 

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victims of party rage, and were despoiled of tbeir property to 
gratify the avariciousness of profligate courtiers. Harry, 
after the death of his fifth wife, who was sent out of the world 
by severbg her head for adultery, married Catharine Parr, 
who was a widow, and a favourer of the reformers. Of course 
Oranmer and the queen rowed In the same boat, and it 
appeaw a plan was laid by their enemies to bring them both 
into disgrace. Burnet says, ** They persuaded the king that 
Cranmer was the source of all the heresies in England ; but 
Henry's esteem for him was such, that no one would appear 
to give evidence against him ; they therefore desired that he 
might be committed to the Tower." Burnet then goes on to 
tell a story of the king's informing Cranmer of the designs 
against him, of Tom's fortitude and forbearance, and the 
king's suggesting a plan, to entrap the rogues for daring to 
cast suspicion on the immaculate prelate and panderer. Of 
this state of parties Dr. Lingard writes thus : — *' During 
these transactions, the court of Henry was divided by the 
seoret intrigues of the two religious parties, which continued 
to cherish an implacable hatred against each other. The 
men of the old religion naturally looked upon Cranmer as 
their most steady and most dangerous enemy : and, though 
he was careful not to commit any open transgression of the 
law, yet the encouragement which he gave to the new 
preachers, and the clandestine correspondence which he 
maintained with the German reformers, would have proved 
his ruin, had he not found a friend and advocate in his 
sovereign. Henry still retained a grateful recollection of 
his former services, and felt no apprehension of resistance or 
treason from a man, who on all occasions, whatever were his 
real opinions or wishes, had moulded his conscience in con- 
formity to the royal will. When the prebendaries of Canter- 
bury lodged an information against him, the king issued a 
commission to examine, not the iiccused, but the accusers ; of 
whom some were imprisoned; all were compelled to ask 
pardon of the archbishop. In the House of Commons Sir 
John Gostwick, representative for Bedfordshire, had the 

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boldness to accuse him of heresy: but the king sent a 
message to the * varlet,' that if he did not acknowledge his 
fault, he should be made an example for the instruction of his 
fellows. On another occasion Henry had consented to the 
committal of the archbishop ; but afterwards he revoked his 
permission, telling the council that Cranmer was as faithful a 
man towards him as ever was prelate in the realm, aad one 
to whom he was many ways beholden ; or, as another version 
has it, that he was the only man who had loved his sovereign 
80 well, as never to have opposed the royal pleasure* In like 
manner Gardiner, from his ackn'owledged abilities and his 
credit with the king, was to the men of the new learning a 
constant object of suspicion and jealousy. To ruin him in 
the royal estimation, it was pretended that he had communi- 
cated with the papal agents through the imperial ministers ; 
and that, while he pretended to be zealously attached to the 
interests of the king, he had in reality made his peace with 
the pontiff. But it was in vain that the accusation was re- 
peatedly urged, and that Gardiner's secretary was even tried, 
convicted, and executed on a charge of having denied the 
supremacy : the caution of the bishop bade defiance to the 
wiles and malice of his enemies. Aware of the danger which 
threatened him, he stood constantly on his guard ; and though 
he might prompt the zeal, and second the efforts of those who 
wished well to the ancient faith, he made it a rule never to 
originate any religious measure, nor to give his opinion on 
religious subjects, without the express command of his 
sovereign. Then he was accustomed to speak his mind with 
boldness : but though he might sometimes offend the pride^ 
still he preserved the esteem of Henry, who, unmoved by the 
suggestions of his adversaries, continued to employ him in 
affairs of state, and to consult him on questions of religion. 
As often, indeed, as he was absent in embassies to foreign 
courts, Cranmer improved the favourable moment to urge the 
king to a further reformation. He was heard with attention ; 
lie was even twice desired to form the necessary plan, to 
subjoin his reasons, and to submit them to the royal con- 
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332. REVIEW OF fox's 

sideration ; still, however, Henry paused to receive the opinion 
of Gardiner ; and, swayed by his advice, rejected or suspended 
the execution of the measures proposed by the tnetropolitan." 
Hence it is clear that what was done by the two factions, was 
prompted by self-interest and passion, while the good of the 
commonwealth was suffered to decay, as we shall take occa- 
sion to shew. 

The next story is the lucky escape of Catharine Parr from 
the trap that was laid to shorten her life, and the death of the 
tyrant himself. As we have noticed the judgments that 
befel this obdurate and beastly head of the church of Eng- 
land in a former number, it is not necessary to repeat them 
here. Suffice it to say, he died on the 27th of January, 
.1547, in the 56th year of his age, and the 38th of his reign, 
^ execrated by thousands and regretted by none. The editors 
are obliged to confess that he was a monster in cruelty, and 
that ^' almost the last act of his life was one of barbarous 
ingratitude and monstrous tyranny ; '' but then they basely 
attempted to screen the cruelties of this barbarian, by insinu- 
ating that he was urged to these atrocious acts by the machi- 
nations of the pope and the clergy* Here, reader, is what 
they say, which we see is copied from Burnet : — ** The severi- 
ties Henry used against many of his subjects, in matters of 
.religion, made both sides write with great sharpness against 
him ; his temper was imperious and cruel ; he was sudden 
-and violent in his passions, and hesitated at nothing by which 
he could gratify either his lust or his revenge. This was 
much provoked by the sentence of the pope against him, by 
.the virulent books cardinal Pole and others published, by the 
rebellions that were raised in England by the Popish clergy, 
.and the apprehensions he was in of the emperor's greatness, 
together with his knowledge of the fate of those princes 
against whom the popes had thundered in former times ; all 
which made him think it necessary to keep his people under 
the terror of a severe government ; and by some public ex- 
amples, to secure the peace of the nation, and thereby to 
•prevent a m,OTe profuse effusion of bloody which might have 



otherwise followed if he had heen more gentle; and it was 
no wonder, if after the pope deposed him, he proceeded to 
great seyerities against all who supported the papal autho- 
rity." We may here see the malignity of Burnet, whose 
disregard for truth was only equalled by his malicious insinu- 
ations against the Catholic clergy. Now it is well known by 
those who have consulted history, that the pope did not pro- 
ceed to extremities until Henry had been guilty of tiie grossest 
violations of his coronation oath, and had shed the blood of 
his innocent subjects and best friends. Of the writings of 
cardinal Pole, it does not appear by the catalogue of his 
works in Dodd, that he wrote more than one volume folio in 
the lifetime of Henry, and surely it will not be contended, 
that the subsequent writings of the cardinal were the cause 
of Henry's cruelties. The rebellions raised in England were 
occasioned not by the clergy, but by the king himself, in 
sanctioning measures by which the clergy were stripped of 
their possessions and the poor of their support and rights. 
And if the modem editors agree with Gilbert Bufnef, that it 
was " necessary to keep his people under the terror of a 
severe government ; and by some public examples to secure 
the peace of the nation, and thereby prevent a more profuse 
effusion of blood, which might otherwise have followed if he 
had been more gentle;*^ why do they make such a parade of 
the martyrs which they say suffered during his reign ? 
Burnet, after making these remarks, gave a long list of 
Catholics who suffered in consequence of refusing to admit 
the king's supremacy, but the modem editors have not been 
so candid as the authority from whom they borrow. In-' 
stead of these real Catholic martyrs, they have introduced a^ 
number of pretended sufferers, occupying fourteen pages of the 
veriest nonsense and absurdities ever submitted to a credulous 
people. As the greater part is evidently fictitious" and 
grossly inconsistent, we shall pass by these unauthori^ied' 
details, and conclude the eventftil period of Henry's reign 
with Dr. Lingard's account of his character, and the conse- 
quences of the measures pursued by him, during the course 
of his government of this realm : — 

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" To form ^ just estimate of the character of Henry, we 
must distinguish between the young king, guided by the 
counsels of Wolsey, and the monarch of more mature age, 
governing by his own judgment^ and with the aid of minis- 
ters selected and fashioned by himself. In his youth, the 
beauty of his person, the elegance of his manners, and his 
adroitness in every martial and fashionable exercise, were 
calculated to attract the admiration of his subjects. His 
court was gay and splendid ; a succession of amusements 
seemed to absorb his attention : yet his pleasures were not 
permitted to encroach on his more important duties : he as- 
sisted at the council, perused the dispatches, and corresponded 
with his generals and ambassadors : nor did the minister, 
trusted and powerful as he was, dare to act, till he had asked 
the opinion and taken the pleasure of liis sovereign. His 
natund abilities had been improved by study : and his esteem 
for literature may be inferred from the learned education 
which he gave to his children, and from the number of eminent 
scholars to whom he granted pensions in foreign states, or on 
whom he conferred promotion in his lown. The immense 
treasure which he inherited from his father, was perhaps a 
misfortune ; because it engendered habits of expense not to 
be supported by the ordinary revenue of the crown : and the 
soundness of his politics may be doubted, which, under the 
the pretence of supporting the balance of power, repeatedly 
involved the nation in continental hostilities. Yet even these 
errors served to throw a lustre round the English throne, and 
raised its possessor in the eyes of his own subjects and of the 
different nations of Europe. But as the king advanced in 
age, his vices gradually developed themselves : after the death 
of Wolsey they were indulged without restraint. He became 
as rapacious as he was prodigal : as obstinate as he was capri- 
cious : as fickle in his friendships as he was merciless in his 
i^entments. Though liberal of his confidence, he soon grew 
suspicious of those whom he had ever trusted ; and, as if he 
possessed no other right to the crown than that which he 
derived fix>m the very questionable claim of his father, he 

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viewed with an evil eye every remote descendant of the Pl«n- 
tagenets: and eagerly embraced the slightest pretexts to 
remove those whom his jealously represented as future rivals 
to himself or his posterity. In pride and vanity he was per- 
haps without a parallel. Inflated with the praises of interested 
admirers, he despised the judgment of others ; acted as if 
he (kemed himself infallible in matters of policy and reli- 
gion ; and seemed to look upon dissent from his opinion as 
equivalent to a breach of allegiance. In his estimation, to 
submit and to obey, were the great, the paramount duties of 
subjects : and this persuasion steeled his breast against 
remorse for the blood which he shed, and led him to trample 
without scruple on the liberties of the nation. 

'^ When he ascended the throne, there still existed a spirit 
of freedom, which, on more than one occasion, defeated the 
arbitrary measures of the court, though directed by an able 
minister and supported by the authority of the sovereign: but 
in the lapse of a few years that spirit had fled, and before the 
death of Henry, the king of England had grown into a despot, 
the people had shrunk into a nation of slaves. The causes 
of this important change in the relations between the sovereign 
and his subjects, may be found not so much in the abiHties or 
passions of the former, as in the obsequumsness of his par^ 
liamenU, the assumption of the ecclesiastical supremacy^ and 
the servility of the two religious parties which divided the 

** The house of peers no longer consisted of those powerful 
lords and prelates, who, in former periods, had so often and so 
successfully resisted the encroachments of the sovereign. The 
reader has already witnessed the successive steps, by which 
most of the great families of the preceding reigns had become 
extinct, and their immense possessions had been frittered 
away among the favourites and dependants of tiie court. The 
most opulent of the peers under Henry were poor in com- 
parison with their predecessors : and by the operation of the 
statute against liveries, they had lost the accustomed means 
of arming their retainers in support of their quarrelis. In 

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generrf they were new men, indebted for their present honours, 
and estates to the bounty of Henrj or of his father : and the 
proudest, among the rest, by witnessing the attainders and 
execution of others, had been taught to tremble for themselves, 
and to crouch in submission at the foot of a master, whose 
policy it was to depress the great, and punish their errors 
without mercy, while he selected his favourites from the lower 
classes, heaping on them honours and riches, and confiding to 
them the exercise of his authority. 

^' By the separation of the realm from the see of Rome, 
the dependence of the spiritual had been rendered still more 
complete than that of the temporal peers. Their riches had 
been diminished, their immunities taken away: the support 
which they might have derived from the protection oithe pon- 
tiff was gone ; they were nothing more than the delegates of 
the king, eiercbing a precarious authority, determinable at 
his pleasure. The ecclesiastical constitutions, which had so 
long formed part of the law of the land, now depended on his 
breath, and were executed only by his sufferance. The con- 
Yocation, indeed, continued to be summoned ; but its legisla- 
tive authority was no more. Its principal business was to 
grant money ; yet even those grants now owed their force, 
not to the consent of the grantors, but to the approbation of 
the other two houses, and the assent of the crown. 

'* As for the third branch of the legislature, the commons 
of England, they had not yet acquired sufficient importance to 
oppose any effectual barrier to the power of the sovereign, yet 
caro woB taken that among them the leading members should 
be devoted to the crown, and that the speaker should be one 
holding office, or high in the confidence of the ministers. 
Freedom of debate wa9, indeed, granted : but with a qualifi- 
cation which, in reality, amounted to a refusal. It was only 
a decent frecSdom : and, as the king reserved to himself the 
right of deciding what was or was not decent, he frequently 
put down the opponents of the court, by reprimanding- the 
" varlets *' in person, or by sending to them a tiireatening 

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^' It is plain that from parliaments thus constituted, the 
crown had little to fear : and though Wolsej had sought to 
govern without their aid, Henry found them so obsequious to 
his will that he convoked them repeatedly^ and was careful to 
have his most wanton and despotic measures sanctioned with 
their approbation. The parliament^ so often as it was opened 
or closed, by the king in person, offered a scene not unworthy 
of an oriental divan. The form indeed differed but little 
irom our present usage. The king sate on his throne ; on 
the right hand stood the chancellor, on the left; the lord 
treasurer ; whilst the peers were placed on their benches, and 
the commons stood at the bar. But the addresses made on 
these occasions by the chancellor or the speaker, usually 
lasted more than an hour ; and their constant theme was the 
great character of the king. The orators, in their efforts to 
surpass each other, fed his vanity with the most hyperbolical 
praise. Cromwell was unable, he believed all men were 
unable, to describe the unutterable qualities of the royal 
mind, the sublime virtues of the royal heart. Eich told him, 
that in wisdom he was equal to Solomon, in strength and 
courage to Sampson, in beauty and address to Absalom ; and 
Audeley declared before his face, that Qod had anointed him 
trith the oil of wisdom above his fellows, above the other 
kings of the earth, above all his predecessors ; had given him 
a perfect knowledge of the scriptures, with which he had 
prostrated the Roman Goliath ; a perfect knowledge of the 
art of war, by which he had gained the most brilliant vic- 
tories at the same time in remote places; and a perfect 
knowledge of the art of government, by which he had for 
thirty years secured to his own pealm the blessings of peace, 
while all the other nations of Europe suffered the calamities 
of war. 

** Durmg these harangues, as often as the words, * most 
sacred majesty,' were repeated, or as any emphatic expression 
was pronounced, the lords rose, and the whole assembly, in 
token of respect and assent, bowed profoundly to the demi- 
god on the throne. Henry himself affected to hear such 


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338 BEViEW OF fox's 

fulsome adulation with indifference. His answer was invari- 
ablj the same : that he laid no daim to superior excellence ; 
but that, if he did possess it, he gave the gloij to God, the 
author of all good gifts ; it was, however, a pleasure to him 
to witness the affection of his subjects, and to learn that they 
were not insensible of the blessings which they enjoyed under 
his goYemment. 

'' It is evident that the new dignity of head of the church, 
by transferring tb the king that authority which had been 
hitherto exercised by the pontiff, must have considerably 
augmented the influence of the crown ; but, in addition, the 
arguments by which it was supported tended to debase the 
i^irit of the people, and to exalt the royal prerogative above 
law and equity. When the adversaries of the supremacy 
asked in what passage of the sacred writings the government 
of the church was given to a ^yman, its advocates boldly 
appealed to those texts which prescribe obedience to the 
established authorities. The king, they maintained, was the 
image of God upon earth : to disobey his commands was to 
disobey God himself: to limit his authority, when no limit 
was laid down, was an offence against the soverdgn : and to 
make distinctions, when the scripture made none, was an 
impiety against Qod. It was, indeed, acknowledged that this 
supreme authority might be employed unreasonably and un- 
justly, but even then to resist was a crime ; it became the 
duty of the sufferer to submit, and his only resource was to 
pray that the heart of his oppressor might be changed, his 
only consolation to reflect that the king himself would be 
summoned to answer for his conduct before a future and un- 
erring tribunal. Henry became a sincere believer in a doc- 
trine so flattering to his pride ; and easily persuaded himself 
that he did no more than his duty in punishing with severity 
the least opposition to his will. To impress it on the miads 
of the people, it was perpetually inculcated fix)m the pulpit: 
it was enforced in books of controversy and instruction : it 
was promulgated with authority in the < Institution,' and 
afterwards in the < Erudition of a Christian Man.' From 

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that period the doctrine of passive obedience formed a leading 
trait in the orthodox creed. 

" The two great parties, into which religious disputes had 
separated the nation, contributed also to strengthen the des- 
potic power of Henry. They were too jealous of each other 
to watch, much, less to resist, the encroachments of the crown. 
The great object of both was the same, — to win the favour 
of the king, that they might crush the power of (heir adver- 
saries ; and with this view they flattered his vanity, submitted 
to his caprice, and became the obsequious slaves of his 
pleasure. Henry, on the other hand, whether it were 
through policy or accident, played them off against each 
other ; sometimes appearing to lean to the old, sometimes to 
the new doctrines, alternately raising and depressing the 
hopes of each, but never suffering either party to obtain the 
complete ascendancy over its opponent. Thus he kept them 
in a state of dependance on his will, and secured their con- 
currence to every measure which his passion or caprice might 
suggest, without regard to reason or justice, or the funda- 
mental laws of the land. Of the extraordinary enactments 
which followed, a few instances may suffice. The succession 
to the crown was repeatedly altered, and at length left to the 
king's private judgment or affection. The right was first 
taken from Mary, and given to Elizabeth ; then transferred 
from Elizabeth to the king's issue by Jane Seymour, or any 
future queen ; next, restored, on the failure of issue by prince 
Edward, to both Mary and Elizabeth; and lastly, failing 
issue by them, to any person or persons to whom it should 
please him to assure it in remcdnder by his last will. Treasons 
were multiplied by the most vexatious, and often, if ridicule 
could attach to so grave a matter, by the most ridiculous 
laws. It was once treason to dispute, it was afterwards 
treason to maintain, the validity of the marriage with Anne 
Boleyn, or the legitimacy of her daughter. It became 
treason to marry, without the royal licence, any of the king's 
children, whether legitimate or natural, or his paternal 
brothers or sisters, or their issue ; or for any woman to 

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marry the king himself, wolees she were a maid, or had pre- 
viouslj revealed to him her former incontinence. It was 
made treason to call the king a heretic or a schismatic, openly 
to wish him harm, or to slander him, his wife, or his issue. 
This, the most henious of crimes in the eye of the law, was 
extended firom deeds and assertions to the yeiy thoughts of 
men. Its guilt was incurred hy any person who should, by 
words, writing, imprinting, or any other exterior act, directly 
or indirectly accept or take, judge or believe, that either of 
the royal marriages, that with Catharine, or that with Anne 
Boleyn, was yalid,. or who should protest that he was not 
bound to declare his opinion, or should refuse to swear that 
he would answer truly such questions as should be asked him 
on those dangerous subjects. It would be difficult to discover, 
under the most despotic governments^ a law more cruel and 
absurd. The validity or invalidity of the two marriages was 
certainly matter of opinion, supported and opposed on each 
side by so many contradictory arguments, that men of the 
soundest judgment might reasonably be expected to difiEer 
firom each other. Yet Henry, by this statute, was authorized 
to dive into the breast of every individual, to extort from him 
his secret sentiments upon oath, and to subject him to the 
penalty of treason, if those sentiments did not accord with 
the royal pleasure. The king was made, in a great measure, 
independent of parliament, by two statutes, one of which 
gave to his proclamations the force of laws,the other appointed 
a tribunal, oonmsting of nine privy counsellors, with power 
to punish all transgressors of such proclamations. The 
dreadful punishment of heresy was not confined to those who 
rejected the doctrines which had already been declared or- 
thodox, but it was extended beforehand to all persons who 
should teach or maintain any opinion contrary to such doc- 
trines as the king might afterwards publish. If the criminal 
were a clergyman, he was to expiate his third offence at the 
stake ; if a layman, to forfeit his personal property, and be 
imprisoned for life. Thus was Henry invested, by act of 
, parliament, with the high prerogative of theohgicdl infaUi^ 

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hiUfy, and an obligation was laid on all men, without excep- 
tion^ whetheir of the new or of the old learning, to model 
their religious opinions and religious practice by the sole 
judgment of their sovereign. By an ex post facto law, those 
who had taken the first oath against the papid authority, were 
reputed to have taken, and to be bound by a second and more 
comprehensive oath, which was afkerwards enacted, and 
which, perhaps, had it been tendered to them, they would 
have refused. 

'' But that which made the severity of these statutes the 
more terrible, was the manner in which criminal prosecutions 
were then conducted. The crown could hardly fail in con- 
victing the prisoner, whatever were his guilt or his innocence. 
He was first interrogated in his cell, nrged with the hope of 
pardon to make a confession, or artfully led by ensnaring 
questions into dangerous ^idmissions. When the materials 
of the prosecution were completed, they were laid before the 
grand inquest, and if the bill was found, the conviction of 
the accused might be pronounced certain, for in the trial 
which followed, the real question submitted to the decision of 
the petit jury was, which of the two were more worthy of 
credit, tbe prisoner who maintained his innocence, or the 
grand inquest which had pronounced his guilt. With this 
view the indictment, with a summary of the proofe on which 
it had been found, was read ; and the accused, now perhaps 
for the first time acquainted with the nature of the evidence 
against him, was indulged with the liberty of speaking in his 
own defence. Still he could not insist on the production of 
his accusers that he might obtain the benefit of cross-exami- 
nation ; nor claim the aid of counsel to repel the taunts, and 
unravel the sophistry^ which were too often employed at that 
period by the advocates for the crown. In this method of 
trial, every chance was in favour of the prosecution ; and yet 
it was gladly exchanged for the expedient discovered by 
Cromwell, and afterwards employed against its author. In- 
stead of a public trial, the minister introduced a bill of 
attiunder into parliament, accompanied with such documents 

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342 REVIEW OF fox's 

as be thougbt proper to submit. It was passed by the two 
houses with all conveDient expedition ; and the unfortunate 
prisoner found himself condemned to the scaffold or the 
gallows, without the opportunity of opening his mouth in his 
own vindication. 

" To proceed by attainder became the usual practice in the 
latter portion of the king's reign. It was mwe certain in 
the result, by depriving the accused of the few advantages 
which he possessed in the ordinary courts ; it enabled the 
minister to gratify the royal suspicion or resentment without 
the danger of refutation, or of unpleasant disdosures ; and 
it satisfied the minds of the people, who, unacquainted with 
the real merits of the case, could not dispute the equity of a 
judgment given with the unanimous consent of the whole 

. *' Thus it was that, by the obsequiousness of the parliament, 
the assumption of the ecclesiastical supremacy, and the ser- 
vility of religious factions, Henry acquired and exercised the 
most despotic sway over the lives, the fortunes, and the 
liberties of his subjects. Happily the forms of a free 
government were still suffered to exist : into these forms a 
spirit of resistance to arbitrary power gradually infused it- 
self: the pretensions of the crown were opposed by the 
claims of the people, and the result of a long and arduous 
struggle was that constitution which for more than a century 
has excited the envy and the admiration of Europe." 

With this account from the pen of one of the first writers of 
the day, we shall dose our review of the transactions of the 
reformers during the portentous rule of the wife-killer and 
priest-slayer. The reader will now be able to see the rueful 
consequences of submitting to the will of an arbitrary tyrant, 
and the direful effects which followed the investment of 
Henry with the supreme ecclesiastical authority of the church. 
The people of England have been taught to look upon the 
rejection of the pope's supremacy as the dawn of the nation's 
liberties, whereas it is clear that this event led to the most 
arbitrary and unjust laws, and entailed upon the people the 

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most deplorable miseries. Oh, England! what hast thou 
suffered since thou departed from the faith of the apostles, 
and separated thyself from the communion of the Christian 
world ! 


We are now going to reconnoitre the transactions in the 
northern part of the island, where the "saints'* were more 
violent than those who put some of them to death. Perse- 
cution is a word familiar to eveij person in this country, but 
though eyery one knows its meaning, it is not every individual 
who is su£5ciently acquainted with history to know whether 
the term is correctly applied to the circumstance. To jperse^ 
cute, we are toH by Dr. Johnson, is " to harass with penal- 
ties ; to pursue with malignity — to pursue with repeated acts 
of vengeance or enmity ; " and it will be seen, when the 
reader is put in possession of both sides of the question, that 
the charge of persecution will apply with much more justice 
to the reforming party, who are represented as being perse- 
cuted, than to those who are described as persecuting. We 
have, in the preceding remarks, been considering the progress 
of the Eeformation, so called, under the protection of the 
government of the country, the head of that government 
having thrown off the submission exacted by the divine 
founder of true religion to his church, and assumed the 
supremacy of that portion of it in England himself. The 
case, however, was different in Scotland. There the Catholic 
religion was the religion of the state, as it was in England 
before Henry's usurpation, and the temporal authorities 
yielded the same obedience to the spiritual supremacy of the 
church as the other Catholic sovereigns did. The attempt, 
therefore, of the reformers to introduce their new-fangled 
notions into Scotland, and create confusion, was an innovation 
on the constituted authorities, and being such, it was natural 
that the attempt would be resisted. We are aware that the 
Catholic religion was introduced and established in the 

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Boman empire^ and in almost every place, in opposition to 
^ the powers that be/' and that persecution was practised to 
stop its progress, bat without efiect. But we must hero 
obserre, that the apostles, and their successors afterwards, in 
disseminating this holy faith, inyariablj abstained from mix- 
ing the affairs of this world with the kingdom they laboured 
to establish, which, they said, was not of this world, and that 
it did not interfere with the temporal concerns of the different 
states in existence, but was calculated for one form or consti- 
tution as well as another, and, indeed, gave security to all, 
by 4 inculcating the doctrine of obedience to the established 
forms of government. In no instance whatever do we read 
in history that the introduction of the Catholic or Christian 
religion produced disorder or destruction to the kingdoms or 
empires that received it. On the contrary, we see by the 
annals of our own country, that those monarchs who were the 
most celebrated for their attachment and devotion to the 
Catholic churchy and who listened to the advice and admoni- 
tions of the most pious and sainted dignitaries of that church, 
were equally eminent for the establishment of just and 
wholesome laws, the protection they thus afforded to the lives 
and property of their subjects, and the consequent absence of 
all harsh and tyrannic measures, which only tend to brutalize 
and debase a people. To monarchs such as these do English- 
men owe all that is good and excellent in that civil constitution 
of which they make such a boast, though most of its privileges 
have been suppressed since the period of the Beformation, so 
called, and to be eligible to the remainder it is required to be 
sworn that the holy founders were damnable idolaters ! 

It was not so, however, with the reformers ; though they 
declaimed against the supposed errors of the Catholic church, 
with all the vehemence they were capable of, yet they found 
their cause made very little progress, until they instigated the 
ignorant and illiterate people to violence and rebellion, and 
thus sought by revolutionary means to subdue those in 
authority who were opposed to the wild notions they pro- 
pagated, and grasped the civil sword to assist them in silencing 

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tibe voice of truth and justice. In every country where the 
clamour of Protestantism was heard agiunst the ruling 
powers, sedition, rebellion, and treason followed in its train ; 
and where it was ushered in by the sanction of the civil 
magistrate, it was preceded by robbery, sacrilege, and murder. 
We have seen by the transactions in Henry's reign the accu- 
racy of the latter observation ; it remains then to be shewn 
how far we are correct with regard to the former. The 
reformers of Scotland imbibed the notions of John Calvin, 
who, in his commentaries on Daniel, says, ** Princes forfeit 
thdr power when they expose God in opposing the Reforma- 
tion ; and it is better, in such cases, to spit in their &ces than 
to obey.'* Beza, Calvin's scholar, in his book, " Vindicce, 
contra Tyrannos,^* says, ** We must obey kings for God's 
sake, when they obey God ; " but otherwise, " as the vassal 
loees his fief or tenure, if he commit felony, so does the king 
loee his right to the realm also." Such doctrines could not 
ffdl to produce turbulent and riotous disciples, as the sequel 
will shew. 

Pox, in the modem edition of the Book of Martyrs, com- 
mences his account of the Scottish persecutions, as he calls 
them, with the following prefatory ol^ervations : — " Having 
brought our account of the su&icmgs and martyrdoms of the 
English reformers down tp the death of Henry VIH., we 
sh^ now proceed to relate the cruel persecutions of God's 
faithful servants in Scotland, to the same period ; but it will 
previously be necessary to give a short sketch of the progress 
of the Reformation in that country. The long i^liance 
between Scotland and Prance, had rendered the two nations 
extremely attached to each other ; and Paris was the place 
where the learned of Scotland had their education. Yet 
mirly in the^i^^^^ century, learning was more encouraged 
t» Scotland^ and universities were founded in several epis- 
copal sees. About the same time some of Wicklife's 
followers began to show themselves in Scotland; and an 
Mnglishman, named Resby, was burnt in 1407 £&r teaching 
some opinions contrary to the pope's author^y* Some yeai;» 

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346 BEViBW OF fox's 

after that, Paul Craw, a Bohemian, who had heen converted 
hj H1188, was humt for infusing the opinions df that martyr 
into some persons at St. Andrew's. Ahout the end of the 
fifteenth century, Lollardy, as it was then called, spread it- 
self into many parts of the diocess of Glasgow, for which 
several persons of quality were accused ; but they answered 
the archbishop of that see with so much boldness and truth, 
that he dismissed themy having admonished them to content 
themselves with Xh^ faith of the church, and to beware of new 
doctrines. The same spirit of ignoravkce, immorality, and 
superstition, had over-run the church of Scotland that was 
so much complained of in other parts of Europe. The total 
neglect of the pastoral care, and the scandalous lives of the 
clergy, filled the people with such prejudices against them, 
that they were easily disposed to hearken to new preachers, 
among the most conspicuous of whom was Patrick Hamilton.'' 
Early in the fifteenth cenjury, we are told, learning was more 
encouraged in Scotland than before, that universities were 
founded by several bishops, and yet before the close of this 
same century the country is represented as over-run with 
ignorance, immorality, and superstition ! But mark, reader, 
it does not appear from this account that any one was burned 
before the year 1407, yet the Catholic religion had been the 
religion of Scotland upwards of nine hundred years. Can 
this be a persecuting religion ? The occasion of this burning, 
we are informed, was the introduction of some of Wickliffe*s 
followers, and what sort of religionists these Wickliffites were 
we have already shewn the reader in the preceding pages. 
They have been shewn to be spoliators and rebels, and were 
punished for their violations of the peace of society, rather 
than their religious notions. To represent such men as 
"God's servants" is rank blasphemy, and cannot be too 
strongly reprobated; but so it is with the interested opposers 
of Catholicism, that wherever they meet a man who is a 
reviler of the pope and the Catholic clergy, who is a clamourer 
against the supposed errors and corruptions of the church of 
Bon\^, though, in other respects he should be the vilest and 

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most perfidious character, jet will thej represent him as the 
most immaculate of human beings, and the chastisement he 
may receive for his outrages on the laws of society, as a 
persecution for his religious notions. Of Paul Craw we have 
no authentic account ; he is stated to have been converted by 
Huss, but, from the life and conduct of this Huss, it should 
have been corrupted. Then Lollardism spread itself in many 
parts of the diocess of Glasgow, and several persons of 
quality became infected with it, who, on being accused before 
the archbishop, answered with so much boldness and truth, it 
is said, that they were only admonished ^' to content them- 
selves with the faith of the church, and to beware of new 
doctrines." Well, as we are told to adhere to the faith once 
delivered to the saints, whatever is new cannot be that faith 
once delivered, and therefore the advice given must be acknow- 
ledged to have been good. Next comes an account of ^* the 
spirit of ignorance, immorality, and superstition," which 
infected all parts of Europe, and at length contaminated 
Scotland. When we read this part of the account we fancied 
the editors were alluding to the present state of a certain 
church, in which we find a "total neglect of the pastoral 
eare, and the scandalous lives of many of the clergy," daily 
filling the people with disgust and indignation at such con- 
duct, and causing them 'to nm to conventicles to hearken to 
other preachers. We are veady to admit, nay we have fre- 
quently admitted, that there was a laxity in morals among 
many of the clergy at the close of the fifteenth century ; for 
if this had not been the case, we should not have had such 
beastly and depraved characters as the chief of the refor- 
mers were, namely, Luther, Calvin, Beza, Zuinglius, Melanc- 
thon, (Ecolampadius, and many others, whose immoral doc- 
trines, coupled with the impiety of their lives, soon covered 
that part of the world where tiiey had taken root with the 
most horrible scenes of lewdness and wickedness. We have 
before given the admissions of the reformers of this state of 
things ; it is not necessary, therefore, to repeat them here, 
but we will proceed to notice the martyrs of this pretended 

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348 REVIEW OF fox's 

The first we see upon the list is Patrick Hamilton , the 
nephew of the earl of Arran, and hy his mother's side the 
duke of Alhany. This reformer is represented as having 
hecome acquainted with Luther and Melancthon^ ^^ and heing 
convinced, from his own researches, of the truth of their 
DOCTRINES, he hurned to impart the light of the gospel to his 
own countrymen, and to shew them the errors and corruptions 
of their own church." Before we proceed further, it may 
not he amiss to remind the reader of some of Luther's 
doctrines, that he may judge for himself what excellent use 
our reformers made of their researches, and how correct their 
convicjbions must have been. Here then are a few specimens 
of Lut])er's doctrines taken from his own works. — ** God's 
commandments are all equally impossible." (De Lib, Christ. 
t. ii. fol. 4.) " No sins can damn a man, but only unbelief." 
fDe Captiv, Bah. t. ii. fol. 171.) " God is just, though by 
his own wiU he lays us under the necessity of being damned ; 
and though he damns those that have not deserved it." 
(t. ii. fol. 434, 436.) " God works in us both good and 
evil." (t. ii. fol. 44.) That the reader shudders at these 
horrible and blasphemous doctrines we feel convinced ; but 
what are we to think of those men who, in the nineteenth 
century, have held forth the propagator of these diabolical 
notions as the paragon of Christian perfection, and his dis- 
ciple Hamilton as " a godly martyr." Patrick, it is said, 
denied the doctrine of free will, which was taught by the 
apostles, and advocated the impious notion of justMoation by 
faith alone. Now, by this doctrine, a man was taught that 
though he committed the most heinous offence in the eyes of 
God, whether of murder, adultery, or any other immorality^ 
he had only to believe himself a saint, and nothing could 
damn him. Such pestiferous notions were sufficient to set 
open the floodgates of vice, and it became the duty of every 
well-wiaher to morality and good order, to stpp the current of 
devilism thus about to be spread over the kingdom. Hamilton 
was accordingly condemned as a heretic, and sentenced to the 
flames, which sentence was put into execution in the year 

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1527, under circumstances, the account says, of refined 
cruelty. "We are not, as we have often said before, the 
advocate of these burnings, but, in the absence of authentic 
testimony, and taking into consideration the doctrines imbibed 
and preached by Patrick Hamilton, we think there can be 
but little doubt that he was condemned and suffered, not for 
his speculative opinions, but for the immorality and seditious- 
ness of his doctrines. The Bool of Martyrs says, " The 
views and doctrines of this glorioiLS martyr were such as 
would not fail to excite the highest admiration of every real 
believer; and they were expressed with such brevity and 
clearness, and such peculiar vigour and beauty (forming in 
themselves a complete summary of the gospel), that they 
afforded instruction to all who sought to know more of God."^ 
This is true sectarian cant. Why, if his views and doctrine* 
were of such peculiar excellence — why, we ask, were they not 
carefully preserved for the edification and instruction of future 
generations? Catholics have carefully preserved the writings 
and testimonies of the fathers from the primitive age of 
Christianity : they have recourse to them as witnesses of the 
unity and impeccability of the Catholic feith ; why then was 
not this complete summary of the gospel by Hamilton pre- 
served by his disciples as a reference for every real believer ? 
The fact is, Hamilton's views and doctrines would not bear a 
strict scrutiny, and we question whether they were ever put 
on paper. The account is a fabrication intended to excite 
prejudice against the Catholics and enthusiasm for the re- 
formed, or rather deformed, doctrines. 

The next martyr is one Henry Forest, described as a y(w^^ 
/riar of Lithgow. This disciple of the Keformation is said 
^ have fallen a victim for his faith by going — where do you 
suppose, reader? — by going to confession, and there 
SECRETLY disclosing his conscience. He told his eonfessor, 
" that he thought Hamilton to be a good man, and wrong* 
fully put to death, and that his doctrines were true, and not 
heretical: upon which [the relation continues] the friar," 
whom Forest had caused to hear his confession, *^ came and 

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350 REVIEW OF fox's 

related to the bishop the confession which he had received. 
This was taken as sufficient evidence against him ; and he 
was accordingly declared to be ^ a heretic, equal in iniquity 
with Patrick Hamilton,* and sentenced to suffer death." 
Here we have another most improbable story ; for if Forest 
believed the doctrines of Hamilton to have been true, why 
did he follow the Popish custom of confession, which all the 
other reformers renounced with the doctrine of good works ? 
This is a bungling tale, and proclaims its own falsehood. 
Had he been what he is represented, he would not have 
chosen secresy for a disclosure of his conversion, but we may 
naturally suppose that he would have made an open profession 
of his faith, as the martyrs under the Eoman heathen em- 
perors did. Neither is it likely that his judges should rely 
only on the statement of his confessor, whose conduct, by the 
by, would have been reprobated in the strongest terms, as it 
is held one of the greatest sacrileges that can be committed, 
and there is no authenticated instance of such a disclosure 
having ever been made. Why should the proceedings agdnst 
the young friar be more summary than those against Hamil- 
ton ? Why had he not a trial ; and why was he not called 
upon to abjure ? It is, as we before said, a bungling tale, 
and enough has been said to shew its improbability. 

We have now two martyrs, one named Norman Gourlay, 
and the other David Stratton. They both are said to have 
denied there being such a place as purgatory, and the former 
would have it, " that the pope was not a bishop, but Anti- 
christ, and had no jurisdiction in Scotland ; "the latter con- 
tended, •* that the passion of Christ was the only expiation 
for sin, and that the tribulations of this world were the only 
sufferings that the saints underwent." What rank and con- 
dition of life Gourlay moved in we are not informed, but 
David, we are told, was a fisherman, and we suppose con- 
sidered himself as well calculated to expound the mysteries of 
religion — fifteen hundred years after it had been established 
-*as the apostles, some of whom were fishermen, who were 
personally commissioi\ed by Chriat to teach his truths; and 

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inspired bj the Holy Ghost to fulfil their commission. 
Whether the martyrs, Norman and David, would have re- 
mained unmolested, if David had not proved refractory with 
his vicar, we cannot teU, but the story informs us that the 
vicar asked David for his tithe-fish, and that David cast them 
out of the boat in so negligent a manner that some of thetn 
fell into the sea. Now this was very naughty of David, be- 
cause the vicar did not appropriate the tithes wholly to his 
own use, as the parsons do now-a-days under a Protestant 
reformed establishment, but he divided the tithes among 
the poor, the sick, the widow, and the stranger, and it was 
therefore an ill-natured trick of Davy, the fisherman, to 
prevent the Catholic vicar from performing these charitable 
acts. Well, for his siUy behaviour, he got accused of " having 
said that no tithes should be paid ; " and forthwith we find 
him and his companion, Gourlay, before the archbishop ; but 
how Gourlay came into custody we have no information. In 
the end they were " condemned as obstinate heretics, and 
sentenced to be burnt upon the green side, between Leith and 
Edinburgh, with a view to strike terror into the surrounding 
country." How "the surrounding country ^^ was to be 
terrified by this execution, is not explained to such of the 
good people as may read this famous Book of Martyrs ; 
however, it is said they addressed the spectators, and con- 
tinued to preach so long that the officers were under the 
necessity of stopping them. A moment's reflection, we think, 
is sufficient to shew the falsity of this relation. When we 
look at the state of letters in those times, and consider that 
literary knowledge was chiefly confined to the clergy and 
persons destined for the orders of the church ; when we take 
into consideration that printing was then scarcely known, and 
consequently that books were not so familiar to the working 
classes as they are now ; is it probable, we ask, that a poor 
fisherman should be able to teach and discuss such knotty 
points as the mysteries of religion, or that he should know 
better what to believe than all the learned men in the world 
for fifteen hundred years before him ? To entertain such an 

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352 BBYIBW OP fox's 

idea would be to prodaim a defect of common sense, yet is 
such trash sent forth in these ** enlightened " days, as they 
are called, to excite a hatred against the greater part of the 
Christian world. 

The next story of martyrdom is still more ridiculous, and 
we shall not do justice to it unless we give it as it is related. 
The book says : — ** Not long after the burning of Stratton 
and Gourlay, dean Thomas Forret was accused to the bishop 
of I>unkeld, as * a heretic, and one that shewed the mys- 
teries of the scriptures to the vulgar people in their own 
language, to make the clergy detestable in their sight/ 

" The Wshop of Dunkeld said to him, * I love you well, and 
therefore I must give you my counsel, how you shall rule and 
guide yourself. My dear dean Thomas, I am informed that 
you preach the epistle or gospel every Sunday to your 
parishioners, and that you take not the cow, nor the upper- 
most doth, from your parishioners, which is very prejudicial 
to the churchmen ; and, therefore, I would you took your 
cow, and your uppermost cloth, as other churchmen do, or 
else it is too much to preach every Sunday ; for, in so doing 
you may make the people think that we should preach like- 
wise. But it is enough for you, when you find any good 
epistle, or any good gospel, tiiat setteth forth the liberty of 
the holy church, to preach that and let the rest be.' 

<< Forret answered, ' My lord, I think that none <tf my 
parishioners will complain that I take not the oow, nor the 
uppermost doth, but will gladly give me the same, togeth^ 
with any other thing that they have ; and I will give and 
communicate with them any thing that I have; and so, my 
lord, we agree right well, and there is no discord among us. 
And where your lordship saith, ^Mt is too much to preach 
every Sunday," indeed I think it is too little ; and also would 
wish that your lordship did the like.' 'Nay, nay, dean 
Thomas,' cried the bish<^, ' let tbat be, for we are not or- 
dained to preach.' 

"Then said Forret, * Where your lordship biddeth me 
preach when I fin^ any good epistle, or a goodgospd; tmly^ 

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mj lord^ I have read the New Testament and the Old, and 
all the epistles and gospels^ and among them all I could 
never find an evil epistle, or an evil gospel ; but if your 
lordship will shew me the good epistle, and the good gospel, 
and the evil epistle, and the evil gospel, then I shall preach 
the good and omit the evil.' 

• " The bishop replied, * I thank Ood that I never "knew 
wh4U the Old and New Testament was; therefore, dean 
Thomas, I will know nothing but mj portuise and pontifical. 
Go your way, and let be all these fantasies, for if you perse- 
vere in these erroneous opinions, ye will repent when you 
may not mend it.' 

" Forret said, * I trust my cause is just in the presence of 
God; and, therefore, I heed not much what may follow 
thereupon ; ' and so he departed. 

^^A short time aflberwards he was summoned to appear 
before cardinal Beaton, archbishop of St. Andrew's; and, 
after a short examination, he was condemned to be burnt as 
a heretic. A similar sentence was pronounced, at the same 
time, on four other persons, named Killor, Beverage, Simson> 
and Foster ; and they were all burnt together on the castle- 
liiU at Edinburgh, February 28, 1538." 

Having gone through this relation, we will now ask the 
reader if he ever met with such an improbable relation before ? 
Mercy upon us ! what must be the state of that man's intel- 
lect, who could give credit to such absurdity as this ? We 
hear much of the superior excellence of Protestant intellec- 
tual capacity ; but can those who give credit to such barefaced 
falsehoods as we have detected in this Book of Martyrs be 
fit for any thing but to inhabit a bedlam ? The recommen- 
dation of the bishop to the dean to take the cow and the 
uppermost cloth of the parishioners had been better omitted ; 
because it reminds us too closely of the griping dispositions 
of the Protestant established clergy in Ireland, to take the 
poor half-starved peasants' potato, and many is the time that 
the cow and sheep have been seized from the poor man, not- 
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354 REVIEW OF fox's 

satiate the avarice of the unfeeling rector or his tithe-proctor. 
l)ut at the time Fox is speaking of, the cow and the cloth did 
not come within the claims of the clergy, who, not having 
wives to maintain, as parsons have now-a-days, seldom or 
ever took the tithe or due to the full demand, but rather 
assisted the labourer in his difficulties than ruined him when , 
in distress. Neither was it well conceived to hint at the 
backwardness of the bishop to preach, for we are again re- 
minded that the state bishops in these days are as little prone 
to preaching as ever the bishop of Dunkeld could be. But 
when the bishop is made to say that they (bishops) " are not 
ordained to preach ; " when he is made to ** thank God that 
he never knew what the Old and New Testament was," the 
lie is so palpable, so openly barefaced, that we blush for the 
depravity of that mind that could be so base, so lost to shame, 
as to publish it. The bishop not to know what the bible 
was ! when to bishops of the Catholic church we are in- 
debted for the preservation of that sacred volume. The 
bishop not to know what the Old and New Testament was, 
though he was compelled by the canons of his church to read 
certain portions of the scriptures every day in his life, and 
could not celebrate mass without reading some parts of one 
or both. Oh ! shame, where is thy blush ? 

It is needless to enter into the details of all the persons 
selected as martyrs by John Fox ; we will therefore be brief 
with the remainder. Forret and four others are said to have 
suffered on February 28, 1538, and we have then two more, 
named Eussel and Kenedy, who were taken up the year fol- 
lowing, viz. 1539, and executed. Kenedy is described as a 
youth, eighteen years of age, and being inclined to recant, felt 
himself suddenly refreshed by divine inspiration, and became 
a new creature. They were examined, it is said, but we 
have no account of the examination ; however, being declared 
heretics, " the archbishop [says the book] pronounced the 
dreadful sentence of death, and they were immediately de- 
livered over to the secular power." Here is another direct 
falsehood ; for in no instance whatever do the clergy pro- 
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noonce sentence of death on any criminal. They are for- 
bidden to do so by the canons of the church, and it is an 
invariable rule, at this day, borrowed from our Catholic 
ancestors, for the bishops to retire from the House of Lords 
in all cases where that tribunal has to pass sentence on a 
convicted peer. 

The next martyr we shall notice is George Wishart, whose 
death led to many important events. Nine pages are devoted 
to the details of this man's proceedings, and contain the 
veriest cant and absurdity to be met with. Eoiox, the famous 
John Knox, who cut such a conspicuous figure in the pil- 
lagings, rebellions, and outrages committed in Scotland under 
pretence of religion, was, it appears, a disciple of George 
Wishart. The death of this man is, as usual, laid at the 
door of " the inveterate and persecuting prelate," Cardinal 
Beaton. To go through the silly sickening detail would tire 
the reader ; we shall, therefore, content ourselves with 
noticing the account of his execution, to shew the total dis- 
regard paid to probability and truth. After being made to 
across the spectators, telling them to exhort their prelates 
to learn the word of God, though we always thought the 
prelates were to instruct the people, the narrative goes on, — 
** He was then fastened to the stake, and the fagots being 
lighted, immediately set fire to the powder that was tied 
about him, and which blew into a flame and smoke. The 
governor of the castle, who stood so near that he was singed 
with the flame, exhorted our martyr, in a few words, to be of 
good cheer, and to ask pardon of Gt>d for his ofiPences. To 
which he replied, ' This flame occasions trouble to my body, 
indeed, but it hath no wise broken my spirit. But he who 
now so proudly looks down upon me from yonder lofty place,* 
pointing to the cardinal, ' shall, ere long, be as ignominiously 
thrown down, as now he proudly lolls at his ease.' When 
he had said this, the executioner pulled the rope which was 
tied about his neck, with great violence, so that he was soon 
strangled ; and the fire getting strength, burnt with such 
rapidity that in less than an hour his body was totally 

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consumed." Is there any one in these days credulous enough 
to helieve that the governor was so much of a fool as to place 
himself so as to he singed with the flames that c(msumed the 
sufferer ? We think not Besides we are told, that as aeon 
as Wishart was fastened to the stake, the fagots were lighted 
which set fire to some powder tied ahout him, which blew 
into a flame and smoke. This flame and smoke must have 
rendered the criminal insensible, and it is, therefore, most 
unlikely that the governor should address a man stupifled by 
the blowing up of gunpowder, or that the culprit should be 
able to return such an answer as is imputed to him. Biit, 
observe, reader, after blowing up the victim, and then recov- 
ering him to reply to the governor, he is provided vnth a 
rope round his neck for the executioner to strangle him, 
which he does, it is said, with great violence, and here ends 
the martyr's sufierings. This bungling account of his 
death is sufficient to satisfy every sensible mind that much, 
at least, of the preceding part of the tale, is romance and 


An account of this bloody deed follows the death of 
Wishart, who was said to have predicted the cardinal's un- 
timely end. We know not from whence Fox obtained the 
particulars of this event; we have examined Burnet and 
Heylin, but they differ widely from his narn^ive. If he 
copied from Buchanan, the character of this man, thus given 
by Dr. Heylin, a Protestant writer and divine, in his Cosmo- 
graphy, will shew that no reliance is to be placed on his 
testimony. — " George Buchanan, an ingenious poet, but an 
unsound statesman ; whose History and Dialogue De jurB 
Regniy have wrought more mischief in the world than all 
MachiavePs works." Dr. Stuart, another Protestant author, 
says of him : — " His zeal for the earl of Murray, overturned 
altogether his allegiance as a subject, and his integrity as a 
man. His activity against Mary in the conferences in Eng- 
land, was a strain of the most shameless corruption ; and 

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ihe virolenoe with which he endeavoured to defame her by 
his writings^ was most audacious and criminal. They involve 
the comphcated charge of ingratitude, rebellion, aadpety'uryJ^ 
{Hist, of Scotland^ ii. 245.) So much for this writer, Bu- 
chanan, who may well be classed with Fox and the modem 
editors. But to the narrative. Fox says the cardinal went 
to Finhaven to solemnize a marriage between the eldest son 
of the earl of Crawford, and his own natural daughter, Mar- 
garet, and that while there, *^ he received intelligence that 
an English squadron was upon the coast, and that conse- 
quently an invasion was to be feared. Upon this he imme- 
diately returned to St. Andrew's, and appointed a day for the 
nobility and gentry to meet, and consult what was proper to 
be done on this occasion." From this statement it would 
seem that the cardinal was supreme in temporals, as well as 
in spirituals, or how could he siunmon the nobility to attend 
upon him ? As to the natural daughter, this is a gratuitous 
fabrication, to cast a slur on the celibacy of the Catholic 
clergy, which none of the reformed preachers had the gift to 
preserve. The appointment of a day of consultation we 
also deem a fiction ; for though the cardinal was, we believe, 
primate of the Scottish church, he was not the regent of the 
kingdom, whose province was to guard and protect the 
country against invasion. The fact is, the kingdom of Scot- 
land was at this time infected with the seditious doctrines of 
the Genevese reformers, whose horrible cruelties and restless 
doings we have displayed in our review of the pretended 
Huguenot martyrs. James V., who reigned in that kingdom, 
had been solicited by his uncle, Harry of England, to throw 
off his spiritual obedience to the see of Borne, but refused, 
and his premature death, leaving an infant daughter, the un- 
fortunate Mary, who was afterwards butchered by her cousin 
Elizabeth, then only a few days old, threw the kingdom into 
a state of confusion, and it became the prey of fanatical 
enthusiasm and faction. Such was the state of Scotland 
when the event took place of which we are treating. The 
manner in which the cardinal was put to death we shall give 

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358 REVIEW OF fox's 

from the Book of Martyrs. It says, ^< In the mean time, 
Norman Lesley, eldest son of the earl of Bothes, who had 
heen treated by the cardinal with injustice and contempt^ 
formed a design^ in conjunction with his uncle, John Lesley, 
who hated Beaton, and others who were inflamed against 
him on account of his persecution of the Protestants, the 
death of Wishart, and other causes, to assassinate the pre- 
late, though he now resided in the castle of St. Andrew's, 
which he was fortifying at great expense, and had, in the 
opinion of that age, already rendered it almost impregnable. 
The cardinal's retinue was numerous, the town was at his 
devotion, and the neighbouring country full of his dependents. 
However, the conspiratoi-s, who were in number only sixteen, 
having concerted their plan, met together early m the morn- 
ing, on Saturday, the 29th of May. The first thing they 
did was to seize the porter of the castle, from whom they 
took the keys and secured the gate. They then sent four of 
their party to watch the cardinal's chamber, that he might 
have no notice given him of what was doing ; after which 
they went and called up the servants and attendants, to whom 
they were well known, and turned them out of the gate, to 
the number of fifty, as they did also upwards of an hundred 
workmen, who were employed in the fortifications and build- 
ings of the castle ; but the eldest son of the regent, (whom 
the cardinal kept with him, under pretence of superintending 
his education, but, in reality^ as an hostage,) they kept for 
their own security. 

" All this;was done with so little noise that the cardinal was 
not waked tiU they knocked at his chamber door ; upon which 
he cried out,' * Who is there ? ' John Lesley answered, • My 
name is Lesley.' * Which Lesley ? ' inquired the cardinal ; * is 
it Norman ? ' It was answered, that he must open the door 
to those who were there'; but, instead of this, he barricadoed 
it in the best manner he could. However, finding that they 
had brought fire in order to force their way, and they having, 
as it is said by some, made him a promise of his life, he 
opened the door. They immediately entered with their 

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swords drawn, and John Lesley smote him twice or thrice, as 
did also Peter Carmichael ; but James Melvil (as Mr. Knox 
relates the affair) perceiving them to be in choler, said, * This 
work sLnd judgment of God, although it be seci'et, ought to 
be done with greater gravity : ' and presenting the point of 
his sword to the cardinal, said to him, * Eepent thee of thy 
wicked life, but especially of the shedding of the blood of 
that notable instrument of God, Mr. George Wishart, which 
albeit the flame of fire consumed before men, yet cries it for 
vengeance upon thee ; and we from God are sent to revenge 
it. For here, before my God, I protest, that neither the 
hatred of thy person, the love of thy riches, nor the fear of 
any trouble thou couldst have done to me in particular, 
moved or moveth me to strike thee ; but only because thou 
hast been, and remainest, an obstinate enemy of Christ Jesus 
and his holy gospel.' Having said this, he with his sword 
run the cardinal twice or thrice through the body ; who only 
said, ' I am a priest — fie ! fie ! all is gone ! ' and then ex- 
pired, being about fifty-two years of age." 

We have here the acknowledgment of Fox, or his modem 
editors, that a set of the ** saints " were " inflamed'* against 
the cardinal, and that another Tiated him. But how different 
is this disposition to that which is taught in the gospel of 
Christ, and which these pretended reformers ^professed to 
follow. The rule laid down in the sacred volume by our 
Divine Lawgiver was, that we should love our enemies, return 
good for evil, and pray for those that persecute ^b ; but here, 
we are told, the " new lights *' entered into a murderous and 
secret design to assassinate an individual who Jiad rendered 
himself obnoxious to them by his zeal for the e£tablished 
order of things. We are not going to justify^ the burnings 
of cardinal Beaton, because we are not su£Sciendy acquainted 
with the history of those transactions; but this much may be 
said, that what he did was done under the sanction of the 
established laws and usages of the country, and it cannot be 
proved, though it may be asserted (falsely), that he was ac- 
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360 EEVIEW OF pox's 

society, the peace of whicb was endangered by the wild and lati- 
tudinarian notions of the disciples of Calvin's school. The 
executions under the cardinal must be attribifted to the 
turbulence of the times, and it would have been much better 
if the veil of oblivion had been thrown over the deeds of 
those ages, than to have them placed constantly before the 
eyes of the ignorant multitude for the express and professed 
purpose of exciting the same passion, namely ha.tb£D, 
against the Catholics of the present day, that the bloody 
conspirators of the sixteenth century had imbibed against 
cardiiial Beaton. How much more to the credit of these 
enlightened days would a contrary line of conduct have been ; 
and instead of exciting hatred against the professors of the 
most ancient faith of Christendom, a desire had been evinced 
to see justice done to all parlies, and the spirit of charity 
spread among dissentients on speculative doctrine. But since 
the Catholics have been so unceasingly and widely repres^ited 
as cruelly inclined from the principles of their religion, it 
becomes the bounden duty of a press devoted to the cause of 
truth, to let the public see both sides of the case, in order 
that a fair and just conclusion may be formed of the respective 
merits due to the party said to be persecutors, and the party 
said to be persecuted. It is with this feeling we have taken 
up our pen, and with no other view will we continue to exer- 
cise it, than that of enabling our readers to gather from our 
pages that knowledge of the history of the pretended Refor- 
mation so essential for them to know. 

In the primitive ages of Christianity we observe nbthing 
of the disposition shewn by the new reformers, who pretended 
to discover corruptions in the then established religion of all 
nations. On the contrary^ we find the martyrs suffering 
persecution for righteousness sake, and confessing their faith 
in Christ with courage and fortitude, but at fhe same time 
with meekness and submission to their temporal rulers. Not 
so, however, with the evangelical preachers of the new 
doctrines. They were inflamed with a diabolical hatred 
towards those whom they deemed their oppressors, and under 

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the cloak of the most blasphetnous protences tbey (sommitted 
murder and rebdlion. We see it admitted by Fox, or the 
hatred-inuring editors, that the work of assassination was 
committed in cold blood, on the part of one of the assassins, 
who affirmed that it was a judgment of God, and consequently 
tiiat they looked upon themsdiyes as the instruments of divine 
vengeance, in seeking to satiate their malice. How far their 
judgment waa correct we will leave Burnet to decide, who 
observes, ** that scarce any of the coni^iratorti died an ordi- 
nary death ; " from which wemay conclude that the vengeance 
of God followed them for the diabdical deed, and the blas- 
phemous pretensions under which it was perpetrated. 

There is another circumstance .connected with this affair 
mentioned by Dr. Heylin, in his Sistorp of the Presby^ 
terianSf wimk is not generally known, abd therefore deserves 
our notice. Speaking of the cardinaFs death, this historian 
says, " In the relating of which murder, in Knox's History, 
a note was given us in the mar^ent of the first edition, 
printed at London, in octavo, which points us to the yodly 
cusi and saying of James Melvin, for so the author calls this 
1/iMBt wii^sd deed. But that edition being stop()ed at the 
press by the queen's command, the history never came out 
perfect till the year of our Lord 1644; when the word godly 
was left out of the marginal note, for the avoidiiig of that 
horrible scandal which had h^den thereby given to all sober 
readers.'* Who, indeed, but must be scandalized and horri- 
fied at the conduct, of men, who, setting themselves tip for the 
reformers of cormption and the preachers of true doctrine, 
held out tmurder, secret coldblooded assassination, as a 


The^ death of Cardinal Beaton was the signal for the work 
of x^ormation in Scotland, which consequently had its rise 
in heartless revenge, shocking barbarity, religious mockery, 
and deliberate murder. The base then on which the thing 
called the Heformation was raised was composed of tnaterials 
containing the opposite qualities to those on which the Chns- 
tiao religion was founded. By the latter, man was taught, 
VOL. II. & 

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362 REVIEW OF pox's 

as we have before obseryed, to forgive an enemy, and to stifle 
in his. heart the motions of anger; but we see the reformers, 
who pretended to act under the immediate impiSse of the 
Spirit of God, and to have been commissioned bj him to 
reform his church, transported with rage and inflamed with 
savage fury, breaking into the room of an old man, and 
there, with fiend-like malice, glutting their vengeance with 
the victim's blood. Nor did their fury cease with the death 
of their victim; for after the perpetration of the horrible 
deed, they exposed the mangled body of the cardinal over the 
walls of the castle, as a signal of their revolt against the 
constituted authorities of the country. 

The latter and most important part of the aflair has been 
suppressed by the modem editors, conceiving, we suppose, 
that but little credit would be added to their cause by a detail 
of the subsequent proceedings of these godly acUyin in the 
work of reforming Popery. We, however, have no such 
feelings, as we consider a full exposure of the deeds of the 
reforming heroes the best way to enaUe the reader to come 
to a right decision on their merits. Heylin says: *^li was 
upon the 19th of May, 1547, that the nmrderers possessed 
themselves of that strong place, into which many flocked from 
all parts of the realm, both to congratulate the act and assist 
the actors ; so that at last they cast themsdves into a congre- 
gation, and chose John Bough (who afterwards suffered death 
in England) to be one of their preachers ; John Knox, that 
great incendiary of the realm of Scotland, for another of 
them. And thus they stood upon their guard till the coming 
of one and twenty gallies and some land forces out of France, 
by whom the castle was besieged, and so fiercely battered, 
that they were forced to yield on the last of July, without 
obtaining any better conditions than the hope of life."-* 
{Hist. ofPres. I. iv. p. 123.) How they passed their time 
in the castle, while in a state of open rebellion against the 
regent, and after they had ** cast themselves into a congre- 
gation," we may learn from the account of Buchanan, a 
Presbyterian writer, and himself a zealous promoter of the 

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Beformation. He informs us, that " they made a very bad 
use of this respite, which this temporal accommodation pro- 
cured them ; and that, notwithstanding the admonitions of 
Knox, they spent the time in whoredom and adultery ^ and 
all the vices of idleness."— (6?u<Arw'5 Hist, of Scot. v. 397.) 
A precious edifying assembly to compose the first Presby- 
terian congregation or parish of Scotland, with John Knox at 
their head. It is not a little curious, too, that one of the 
conditions of the surrender of this pious knot of rebellious 
whoremongers and adulterers was, ^* that the government 
should procure imto them a sufficient absolution from the 
pope ; and that themselves should give pledges for surrender- 
ing the casde, how soon the absolution was brought from 
Home, and deFivered unto them." — {Ibid. 306.) Thus these 
reforming saints could add hypocrisy to the list of their other 
crimes; but it is no wonder, for villains of a deeper dye 
never disgraced human nature than those who broached and 
carried on the Keformation, as it is called, of Scotland. They 
may be equalled in this work of iniquity, but they never can 
be excelled. 


After recounting the execution of two other of the refor- 
mers, named Wallace and Mille, the modem editors conclude 
their account of the persecution in these words : — " The death 
of Walter Mille proved the overthrow of Popery in Scotland. 
The clergy were so sensible that their affairs were falling 
into decay, that they, from that time, never dared to proceed 
to a capital punishment, on account of religion : insomuch, 
that in the synod held in Edinburgh, in July, this year, 1558, 
some persons who had been impeached of heresy, were only> 
condemned, upon their non appearance, to make a public re- 
cantation at the market-cross of that city, on the Ist of. 
September following, being St. Giles's day, the titular bishop 
of that place. It was usual, at the feast of this saint, which 
now nearly approached, to carry his image in procession 
through the town, and the queen^regent was to honour the 
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solemnity with her presence ; but when the time was come, 
the image was missing, it haying been stolen from its station 
by some who were too wise to pray to it. This caused a halt 
to be made, till another image was borrowed from the Grey- 
friars, with which they set forward : and after the queen had 
accompanied them a considerable way, she withdrew into the 
castle, where ^he was to dine. But no sooner was she gone, 
than some persons, who had been purposely appointed, tore 
the picture from off the shoulders of those who carried it, 
threw it into the dirt, and totally destroyed it. This gave 
such universal satisfaction to the people, that a general shout 
ensued, and a riot continued in the streets during some 
hours ; which was at length suppressed by the vigilance of 
the magistrates. 

'' About the same time a great disturbance happened at 
Perth, the circumstances attending which were as follow: 
a celebrated reformist minister having preached to a numer^ 
ous congregation, after sermon was over some godly persons 
remained in the church, when a priest was s(i. imprudent as 
to open a case, in which was curiously engraved the figures 
of many saints : after which he made preparations for saying 
mass. A young man observing this, said aloud, ' This is 
intolerable ! As Qod plainly condemns, in scripture, idolatry, 
shall we stand and see such an insult? ' The priest was so 
offended at this, that he struck the youth a violent blow on 
the head, on which he broke one of the figures in the case, 
'When immediately aU the people fell on {he priest and de^^ 
stroyed every thing in the church that tended to idolatry. 
This being soon known abroad, the people assembled in large 
bodies, and proceeded to the monasteries of the Grey and 
Black Friars, both of which they stripped ; and then pulled 
down the house of the Carthusians ; so that in the space of 
two days nothing remained of those noble buildings but the 
bare walls. The like kind of outrages were committed in 
many other towns in the kingdom. 

" At this time there were many persons who made it their 
busmess to solicit subscriptions in order to carry on the work 

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of Reformation, and to abolish Popery. Among these were 
several of the nobility, particularly the earl of Argyle, the 
lord James Stuart, the earl of Glencairn, &c. The endea- 
vours of these nohU reformists were attended with such 
success that they at length effected a complete Reformation 
m the kingdom; though they met with many obstacles from 
their inveterate enemies the papists J* 

Taking this account to be genuine, are the transactions 
therein detailed creditable to the cause of reform, and that 
reform said to be of a religious nature ? Did the apostles 
and their successors, the bishops and priests of the Catholic 
church, act thus when they planted Christianity in a Pagan 
country ? Do we read of such exploits as are here unblush- 
ingly related, when Paganism was subdued and Christianity 
established in any part of the world through the labours of 
Catholic missionaries? It stands acknowledged that the 
Catholics were violently attacked, that sedition and outrage 
followed the sermon of a celebrated reformist minister, and 
that the work of destruction was commenced by some ^^ godly 
persons.'* WE« an admission ! Could that religion which, 
it is here admitted, began with the destruction of noble 
buildings and *^ the like outrages " throughout the kingdom, 
be grounded on the sublime principles laid down in the gospel 
of Christ? It is impossible. But the most curious part of 
the tale is that where we are told many persons made it their 
business to solicit •ubscriptions in order to carry on the 
work of Eeformation, and to abolish Popery I Solicit sub" 
soriptions, truly 1 Ah, ah ! had they confined themselves to 
solicitations, indeed, as the bible-mongers of the present day 
are forced to do, the Reformationf as it is miscalled, would 
have made as little progress under the hands of the early 
Scotch fanatics, as the abolition of Popery does under the 
modern retailers of calumny against Catholicism, We have 
historians, however, of greater credit than our hatred-exciting 
editors, who give a very different colour to the transactions 
above quoted. The solicitations are represented by them to 
have been menacing demands, and the subscry^tions na 

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366 REVIEW OF fox's 

other than forcible conJisecUions. The " noble reformists *' 
were not endued with the gifib of persuasion, nw were thejr 
armed with the shield of truth ; they therefore combined to 
employ brute force to aid the mad preachings of Knox and 
his associates, by which they plunged their country into a 
state of anarchy and desolation, which, after years of blood 
and misery, ended in the establishment of Presbyterianism, 
but not in the total destruction of Catholicism. Its seed was 
never extinct, and at this day it is flourishing in that part of 
the island as well as in this. 

After the perpetration of the above outrages. Dr. Heylin 
says, the constituted authcMrities used much diligence to find 
out the principal actors, but '' the brethren kept themselves 
together in such companies, tinging psalms, and openly 
tncourciging one another, that no one durst lay hands upon 
them." A very pious way, the reader will say, to preach the 
gospel of Christ and true religion. It may be necessary here 
to observe, that these rebellious proceedings were the off- 
spring of a connection with John Calvin and the Genevian 
consistorians, who were in open rebellion against their prince, 
and had excited a rebellion in the kingdom of France ; and 
the first fruit of them was a common band or covenant, 
signed by the earls of Argyle, Glencaim, and Morton, &c., 
in the name of themselves, their vassals, tenants, and de- 
fendants, the tenure of which was to venture their lives to 
establish what they called ** the most blessed word of God 
and his congregation." This beginning made, the work of 
confusion soon followed. We have seen the account from 
Fox of the outrages committed at Perth, but his story is not 
altogether correct. He attributes the commencement of the 
riot to the imprudence of a priest in attempting to say mass, 
and opening a curious case engraved with images, one of 
which he breaks about the head of a young man. This is 
mere fiction, introduced to screen the unprovoked assault^ by 
casting the blame on the suffering party. Dr. Heylin gives 
the following account of this affair ; — ^After stating that Knox 
arrived at Perth on the 5th of May^ 1559j he goes on: "Ixi 

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the chief church whereof, he preached such a thundering 
sermon against the adoration of images, and the advancing 
of them in places of God's public worship, as suddenly beat 
down all the images and religious houses within the pre- 
cincts of that town. For presently after the end of the 
sermon, when almost all the rest of the people were gone 
home to dinner, some few which remained in the church 
pulled down a glorious tabernacle which stood on the altar, 
broke it in pieces, and defaced the images which they found 
therein* Which being dispatched, they did the like execution 
on all the rest in that church ; and were so nimble at their 
work, that they had made a clear riddance of them, before 
the tenth man in the town was advertised of it. The news 
hereof causeth the rascal multitude [so my author calls them] 
to resort in great numbers to the church.'' He concludes by 
describing the destruction of the monasteries in nearly sim- 
ilar words as Fox. The doctor then informs us, that Ejiox 
left Perth in company with Argyle, &c., on his way to^ St, 
Andrew's, and that preaching at a town called Craile, his 
^' exhortation so prevailed upon most of the hearers, that 
immediately tliey betook themselves to the pulling down of 
altars and images ; and finally, destroyed all monuments of 
superstition and idolatry which they found in the town.'* The 
like proceedings took place at a place called Anstruther, from 
whence they marched to St. Andrew's, " in the parish church 
whereof," continues the historian, "Knox preached upon our 
Saviour's casting the buyers and sellers out of the temple, 
and with his wonted rhetoric so inflamed the people, that 
they committed the like outrages there, as before at Perth, 
destroying images, and pulling down the houses of the Black 
and Grey friars, with the like dispatch." This last outrage 
took place on the 11th of June, so that the evangelists made 
quick work from the first preaching of Knox. The next 
scene of dilapidation was the monastery of Scone, long 
famous for being the place where the kings of Scotland were 
crowned ; the churches and monasteries of Stirling and Lin- 
lithgow were next sacked and destroyed; and Edinburgh 

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shared the same fate. Dr. Hejlm «ajs, l^e queen retired 
from the latter place to Dunhar in great fear, and the lord 
Seaton, then provost of the town, staid not long hehkd her. 
" But," he continues, " he was scarce gone out of the city^ 
when the rascal rabble fell on the religious houses, destroyed 
the conyents of the Black, and Grey ftiars, with all the odier 
monasteries about the town, and shared amongst them all 
the goods which they found in Uiose houses ; in whi<5h they 
made such quick dispatql^, that Uiey had finished that part of 
the Eeformation, before the two lords and their attendimts 
could come in to help them." 

Such were the beginnings in Scotland of that change in 
religion which is called the Beformation. Our blessed 
Saviour, when he established his church, laid down fixed 
rules for his mini8ter^ to follow;; and when he was tempted 
by his enemies with rc^gard to his loyalty and allegiance to 
the Boman emperor, who then reigned in Judea, his answer 
was : " Better unto Qpsar ike thmgs that belong to Casar; 
and to God the things that belong to God,'' In every case, 
as we have before remarked* ihe«^>Qstles and their successors, 
on planting the Catholic faith in a Pagan soil, invariably 
followed this maxim. The celigion they preached was to fit 
them for another world, by making them better members of 
this. The kingdom they cwne to establish was not of this 
world, but a supernatural (me, of which Christ was the head, 
and the pope his visible vioegeront on earth. Henee in every 
kingdom of the globe which received the Ught of £uth, 
monarchs, legislators, and people, alike acknowledged the 
spiritual supremacy of the pope, while, at the same time, 
they were equally as tenacious of their own temporal rights 
and independence, nay, more so than when they were 
heathens, ^t least, such was the conduct of our English 
forefathers ; and who has not heard of those Scottish heroes, 
Bruce and Wallace, who w^re both standi Catholics? When 
the pretended reformers and disciples of evangelical liberty 
began to dogmatize, however, they preached up destruclioa 
and fury to the Catholic constituted authorities^ which they 

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cloaked under the hypocritical cant of rooting out idolatry 
and superstition, which cry is now set up by the bible and 
school-mongers of the evangelical caste of the present day. 
Forgetful of the commands of God, to go and teach all 
nations ; or rather, sensible that they had no claim to such 
divine commission, instead of persuasion and the power of 
miracles they had recourse to physical force, and the engines 
of death and destruction. We see them here in open re- 
bellion against their sovereign, carrying the work of desolation 
and pillage in their train, and fired with the most intolerant 
passions against everything that savoured of Catholicism. 
Dr. Heylin tells us, that at the outset of the violent pro- 
ceedings of Knox and his party, the queen-regent issued a 
proclamation, in which she declared that her wish was to 
satisfy every man's conscience, and therefore she would call 
a parliament for establishing order. That, in the mean time, 
every man should be suffered to live at liberty, using their 
own consciences without trouble, until further orders. She 
also charged the congregation with seeking more for the 
subversion of the crown than the benefit of religion. This 
proclamation wad answered by the congregationalists, in which 
they denied any other intention than to banish idolatry (t, e. 
Catholicism), to advance true religion, and defend the 
preachers thereof ; that they were ready to continue in all 
duty toward their sovereign, provided they might have the 
free exercise of their religion. Here, then, we see the alle- 
giance of these Protestant reformers made conditional, while 
the allegiance of the Catholic, under all circumstances, is 
unconditional, according to the laws and principles of the 
• constitution under which they live. As to their love of liberty 
of conscience, about which so much noise has been made 
and clamour raised against the Catholic church, the reforming 
or rebel party soon gave an example of what was to be ex- 
pected from the liberality of their principles. Dr. Heylin 
says, that they wrote letters to the queen-regent herself, 
<* whom they assured, in the close, that if she would make 
use of her authority for the abolishing of idolatry and super- 
R 3 

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stitious abuses which agreed not with the word of God, 8]ie 
should find them as obedient as any subjects within the 
realm. Which, in plain truth^ was neither more nor less 
than this, — that if they might not have their wills in the point 
of religion, she was to look for no obedience from them in 
other matters ; whereof they gave sufficient proof by their 
staying in Edinburgh, her command to the contrary notwith- 
standing ; by pressing more than ever for a toleration, and 
adding this over and above to their former demands, that 
such French forces as remained in Scotland might be dis- 
banded and sent ba<;k to their native country. In the first 
of which demands they were so unreasonable, that when the 
queen offered them the exercise of their own religion, upon 
condition that when she had occasion to make use of any of 
their churches for her own devotions, such exercise might be 
suspended, and the mass only used in that conjuncture, they 
would by no means yield unto it ; and they refused to yield 
unto it for this reason only, because it would be in hex power, 
by removing from one place to another, to leave them without 
any certain exercise of their religion, which in effect was 
utterly to overthrow it. And hereto they were pleased to 
add, that, as they could not hinder her from exercising any 
religion which she had a mind to (but this was more than 
they would stand to in their better fortunes), so could they 
not agree that the ministers of Christ should be silenced upon 
any occasion, and much less, that the true worship of God 
should give place to idolatry. A point to wliich they stood 
so stiffly, that when the queen-regenf had resettled her court 
at Edinburgh, she coold neither prevail so far upon the 
magistrates of that city, as either to let her have the church 
of St. Giles to be appropriated only to the use of the mass, 
or that the mass might be said in it at such vacant times in 
which they made no use of it for themselves or their minis- 
ters." Thus it will be seen that on the very outset of the 
pretended liberty-loving Eeformation, the most intolerant 
system of persecution was commenced against the professors 
of the ancient faith of Christendc . 

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These proceedings of the '* noble reformists " and evan- 
gelical tribe were succeeded by other treasonable outrages. 
The lords of the congregation excited the whole kingdom, 
bj a written instrument, to rise in arms, and now the country 
was distracted with a civil war carried on by religious fanati- 
cism on one hand, and a struggle to preserve lawful authority 
on the other. One of the most successful engines used by 
Protestants against the Catholics of this kingdom has been 
the supposed authority of the pope to depose kings. Of 
the two hundred and odd bishops that have filled the chair of 
St. F^ter, not half a dozen ever laid claim to this power, 
and then not by the divine authority of the church, which 
could not communicate such power to any of them, but by 
the chrcumstances in which Christendom was then placed, 
the monarchs looking upon the pope as the common father 
of the faitiiful, and often appealing to him to settle their 
differences ; and it may be here observed, that in no instance 
did the popes attempt to avail themselves of this power but 
in cases where the monarchs were the most immoral and 
tyrannical of their class, hated by the nobles and detested by 
the people. But not one of these obnoxious rulers lost his 
throne through the interference of any of the popes, though 
many Catholic sovereigns have felt the weight of the deposing 
power introduced by the very men who raised the cry against 
the pope. As an instance, we must here mention what took 
place at the period when the sham Beformatipn was set on 
foot in Scotland. We have noticed the excitement to re- 
bellion by the lords of tSe congregation ; this was followed 
by a resolution, Dr. Heylin says, to put in execution what 
had been long in deliberation, that is to say, the deposing 
op the queen-regent from the public government. 
" But first," writes the doctor, ** they must consult their ♦ 
ghostly fathers 9 that hy their countenance and authority y 
they might more certiunly prevail upon all such persons as 
seemed unsatisfied in the point. Willock and Knox are 
chosen above all the rest to resolve this doubt, if, at the least, 
any of lliem doubted of it, which may well be questioned. 

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372 REVIEW OF fox's 

They were both factors for Geneva, and therefore both 
obliged to advance her intQrest^ Willock declares that» albeit 
God had appointed magistrates only to be his lieutenants on 
earth, honouring them with his own title, and calling them 
gods ; yet did he never so establish any, but that for just 
causes they might be deprived. Which having proved by 
some examples out of holy scripture, he thereupon inferred, 
that since the queen-regent had denied her chief duty to the 
subjects of this realni^ which was to preserve them from in- 
vasion of strangers, and to suJSer the word of Gdd to be 
freely preached ; seeing also she was a maintmner of super'- 
stition, and despised the counsel of the nobility; he did 
think they might j'mtly deprive her from all regiment and 
authority over them, Knox goes to work more cautiously, 
hut comes home at last ; for having first approved whatsoever 
had been said by Willock, he adds this to it, that the iniquity 
of the queen-regent ought not ta withdraw their hearts from 
the obedience due to their severely ; nor did he wish that 
any such sentence against her should be pronounced, but that 
when she should change her course, and submit herself to 
good counsels, there should be {jace left unto her to regress 
to the same honours from which, for just cause, she ought 
to be deprived." Such were the opinions of the apostles of 
the Heformation in Scotland, so lauded by the modem 
editors of the Book of Martyrs ; but we should be glad to 
learn whether they dare tp avow, at tlus day, the oorrediness 
of these opinions on which the blessed Beformation was 
founded. If they did, we think they would soon have the 
attorney-general teaching them to change their opinions. 

Having shewn the pernicious tendency of the civil doc- 
trines, we must now give the read^ some idea of the stability 
they attached to their articles of faith. Hitherto no parti- 
cular creed had been followed, but on the death of Mary of 
England, and the accession of Elizabeth^ finding it necessary 
to secure the interests of the latter queen^ the liturgy of the 
English church established by Elizabeth was the form of 
worship adopted by the Scotch rebel reformers, by solemn 

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sdljscription. But when the king of Francoi Fratids II., 
who was the husband of the unfortunate Mary, died, and the 
reformers were no longer in fear of the French, they then 
began to discover their affections for the Genevian discipline 
and creed, and their distaste to the form which they before 
solemnly subscribed to. Dr. Heylin tells us that *^ Knox 
had before devised a new Book of Discipline, contrived, for 
the most part, after Calvin's platform, and a new form of 
Common-prayer was digested also, more consonant to his 
infallible judgment than the English liturgy. But hitherto 
they had both lain dormant, because they stood in need of 
such help from England, as could not be presumed on with 
so great a c(mfidence, if they had openly declared any dissent 
or disaffection to the public forms which were established in 
that church* Now their estate is so much bettered by the 
death of the king, the sad condition of their queen, and the 
assurances which they had from the court of England (from 
whence the earls of Morton and Glencaim were returned 
with comfort), that they resolve to perfect what they had 
begun : to prosecute the desolation of religious houses, and 
the spoil of churches ; to introduce their new forms, and 
suspend the old. For compassing of which end they sum- 
moned a convention of the estates to be held in January. 

^* Now in this book of discipline,'^ continues the doctor, 
** they take upon them to innovate in most things formerly 
observed and practised in the church of Christ, and in some 
things which themselves had settled, as the groundwork of 
the Beformation. They take upon them to discharge the 
accustomed fasts, and abrogate all the ancient festivals, not 
sparing those which did relate particularly unto Christ our 
Saviour, as his nativity, passion, resurrection, &c. They 
condemn the use of the cross in baptism, give way to the 
intradnction of the new order of Geneva for ministering the 
sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and commend sitting for 
the most proper and convenient gesture to be used at it. 
They require lliat all churches not being parochial should be 
forthwith demolished, declare al foims of God's public wor- 

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ship, which are not prescrihed in his word, to he meil' 
idolatry, and that none ought to administer the holy sacra- 
ments but such as are qualified for preaching. They appoint 
the catechism of Geneva to he taught in their schools, or- 
dained three uniyersities to he made and continued in that 
kingdom, mAi salaries proportioned to the professors in all 
arts and sciences, and time assigned for heing graduated in 
the same. They decree also in the same, that tithes should 
he no longer paid to the Romish clergy, hut that they shall 
he taken up hy deacons and treasurers, hy them to be em- 
ployed fDr maintenance of the poor^ the ministers, and the 
said universities. They complained yery sensibly of the 
tyranny of lay-patrons and impropriators in exacting their 
tithes, in which they are said to be more cruel «nd unmer- 
ciful than the popish priests ; and therefore take upon them 
to determine, as in point of law, what 'commodities shall he 
tithable, what not; and declare also that all leases and 
alienations which formerly had heen made of tithes, should 
be utterly Toid." Then followed some regulations touching 
the ministry of the sacrament and preaching, by which it 
was ordered that the ministers should be elected by the 
congregation. The reader will here contrast the discipline 
set forth in this book, with the mode practised by the primi- 
tive Christians, and followed by every nation that received 
the faith of Christ. Dr. Heylin says that they began with 
INNOYATIOM, and even changed that which they before con- 
sidered the groundwork of their Eeformation. Under these 
circumstances it is impossible that the proceedings of these 
rebel reformers could be guided by the influence of truUi, 
because truth is always one and ihe same^ and will not bear 
inruwation or change. The work, then, of these ^' noble 
reformists,'' as thej are stiled by the modem editors, must 
have been instigated by the powers of darkness, under which 
it is dear they acted. 

It is said by our divine Saviour, that the goodness of the 
tree shall be known by its fruit, and common sense tells us 
it b only by following this rule that we can come to a right 

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conclusion on the respective merits of the Beformation, so 
called, and the principal actors therein. We have seen them 
changing their creed as hirds do their feathers, but they 
clung with more pertinacity to the work of destruction. 
They solicited of the convention of estates, in the absence 
of the queen, for leave to demolish all the monuments of 
snperstUion and idolatry, by which they meant all cathedral 
churches, as well as monasteries and other religious houses, 
and before they could have the assent or dissent of the queen 
or her oouncil, they proceeded to execute ecclesiastical cen- * 
sures, and arrogate to themselves the authority of nominating 
their own ministers over the heads of the old incumbents, 
and to hold their general assemblies. Emboldened by these 
unjustifiable acts, for they were neither authorized by law> 
confirmed by the queen, nor sanctioned by the convention 
of estates, a petition is directed to the lords of the secret 
council from the assemblies of the church, in which their 
lordships are solicited to make quick work of it. ^' On the 
receipt of this petition," writes Dr. Heylin, " an order pre- 
sently is made by the lords of the council, for granting all 
which was desired ; and had more been desired, they had 
granted more, so formidable were the brethren grown to the 
opposite party. Nor was it granted in words only which 
took no effect, but execution caused to be done upon it ; and 
warrants to that purpose issued to the earls of Arran, Argyle, 
and Glencairn, the lord James Stuart, <&c. Whereupon 
followed a pitiful devastation of churches and church- 
buildings in all parts of the realm ; no difiBrence made, but 
all religious edifices of what sort soever, were either terribly 
defaced, or utterly ruinated ; the holy vessels, and whatsoever 
else could be turned into money, as lead, bells, timber, glass, 
&c., were publicly exposed to sale ; the very sepulchres of the 
dead not spared; the registers of the church, and the libra- 
ries thereunto behnginy, defaced and thrown into the fire* 
Whatsoever had escaped the former tumults^ is now made 
subject to destruction ; so much the worse^ because the 
violence and sacrilegious actings of these church-robbers had 

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376 REVIEW OF fox's 

now the countenance of law. And to this work of spoil and 
rapine, men of all ranks and orders were observed to put 
their helping hands ; men of most note and quality being 
forward in it, in hope of getting to themselves the most part 
of the booty ; those of the poorer sort, in hope of being 
gratifi^ for their pwns therein by their lords and patrons. 
Both sorts encouraged to it by the zealous madness of som^ 
of their seditious preaeherSy who frequently cried out, that 
the places where idols had been worshipped, ought by the 
law of God, to be destroyed ; that the sparing of them was 
the reserving of things execrable ; and that the command- 
ment given to Israel for destroying the places where the 
Ganaanites did worship their false gods, was a just warrant 
to the people for doing the like. By which encouragements 
the madness of the people was transported beyond the bounds 
which they had first prescribed unto it. In the beginning of 
the heats, they designed only the destruction of religious 
houses, for fear the monks and friars might otherwise be 
restored in time to their former dwellings ; but they pro- 
ceeded to the demolishing of cathedral churches, and ended 
in the ruin of parochial also ; the chancels whereof were 
sure to be levelled in all places, though the aisles and bodies 
of ihem might be spared in some." 

Such was the deplorable effect of the Beformation, as it is 
called, in Scotland ; an effect much more destructive and 
disastrous to learning and the sciences than the devastating 
rapacity of the reformers in England, who, by adhering to the 
order of episcopacy, preserved in some degree the beautiful 
cathedrals which adorned the kingdom, many of which are 
standing now, a sad testimony of the superiority of the " dark 
ages " of monkery and Catholicism, over' the enlightened days 
of bible reading and sectarianism. The conduct of the un- 
fortunate Mary in these days of tribulation and adversity 
was that of a just and amiable sovereign, desirous of allaying 
the spirit of innovation by mild and gentle means, and 
granting the utmost liberty of conscience to those who had 
imbibed, the noxious doctrines of Calvin and £noz. But 

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lihese Christian feelings did not satisfy the hoisterous refor- 
mers, who openly railed at the stipends proposed to be granted 
to their minbters, and exclaimed at the Catholic clergy being 
paid and encouraged in their idolatrous practices. John 
Knox, with daring impudence, raved in the pulpit against his 
sovereign, a beautiful and defenceless woman, and even in- 
sulted her to her face at a conference she granted him. The 
modem editors of Pox's Book of Martyrs, we have no doubt, 
are all loyal men to the backbone, and would consent freely 
to the punishment of any of those individuals who lately 
sought a redress of the abuse known to exist in the civil 
administration of the country. They make a great noise 
about the tyranny of the Catholic church, and the cruelties of 
the inquisition ; and they have lauded to the highest heavens 
tiie conduct of the authors of the Beformation, so called, in 
England and in Scotland; but they have most carefully 
concealed the blood-thirsty tyranny, the diabolical robberies 
and murders, the barbarous outrages, and the despotic temper 
of the miscreants who figured in that affair. It is but right 
however that the people should be informed of the proceedings 
which marked that epoch. We are, therefore, rejoiced that 
our loyal modem editors have imposed the task upon us ; but 
that we may not be charged with dealing in assertions, with- 
out advancing proofs, we. will here give the. words of Dr. 
Heylin, from his " History of the Presbyterians," from which 
we have before quoted. Thus writes this author: — "At 
Midsummer they held a general assembly, and there agreed 
upon the form of a petition to be presented to the queen in 
tlie name of the kirk ; the substance of it was for abolbhing 
the mass, and other superstitious rites of the Eomish religion ; 
for inflicting some punishment against blasphemy, adultery, 
contempt of word, the profanation of sacraments, and other 
like vices condemned by the word of God, whereof the laws 
of the realm did not ts^e any hold ; for referring all actions 
of divorce to the church's judgment, or at the least' to men of 
good knowledge and conversation ; for excluding all popish 
churchmen from holding any place in council or session ; and 

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378 REVIEW OF fox's 

finally, for the increase and more assured payment of the 
minister's stipends, but more particularly for appropriating 
the glebes and houses unto them alone. This was the sum 
of their desires, but couched in such irreverent, coarse, and 
hitter expressions, and those expressions justi^ed with such 
animosities, that Lethington (the secretary of state) had 
much ado to prevail upon them for puttmg it into a more 
dutiful and civil language. All which the queen knew well 
enough, and therefore would afford them no better answer, 
but that she would do nothing to the prejudice of that re- 
ligion which she then professed ; and that she hoped to have 
mass restored, before the end of the year, in all parts of the 
kingdom. Which being so said, or so reported, gave Knox 
occasion in his preachings before the gentry of Kyle and 
Galloway (to which he was commissioned by the said as- 
sembly) to forewarn some of them of the dangers which 
would shortly follow ; and thereupon earnestly to exhort them 
to take such order that they might be obedient to authority, 
and yet not suffer the enemies of God's truth to have the 
upper hand. And they, who understood his meaning at half 
a word, assembled themselves together on the 4th of Sept., 
at the town of Ayr, where they entered into a common bond, 
subscribed by the earl of Glencaim, the lords Boyd and 
Uchiltry, with one hundred and thirty more of note and 
quality, besides the provost and burgesses of the town of 
Ayr, which made forty more. The tenor of which bond was 
this that foUoweth :-^ 

<^ ^ We whose names are underwritten, do promise in the 
presence of God, and in the presence of his Son, our Lord 
Jesus Christ, that we and every one of us, shall and will 
maintain the preaching of his holy evangel, now of ^is 
mercy offered and granted to this realm ; and also will main- 
tain the ministers of the same against all persons, power and 
authority, that will oppose themselves to the doctrine proposed, 
and by us .received. And farther, with the same solemnity 
we protest and promise that ev^ one of us shall assist 

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another, jea, and the whole body of the Protestants within 
this realm, in all lawful and just occasions, against all per- 
sons ; so that whosoever shall hurt, molest, or trouble any of 
our bodies, shall be reputed enemies to the whole, except that 
the offender will be content to submit himself to the govern- 
ment of the church now established amongst us. And this 
we do, as we desire to be accepted and favoured of the Lord 
Jesus, and accepted worthy of credit and honesty in the 
presence of the godly.' 

^^ And in pursuance of this bond, they seize upon some 
priests, and give notice to others, that they would not trouble 
themselves of complaining to the queen or council, but would 
execute the punishment appointed to idolaters in the law of 
God, as they saw occasion whensoever they should be appre- 
hended. At which the queen was much offended ; but there 
was no remedy. All she could do, was once again to send 
for Enox, and to desire him so to deal with the barons and 
other gentlemen of the west, that they would not punish any 
man for the cause of religion, as they had resolved. To 
which he answered with as little reverence as at other times, 
that if her majesty would punish malefactors according to 
the laws, he durst assure her, that she should find peace and 
quietness at the hand of those who professed the Lord Jesus 
in that kingdom : that if she thought or had purposed to 
allude the laws, there were some who would not fail to let the 
Papists understand, that they should not be suffered without 
jaunUhment to offend their God. Which said, he went about 
to prove in a long discourse, that others were by God intrusted 
wiUi the sword of justice, besides kings and princes ; which 
kings and princes, if they/at/^ in the right use of it, and 
drew it not against offenders, thegr must not look to find 
obedience from the rest of the subjects, 

'^ The same man (Enox) preaching afterwards at one of 
their general assemblies, made a distinction between the 
ordinance of God, and the persons placed by him in authority ; 

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and then affirmed that men might lawfully and justly resist 
the persons, and not offend against the ordinance of God. 
He added as a corollary unto his discourse, that subjects were 
not bound to obey their princes, if they command unlawful 
things ; but that they might resist their princes, and that 
tliey were not bound to suffer. For which being questioned 
by secretary Lethington in the one, and desired to declare 
himself further in the other point, he justified himself in 
both, affirming that he had long been of that opinion, and 
did so remain. A question hereupon arising about the 
punishment of kings, if they were idolaters, it was honestly 
affirmed by Lethington, that there was no commandment 
given in that case to punish kings, and that the people had 
no power to be judges over them, but must leave them unto 
God alone, who would either punish them by death, imprison- 
ment, war, or some other plagues. Against which Knox 
replied with his wonted confidence, that to affirm that the 
people, or a part of the people may not execute God's 
judgments against their king, being an offender, the lord 
Lethington could have no other warrant, except his own 
imaginations, and the opinion of such as rather feared to dis- 
please their princes than offend their God. Against which, 
when Lethington objected the authority of some eminent 
Protestants, Knox answered, that they spake of Christians 
subject to tyrants and infidels, so dispersed, that they had no 
force but only to cry unto G^d for their deliverance : that 
such indeed should hazard any further than those godly m^ 
willed them, he would not hastily be of counsel. But that 
his argument had another ground, and that he ispake of a 
people assembled in one body of a commonwealth, unto whom 
God had given strident forces not only to resist, but also to 
suppress all kind of open iiblatry; and such a people again 
he affirmed were bound to keep their land olean and unpol- 
luted : that God required one thing of Abraham and his seed, 
when he and ^ey were strangers in the land of I^ypt, and 
that another thing was required of them when they were 
delivered from that bondage, and put into the actual posses* 
sion of the land of Canaan.*' 

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We shall cite no further to shew the diabolical and 
dangerous doctrines introduced by the reformers into their 
new system of religion, or more properly Speaking, irreligion. 
It is here clearly proved that they were instigated, not by the 
principles of charity and truth, but by the basest of passions, 
and hurried on by the spirit of intolerance, cruelty, and 
daughter. The doctrines advocated by Knox were of the 
most revolutionary tendency, and grounded upon treachery 
and hypocrisy. We have here the very doctrines charged 
upon the Catholics by their Protestant adversaries, which the 
former disclaim and deny as farming any part of their civil 
and religious principles. How disgraceful, how dishonour- 
able, how unjust then is that conduct, which attempts to 
fasten upon a class of men crimes of the most abhorrent 
nature, which they never practised but always condemned ; 
while these very enormities were inculcated and acted upon 
by another set of men, who are represented as the most 
perfect set of beings by the accusers of the innocent! 

But it is high time that we should have the testimony of 
credible and unprejudiced witnesses to the character of the 
leaders of the Scotch Beformation. Of<- John Knox, Dr. 
Stuart, in his " History of Scotland," writes thus : — " The 
glory of God stimulated this reformer to cruel devastations and 
outrages. Charity, moderation, the love of peace, patience, 
and humility, were not in the number of his virtues. Papists 
as well as Popery were the objects of his detestation ; and 
though he had risen to eminence by exclaiming against the 
persecution of priests, he was himself a persegijtor. His 
suspicions, that the queen was determined to re-establish the 
popish religion, were rooted and uniform ; and upon the 
most frivolous pretences^ he was strenuous to break that chain 
of cordiality which ought to bind together the prince and the 
people. He inveighed against her government, and insulted 
her person with virulence and indecency. It flattered his 
pride to violate the duties of the subject, and to scatter 
sedition. His advices were pressed with heat, his admoni^ 
tions were pronounced with anger ; and whether his theme 

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382 REVIEW OF fox's 

was a topic of polity or of faith, his knowledge appeued to 
be equally infallible. He wished to be considered as the 
organ qftJie Divine will. Contradiction inflamed him with 
hostility, and his resentments took a deep and lasting founda- 
tion. The pride of success, the spirit of adulation, the awe 
with which he struck the gaping and ignorant multitude^ in« 
spired him with a superlative conception of his own merits. 
He mistook for prophetic impulse the illusions of a heated 
fancy, and with an intemperate and piddy vanity, he yen- 
tured at times to penetrate into the future, and to reveal the 
mysteries of providence " — (Vol. ii. p. 135.) 

Such were the qualities possessed by Knox, and we ask 
the sensible reader, of whatever religious denomination he 
may be, whether such a character as we have here described 
would be chosen by the Divinity to work a Beformation in 
the morals of the people, or establish a new system of faith, 
supposing the words of Christ to have failed, when he pro- 
mised that the Spirit of Truth should abide with his church, 
and guide her in all truth to the end of the world ? Knox 
is here charged with being a persecutor, while he was ex- 
claiming against the persecution of priests ; and we charge 
the modem editors of Fox with the same hypocritical and 
unjust line of conduct ; for they, while endeavouring to raise 
the cry of persecution against the Cathdics of the present 
day, are hostilely combined to persecute the accused, by de- 
barring them from the exercise of their civil rights, for no 
other cause than following the dictates of conscience. 

The next hero in the Scottish drama is George Buchanan, 
who was a man of undoubted literary talents, but of the most 
abandoned character. Dr. Stuart says of him : ^' While his 
genius and ability adorned the times in which he lived, and 
must draw to him the admiration of the most distant pos- 
terity ; it is not to be forgotten, that his political conduct was 
disgraceful to the greatest degree, and must excite its regrets 
and provoke its indignation. His zeal for the earl of 
Murray overturned altogether bis allegianoe as a subject, 
and his integrity as a man. His acUvity against Mary, in 

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the conferences in England, was a strain of the most shame- ' 
less corruption ; and the yirulence with which he endeavoured 
to defame her hj his writings^ was most audacious and 
criminal. They involve the complicated charge of ingra- 
titude, rebellion, and perjury." — {Hist, of Scot, v. ii. p. 245.) 
This miscreant, by his writings, contributed much to the 
poisoning of the public mind, and inflaming the bad passions 
of the people against the old order of things. He wrote a 
work entitled. The Detection of Mary^s Doings, in which, 
Dr. Stuart observes, ** in the place of information and truth, 
he substitutes a boundless audacity of assertion, and the 
most pestilent rancour. An admirable but malicious eloquence, 
misrepresentations, and the vileness of calumny, characterize 
his work ; and it i;,emains an illustrious monument of the 
wickedness of faction, and the prostitution of wit.'* — {Ibid, 
p. 415.) Tlie Rev. Mr. Whitaker, another Protestant author, 
in his Vindication of Mary, says, Knox was '' an original 
genius in lying,*' and he forther writes, that " he [Knox] 
felt his mind impregnated with a peculiar portion of that 
spirit of falsehood, which is bo largely possessed by the great 
father of lies, and which he so liberally communicates to some 
of his chosen children. And he exerted this spirit with the 
grand views, which he uniformly pursued in, both that of 
abusing Mary, his patroness and benefactress ; of branding 
her forehead with the hottest iron of infamy, which his un- 
derstanding could provide ; and of breaking down all the 
fences and guards of truth, in the eagerness of his knavery 
against her. But Mary herself has told us a circumstance 
concerning him, that serves sufSciently to account for his 
flagitious conduct. Buchanan, she said^ ie known to be a 
lewd man, and an Atheist, He was one of those wretched 
men, therefore, who suffer their passions to beguile their 
understandings ; who plunge into scepticism to escape from 
sensibility ; who destroy the tone of their minds, while they 
are blunting the force of their feelings ; and at last become 
devoid equally of principle and of shame, ready for any 
fabrication of falsehood, and capable of any operation in 
villainy."— (v, ii. p. 22.) 

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384 REVIEW OF fox's 

To didse principal leaders in the work of doTaatadon in 
Scotland we must add the lord James Stuart, afterwards earl 
of Murray, and regent of the kingdom, who^ like the other 
actors, was an apostfite from the church of Bome. In feict, 
he was originally an ecclesiastic under the name of the prior 
of St. Andrew's ; " hut," says Mr. Whitaker, " when the 
Keformation hroke out in all its wildness and strength, he 
put on the sanctified air of a reformer, he wrapped himself 
up in the long cloak of puritanism, he attached all the 
popular leaders among the (reformed) clergy to him, and he 
prepared to make them his useful steps to the throne." — ( Vind, 
vol. i. p. 22.) The reader must here he told that this am- 
hitious hypocri^ was an illegitimate son of king James V., 
the fath^ of the unfortunate Mary, from which circumstance 
he conceired the criminal project of dethroning his unpro- 
tected sister Mary, and taking the sceptre into his own hands. 
To advance his aspiring object, Mr. Whitaker continues,— 
'' He had the address to make the most cunning and most 
ambitipui^ of his contemporaries to be subservient to his 
cunning; to make them commit- the enormities themselves 
which were necessary to his purposes ; and even to dip their 
hands in ^nurder, that he might enjoy the . sovereignty. Bui 
he displayed an address still greater than this, Thou^ he 
had not one principle of religion within him, though he had 
not one grain of honour in his soul, and though he was guilty 
of those more monstrous crimes, against which God has. 
peculiarly denounced damnation ; yet he was denominated ▲ 
sooD 114.N by th^ reformers at the tio(ie, and he has .been 
snsidered as an honest man, by numbers, to our own days." 
— (Ibid. p. 24.) The colours in which Dr. Stuart haadiawn 
his picture are not more &70urable :-*'' A selfish aad in-, 
satiable ambition was his ruUng appetite, and he pursued itSi 
dictiUies with, an unshaken perseverance. Hb inclination to, 
aspire beyond the rank of a subj^ was encouraged by the> 
turbulence of his age; and his connections with Elisabeth, 
overturned in him altogethev the virtuous restraii;it« of idle-*, 
gianoe and duty. He becam0 an enemy to. hit. silver, imd 

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his soTereign— his ebligaitioiis to ber w«re ezoesrive ; his in- 
gcatitttde wius monfitrous ; and oo language has any terms of 
reproach, that are sufficiently powerful to characterise his per- 
fidiousness and cruelty to her. Unoommon pretensioits to 
sanctity, and to the love of his country, with the perpetual 
affectation of acting under the impulse of honourable motives, 
concealed his purposes, and recommended him to popular 
£Avour. His manners w^re grave even to sadness; by a 
composed and severe deportment, and by ostentatious habits 
of devotion, he awakened and secured the admiration of his 
contemporaries. His house had a greater resemblance to a 
church than a palace. A dark solemnity rdgned within its 
walls; and his domestics were precise, pragmatical, and 
mortified. The more sealous of the clergy were proud of 
resorting to him, and while he invited them to join with him 
in the exercises of religion, he paid a flattering respect to 
their expositions of scripture, which he hypocritioidly con- 
ffldered as the sacred rule of his life. To the interests of 
science and learning he was favourable in an uncommon 
de^-ee ; and BudMuian, who has tasted his bounty, gives a 
varnish to his crimes. The glory of having adiieved the 
Beformation afforded him a fame that was most seducing 
and brilliant. With a cold and perfidious hearty he conferred 
favours without being generous, and received them • without 
being grateful. His enmity was implacable, his friendship 
dangerous, and his caresses, oftener than his anger, preceded 
the stroke of his resentment. The standard of his private 
interest directed all his actions, and was the measure by 
which bo judged of those of other men. To the neoessiUes 
of his ambition he was ready to sacrifice every duty and every 
virtue, and in the paroxysms of his selfishness he feared not 
the commission of any crime or cruelty, however enormous 
or detestable. To the great body of the Scottish nobles, 
whose consequence he had humbled, his death was a matter 
of stem indifference, or of secret joy ; but to &e common 
people, it was an oly'ect of sincere grief, and they lamented 
him long, under the appellation of the godly regent. 
VOL. II. s 

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386 EBviEW OF fox's 

Elizabeth bewailed in him i^ strenuoos partisan, and a chosen 
instrument^ by which she might subvert the independency 
of Scotland ; and Mary, tender and devout, wept over a 
brother, a heretic, and an enemy, whom a sudden and 
violent desdny had overtaken in his guilty career, with his 
full load of unrepented crimes." — (Hist of Scot. v. ii,,p. 62.) 
Enough has been said of the character of these ** noble 
reformists," as they are termed by the modem editors of 
Eox ; it now remains for us to show whether '< a complete 
Eeformation in the kingdom" was effected through their 
instrumentality, as the modem editors assert, or whether the 
endeavours of the " noble reformists" were not followed by 
an excess of immorality, and the most direful calamities that 
could afflict a nation. The testimonies we have adduced 
unequivocally prove that the characters of the leading re- 
formers were made up of the unchristian dispositions of 
revenge, cruelty, ambition, revolt, hypocrisy, and every vice 
that disgraces the human heart ; it is, th^efore, not to be 
expected that the followers of such leaders were to be found 
immaculate and undefiled in their actions. No, no; ihe 
consequences that resulted from what is called the Eeforma- 
tion were the very reverse of what followed the planting of 
that faith and church which the reformers pretended to 
reform. When Catholicism was introduced by the holy 
missionaries sent from the pope of Bome for that purpose, 
the people were transformed from savage, uncultivated hea- 
thens into orderly and hospitable Christians. Learning and 
science were cultivated, churches and monasteries ware 
erected, hospitals were raised to support the sick and infinn, 
the clergy were obliged to lead a life of oelibaey and penance ; 
while idle pensioners and placemen, living on tl^ labour of 
the working classes, were unknown. Such were the fruits 
of the establishment of Catholicism, or Popery, as the modem 
editors call it ; alas ! how altered is the scene under the thing 
called the Beformation. DupUcity, violence, ferocity, murder, 
fanaticism, became general in Scotland ; the whole nation 
was impregnated with vice and iniquity, and the very men 

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who trere the cause of ihb general wickedness were com- 
pelled to hear witness to their *own work of infamy and guilt. 
In the yew 1578, the commissiohers of the kirk conceived 
that they had then a favourahle opportunity to advance a 
new discipline, which they had long contemplated. To usher 
in their design they passed an act of the assembly, the 
preamble of which set forth, that *' the general assembly of 
the kirk finding universal corruption of the whole estates of 
the body of the realm, the great coldness and slackness in 
religion in the greatest part of the professors of the same, 
with the dailif increase of all kind of fearful sins and enor- 
mities, as incests, adulteiies, murders (committed in Edin- 
burgh and Stirling), cursed sacrilege, ungodly eedition, and 
division within the bowels of the realm, with all manner of 
disordered and ungodly living," they call for " such a polity 
and discipline in the kirk, as is craved by the word of God," 
&c. But with all their endeavours to restore morality, it 
does not appear that they were in any manner successful, 
which manifestly shews that the tree was not good, since it 
yielded such bad fruit. In the year 1648, about seventy 
years after, the general assembly of divines again complained 
that '' ignorance of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, pfe- 
vailed ezceediu^y in the land ; that it were impossible to 
reckon up all the abominadons that were in the land ; and 
that the blaspheming of the name of God, swearing by the 
creatures, profanation of the Lord's day, uncleanness, excess, 
and rioting, vanity of apparel, lying and deceit, railing and 
cursing, arbitrary and uncontrolled oppression, and grinding 
of the faces of the poor by landlords and others in place 
and power, were become ordinary and common sins,*^ — {An 
Acknowledgment of Sins,) Nor was the kirk in a more 
flourislung state in 1778 than in the former periods, for the 
divines of the associate synod of that year say : — ** It is sur- 
prising to think what gross ignorance of the meaning and 
authority of the truths they profess to believe, prevails at 
present among many."— (^^Famwi^, p. 62.) ** A general 
unbelief of revealed religion [prevails] among the higher 

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orders of our oonntrymeiiy which hath hy a necesstfy con-- 
sequence, produced in vast numbers an absolute indifierence 
as to what they believe, dther concerning truth or duty, «iy 
further than it may comport with their worldly views".-^ 
{Ibid. p. 54.) Then, speaking of the country generally, 
they lament it is nowy " through the prevalence of infidelity, 
ignorance, luxury and venality, so much despoiled of all re- 
ligion and feeling the want of it."-^/6ui p. 64.) Before 
we conclude our account of the transactions of the reformers 
of Scotland, we feel it a duty to injured innooence to give a 
summary view of the treatment which Mary, their beautiM, 
their accomplished queen, experienced at tiieir hands. She 
was the daughter and only legitimate child of James Y., 
whom she succeeded when in the cradle, having her mother 
for queen-regent. She was promised in marriage to Edward 
YI. of England, but through the power of the HamHtons, 
was carried into France, where she manned the dauphin, 
afterwards Francis 11., of that kingdom. While residing in 
France, the pretended Beformation of Scoliand commenced, 
and her royal husband dying, she was induoed to leave that 
kingdom, and place herself in person on the throne (^ Soot- 
land. Finding herself an unprotected woman, surrounded 
by nobles heated with faction and bent on rapne and spoil, 
she married Henry, lord Damley, the eldest son of the earl 
of Lennox. This marriage gave considerable umbrage to 
the reformed party, and a conspuracy was entered into be- 
tween the lords Morton, Murray, and Boihwell, to remove 
Darnley, and Bothwell was to obtain possession of the queen's 
person by marriage. The plot was soon put into ex6outi<m, 
and Damley was blown up by gunpowder whilst he lay ode 
in his bed ; the queen was seized by Bothwdl and earned to 
Dunbar castle. Here every art was used by Bothwell to 
induce the helpless and indignant Mary to consent to aunkm 
with him, but in vain, and he had recourse at last to vidence 
by an act of ravishment The queen wept and lamented 
over the degradation thus iate&di upon her, and judging it 
inser to conceal her misfortune than that the scandal should 

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go forth to the world ; considering also the helplessness of 
her own situation, and the powerful confederacy raised 
against her, she at length consented to wed the cruel and 
haughty Bothwell. But the cup of sorrow for this ill-fated 
princess was not yet filled. She had heen attached to the 
religion of h^ fore&th^rs from her in&ncy, and neither 
force nor intrigue could lessen her fidelity to God. She was 
unalterahly fixed to her religion, and this made her the de- 
YOted victim of the yillany and perfidy of the " noble re- 
formists,'' as the modem editors call the leaders in the dia- 
bolical concerns of Scotland. They openly accused the 
unhappy princess of being guilty of adultery with her 
ravisher ; of murdering Damley, her husband, in order that 
she might indulge with her paramour ; of having concerted a 
plan with him for her own seizure, for her own ravishment, 
and for her own marriage, as if she, the queen of the realm, 
could nqt have married the man she wished, without either 
the seizure or the rape. But this ia not all. Papers and 
letters were fobqed by tibe reforming party to convict her 
of these horrible and unnatural crimes, the villany of which 
attempt has been most ably detected and exposed by the Bev. 
Mr. Whitaker, in his Vindication of Mary. To such a 
diabolical pitch did they carry this system of forgery y that 
the queen was constrained to give directions that no ordera 
should be taken with regard to the lord Huntley, whose death 
they attempted by a forged warranty except from her very 
UPS. Who, yaik the feeling of nature in his breast, but 
must sigh over the misfortunes of a woman and a queen, 
lovely, mild, courageous, and refined ; who, when looking on 
her portrait the day before her execution, now to be seen at 
the wmdows of ahnost every print-i^op in the metropolis, 
but must loath and execrate her persecutors, who, under the 
doak of religion, offered to her the grossest insults and in- 
dignities? Nor was their revenge satiated even with her 
death, since they sought to tarnish her unblemished Hfe by 
forged accusations. 

Speaking of. tl^is base and cruel attempt ta sully the 

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390 EBVIEW OF fox's 

character of this vhrtuoos Catholic princess, Mr. Whitaker 
exclaims. " EoBQERY, I hlush for the honoar of Protestantisxn 
while I write, seems to have been peetdiar to the reformed. 
I look in vain for one of these accursed outrages of impo- 
sition among the disciples of Popery." — ( Vtnd. toI. ii., p. 2.) 
This author further says, " ^ infamy of forgery was not 
confined to Scotlimd at this period. It extended equally to 
England.'* Eandolph, the agent of Elizabeth at the Scottish 
court, had recourse to the same disgraceful means oi forging 
letters in the name of lord Lennox, to induce the Scottish 
lords to draw their swords against their sovereign, by their 
regard for the reformed religion. '*0n the detection of 
them,'* observes Mr. Whitaker, " Randolph was justly 
reproached with the 'profligacy of his conduct. Nothing but 
the peculiarity of his situation as an ambassador could have 
screened him from the vengeance due to it. Even Elizabeth 
was very naturally considered as an associate in the foul act 
of forgery with him. He acted, no doubt, by her directions. 
The peculiar boldness of his proceedings shews it. But, 
indeed, Elizabeth did not attempt to vindicate herself from 
the imputation. She never disowned either the violence or 
fraudulence of her ambassador. She did not even recall him. 
She even justified him in form up<m his return, as a man of 
integrity, and as a friend to Scotland. And she thus made 
all his forgery her own. She had long been habituated to 
the sight of forgery. She had seen it displayed in its 
liveliest colours, at the conferences before her commissioners. 
She had made herself a party in that grand deed of knavery, 
by assisting in the deception, and by uniting to prosecute the 
purpose of it. But she afterwards went further in forgery. 
She rose £rom the humility of an acccnnplice to the dignity 
of a chief in the work. The vile arts which she had seen 
practised by the Scots against their queen, she practised with 
more confidence, and with less success against the Scots 
themselves. And she exercised them equally against Mary 
afterwards ; letters forged in the name of Mary being sent 
to the houses of papists, letters forged in the name of papists 

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^ing pretendedlj intercepted on their way to Mary, and 
eren forged letters from Mary, concerning Babington's con- 
spiracy, being pretended to be found in the wall of her prison. 
Elizabeth had probably been taught this highest act of flagi- 
tious policy by that trio of the most unprincipled politicians, 
which human impiety perhaps ever generated all together ; 
Murray, Morton, and Lethington. By them, probably, she 
had been initiated into those hellish mysteries of iniquity. 
And Lethington, no doubt, was the original initiator of them 
all."... ^' Such, such (continues the same author) were the 
persons that presumed to call themselves reformers, to tax 
the wickedness of Popery, and to be zealous for the purity of 
religion ! That great ferment, indeed, which was sure to be 
excited in the body politic of Christendom by the necessary 
efforts for Reformation, naturally threw out to the surface a 
violent eruption of morbid matter on every side. But forgery 
appears to have been the peculiar disease of Protestantism. 
Originally coming forth as a kind of leprosy, upon the brow 
of Pifesbyt^iftnism in Scotland, it was conveyed by the inter- 
courses of vice^ to the profligate head of the church of 

Forgery, then, it is here declared by a Protestant divine, 
was peculiar to Protestantism. Before Cranmer and Knox 
commenced as refprmers in England and Scotland, this system 
of fraud and viHany was unknown to the whole of Christen- 
dom, and the same authority that fixes it upon those who 
pretended to be inspired to reform religion says, that not one 
single act of this infamous kind can be proved against 
Oatiiolics to this day. What then are we to think of the 
conduct of men who could be guilty of such base actions ? 
From forging letters and documents to traduce the character 
of a Catholic queen and rob many eminent Catholics of their 
property and their lives, this work of deception has been 
carried on and multiplied in commercial transactions, until 
hundreds of Protestants within the last thirty years have 
^ided their lives, in this Protestant country, for it at the 
gallows. Oh God ! how inscrutable are thy designs ! how 

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392 BBYIBW OF F0X*8 

unsearchaUe thy ways I Bi^fcwgerywal not the only meato' 
by which the ^^campkU Seformatian** m Scotkoid wa» 
brought about by the endeavoun of the ** noble refanmsiMf*' 
as the modern editors style the aeton in tins wtok of Uood 
and desolation. P£BaEGimov» for consd^ce sake, was m 
peculiar feature in its progress. We have repeatedly sud 
and shewn that Catholicism was e8tal]liahed ki every country 
that receiyed it by the power of persoasion and coovictioQ 
only. In no instance whateyer was compulsion resorted to ; 
but in many cases it was planted in oppositictt to the ciwl 
9wordf numerous martyrs having sealed their testimony of 
the doctrines they pieadied by ih^ blood» But sodi was 
not the case with our reforming gentry ; for no sooner did 
they obtab possession (^temporal power, than they exerciaed 
the most wanton and tyrannical authority or&t the consciences 
of men, in order to/or6« all descriptions of pe(^ into a blmd 
and unUmited aocq^tance of their new fon^ed doeirinea, 
which were as variable aa the wind, being changed at the 
caprice of those who held the reins of government. In proof 
that PERSBCunoN was part and parcel of the Befonnatiixi in 
Scotland, we shall here take an extract from ** The Naiionai 
Covenant; or the drnfeexum qf Faith: subscribed at first by 
the king's majesty and his household, in the year 1580 
thereafter by persons of all ranks in the year 1581 ,'* dec. 
subscribed again by all sorts of persons in the year 1590 
approved by the general assembly, 1638 and 1639 ; subscribed 
again by all ranks in the latter year ; ratified by an act of 
parliament in 1640; and subscribed by king Charles II. 
at Spey in 1650, and Scoon in 1651. The edition we take 
the extract from was printed at Edinburgh in the year 1815» 
by Sir D. Hunter Bliur and J. Bruce, printers to the king's 
most exceUent majesty. It says, ^^ Like as many acts of par- 
liament, not only in general, do abrogate, annul, and rescind 
all laws, statutes, acts, cimstitutions, cancms-*— civil or muni- 
cipal — with all other ordinances, and {H:aetique penalties 
whatsoever, made in prejudice of true religion, and [nofessors 
thereof ; or of the true kirk, discipline, jurisdiction, and free- 

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dom thereof; or in fayours of idolatry and superstition^ or of 
the papistical kirk : as act 8. act 81. pari. I. act 23. pari. 11 
act 114. pari. 12, of king James YI. That papistry and 
superstition may be utterly suppressed, according to the 
intention of the acts of parliament, repeated in the 5th act, 
pari. 20. king James YI. And to that civil and ecclesiastical 
pains, as adversaries to God's true religion, preached, and 
by law established, within this realm, act 24. pari. 11. king 
James YI. ; as common enemies to all Christian goyemment, 
act 18. pari. 16. king James YI. ; as rebellers and gain* 
standers of our sovereign Lord's authority, act 47. pari. 8. 
king James YI. ; and as idolaters, act 104. pari. 7. king 
James' YI. But also in particular, by and attour the confes- 
sion of faith, do abolish and condemn the pope's authority and 
jurisdiction out of this land, and wdains the maintainors 
thereof to be punished, act 2. pari. 1. act 51. pari. 3. act 106. 
pari. 7. act 114. pari. 12. king James YI. ; do condemn the 
pope*s erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous doctrine 
repugnant to any of the articles of the true and Christian 
rdigion, publicly preached, and by law established in this 
vealm ; and ordams the spreaders and makers of books or 
libels, or letters, or writs of that nature to be punished, act 
46. pari. 3. act 106. pari. 7. act 24. pari. 11. king James 
YI. ; do condemn all baptism conform to the pope's kirk, and 
the idolatry of the mass ; and ordains all sayers, wilfdl hearers, 
and concealers of the mass, the muntainers and resetters of 
lixe priests, Jesuits, trafficking Papists, to be punished with* 
out any exception or restriction, act 5. pari. 1. act 120. parU 
12. act 164. pari. 13. act 193. pari. 14. act 1. pari. 19. act 
5. pari. 20. king James YI. ; do condemn all erroneous books 
and writs containing erroneous doctrine against the religion 
presently prt^essed, <x containing superstitious rites and cere- 
monies papistical, whereby the people are greatly abused, and 
<»rdain8 the home-bringers of than to be punished, act 25» 
pari. 11* king James YI. ; do condemn the monuments and 
dregs of bygone idolatry, m going to crosses, observing thi» 
fiBeftiTal days of saints, md such oth^ raperstitiousaQd papiii» 

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394 REVIEW OP fox's 

tical rites, to the dishonour of God, contempt of true religion, 
and fostering of great error among the people ; and ordains 
the users of them to be punished for the second fault, as 
idolaters, act 104. pari. 7. king James VI." 

It is not to he wondered that with such fiend- like laws as 
these, under which a person had no alternative hut either to 
subscribe to this covenant or confession of faith, or perish 
by the sword, that the Eeformation made great progress, 
especially as the leaders in the work were very zealous in 
enforcing obedience to those laws. In the Presbyteries* Trial, 
p. 29, it is stated, that ** at the beginning men only were 
admitted to subscribe the covenant ; yea, shortly after the 
more zealous sisters obtained that favour ; and others who 
were not seeking that courtesy, got it pressed upon them. 
At length, it came to children at school, to servants, young 
maids, and all sorts of persons, without exception. And those 
who could not write their own names into the covenant, 
behoved to do it by public notary ; so that they would have 
none to be left out of God's covenant, and the covenant of 
grace, as they spoke." Such was the detestable tyranny of 
these pretended friends of evangelical liberty, whose freedom 
consisted m forcing even cAt^r^n to subscribe their covenant, 
who could not even read and understand what they thus sub- 
scribed, and not only were they made to sttbscrihe, but like- 
wise to swear that this new form of religion was God's 
undoubted truth grounded only upon his written word. Nor 
was this all, for those who subscribed this covenant were made 
also to " protest and call the searcher qfaU hearts as a witness, 
that their minds and hearts did fiilly agree with their oath 
and subscription, and that they were not moved to it by any 
worldly respect : " whereas it was notorious that the greatest 
part of those who thus swore and subscribed, " were driven 
to obedience by ministerial armies, which consisted at the 
beginning of Highlanders, whom the old Protestants called 
Argyle-apostles, who, by their sacking and htsming of some 
good houses, converted more to the covenant than the minis- 
ters had done." fPreshy. Trials p. 2^. J These facts 

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sufficiently display the atroeioas persecuting spirit of the 
reformers in a full light ; it only remains to say, that this 
cruel and bloodthirsty temper was fanned and exasperated by 
the horrible and furious preachings of Knox and his associates, 
who, like the devil, could quote scripture for every outrage 
and ruffianly deed that was committed. But none was more 
subject to theur rancourous rage than the unfortunate Mary, 
their amiable and Catholic queen. She was persecuted with 
the most diabolical vengeance that could inflame the passions 
of fanatical zealots, until she ended her miserable days on the 
scaffold, by order of that tigress in human shape, the virgin 
queen Bess. This religious princess was even denied the 
consolations of her religion in her last moments, and was told 
by a reformed divine at her execution, ^* Your life would be 
the death of our religion, and your death will be the life of 
it." When the executioner struck off her head, he exclaimed, 
holding it up, '< Long live queen Elizabeth, and so let the 
enemies of the gospel perish ! * ' But enough of these brutali- 
ties masked by religious hypocrisy. 

We have now given a succinct account of the rise of the 
Beformation, as it is called, in Scotland, the practices by 
which it was carried on, the consequences resulting from it, 
and the character of the men who headed the reforming party. 
We shall now close this part of our labours with observing, 
that the testimony we have produced, from Protestant autho- 
rities, be it remembered, does not accord with the unsupported 
assertions of the modem editors. They state that stibscriptians 
were solicited to carry on the work of the Eeformation ; but 
Dr. Heylin shews it was carried on by sacrilege, violence, 
murder, and civil war ; neither was the Beformation so com- 
pletely effected as the modem editors would have their readers 
believe. The despotic and intolerant combination of fury and 
fanaticism called the covenant filled the kingdom with blood 
and desolation, and finally caused the overthrow of the con- 
stitution in church and state, as well as the vjiolent death of 
the sovereign, Charles I. And are we, in these days, 
to have the rebellions, the devastations, the persecutions, and 

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396 BEVIBW OF Fox'a 

the wild enthusia^n of the madiHrained Coyenanters held up 
as examples of praise and commendation? Surely the 
modern editors are like the Jews who crucified their Saviour, 
not knowing what they did. Whether what we have here 
said will open their eyes, and cause them to see their folly» 
not to say their infamy^ because we are willing to believe 
they are ignorant of the mischief they are doing, is more 
than we can say ; but we do flatter ourselves that the Protes- 
tant of liberal mind will see the n^otives which induced the 
pretented reformers of Scotland to shake off theur obedience 
to the church of Eome in their true lights and appreciate the 
merit or infamy due to their actions. 

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The modem editors commence this interestiDg period of 
the Eeformation with an acoomity taken from Burnet^ of the 
qaalities of the yomig king, who is re;»*esented as having 
^ discovered very early a good disposition to rdigion and 
virtue, and a particular reverence for the scriptures ; and 
was once greatly offended with a person, who, in order to 
reach something hastily, laid a great hiUe on the floor, and 
stood upon it." This story may do for hihle-readers, hut 
we see very little probability that a person would make such 
use of a book, or that a child so young should take upon 
himself to chide his elder. We are next told, that dissen- 
sions soon arose among the sixteen governors named in 
Harry's will, to have the care of the young king's person, 
and that these dissensions were no more than what might 
have be^i expected. The lord-chancellor Wriothesley 
imagined that he would be placed, in virtue of his o£Sce, as 
head of the commission of sixteen, but, by cunning and in- 
trigue, the earl of Hertford, afterwards duke of Somerset, 
the king's undo, was declared governor of the king's person, 
and protector of the kingdom. Thus he wlio had set so 
many wills and testaments aside to gratify his inordinate 
lust and ambition, had his own will disregarded and treated 
with as little ceremony as he had treated others. This ap- 
pointment, we are next told, occasioned two parties to be 
jformed, ^* the one headed by the protector, and the other by 
the chancellor ; the favourers of the Eeformation were of th^ 
former, and those that opposed it; of the latter." The c(m- 
sequttices of this division in the government we shall see in 
the coarse of oar review. 

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398 BEViEw OF fox's 

The first thing done, after the appointment of the pro- 
tector, was the renewing of the commissions of the judges, 
and other state officers, and among the rest the hishops, who 
came and took out commissions, hy which thej were io hold 
their bishoprics only during the king^s pleasure I Gentle 
reader ! what do you think of these men, these pretended 
ministers of religion, who could thus suhmit to he tlie slaves, 
the ohsequious tools of the faction in power ? Cranmer, of 
whom we have had occasion to say so mach, led the way in 
this work of degradation, and Burnet, another bishop of the 
established church, says, ^^ this check upon the bishops was 
judged expedient in case they should oppose the Beforma- 
tion ;" that is, in case they should oppose the n^adty of the 
greedy courtiers, who were bent upon fleecing the church of 
what Harry had left. We are next told, that *^ an accident 
soon occurred which made way for great changes in the 
church. The curate and ehurehwardens of St. Martin's, in 
London, were brought before the council, for removing the 
crucifix, and other images, and putting some texts of scrip- 
ture on the walls of their church, in the places where they 
9tood ; they answered, that in repairing thdr church they 
had removed the images, which being rotten they did not 
renew them, but put the words of scripture in their room ; 
they had also removed others, which they found had been 
abused to idolatry. Great pains were taken by the Popish 
party to punish tiiem severely, in order to strike a terror into 
others ; but Cranmer was for the removmg <^ all images set 
up in churches, as being expressly contrary both to the 
second commandment, and the practice of the purest Ohris" 
tians for many ages ; and though, in compliance with the 
gross abuses of Paganism, much of the pomp oi their wor-* 
ship was very early brought into the Christian church, yet 
it was long before images were introduced. At first, all 
images were condemned by the fathers ; then they allowed 
the use, but condemned the worshipping, of diem ; andafter«» 
wards, in the eighth and ninth centuries, the worshipping <rf 
them was^ after a long contest, both in the east and west^ at 

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last generally received. Some, in particular, were believed 
to be more wonderfully endowed, and tbis was mucb improved 
by tbe cbeats of tbe monks, wbo bad enricbed themselves by 
sucb means. And this abuse bad now grown to such a 
heigbt, tbat beatbenism itself bad not been guilty of greater 
absurdities towards its idols. Since all tbese abuses bad 
risen out of tbe use of tbem, and tbe setting tbem up being 
contrary to tbe command of God, and tbe nature of tbe 
Cbristian religion, wbicb is simple and spiritual, it seemed 
most reasonable to cure the disease in its root, and to clear 
tbe cburcbes of images, tbat tbe people might be preserved 
from idolatry. 

^' These reasons prevailed so far, that the curate and 
churchwardens were dismissed with a reprimand ; they were 
ordered to beware of such rashness for the future, and to 
provide a crucifix, and, till tbat could be had, were ordered 
to cause o>e to be painted on the wall. Upon this, Dt. 
Ridley, in a sermon preached before the king, inveighed 
against tbe superstition towards images and holy-water, and 
spread over the whole nation a general disposition to pull 
tbem down ; which soon after commenced in Portsmouth. 

" Upon this, Gardiner made great complaints ; be said, 
that Lutherans themselves went not so far, for he had seen 
images in their churches. He distinguished between image 
and idol, as if the one, which, he said, only was condemned, 
was tbe representation of a false god, and the other of the 
true ; and he thought, that as words conveyed by the ear 
begat devotion, so images, by the conveyance of tbe eye, 
might have the same effect on the mind. He also thought 
a virtue might be both in them and in holy water, as well as 
there was in Christ's garments, Peter's shadow, or Elisba's 
staff ; and there might be a virtue in holy- water, as well a& 
in the water of baptism. To these arguments, which Gar- 
diner wrote in' several letters, the protector -answered, that 
the bishops had formerly argued much in another strain, 
namely, that because the scriptures were abused by tbe vulgar 
readers, therefore they were not to be trusted to tbem ; and 

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80 made a pretended abuse the groaiid at ^king away that 
wliich, by God's spedal appointment, was to be ddivered to 
all Christians. This held much stronger agm^ images for- 
bidden by Ood. The brazen serpent set up by Moses^ by 
God's own direction, was brdcen when abused to idolatry ; 
for that was the greatest corruption of religion possible ; 
but yet the protector acknowledged there was reason to com- 
plain of the forwardness of the people, who hnke down 
images without authority; to prevent which, in future, 
(Hrders were sent to the justices of the peace to look well to 
thepeaee and govemment of the nation."— (i?ooi& of Martyrs, 
pp. 349, 350.) 

It is necessary to notice the assertions here made by 
Burnet, with a yiew to delude his readers on the doctrine of 
venerating and using images in churches, and to screen the 
sacrilegious rapine of the reformers, who pillaged the shrines 
and altars to glut their own avarice. Oanmer, it is ad- 
mitted, took the lead in this mattor, as we have proved him 
heading every other measure of iniquity and outrage. He 
is stated to have grounded his advice for removing all the 
images set up in (Churches, as being contrary both to the 
second commandment, and the practice of the purest ages of 
Christianity. That ^'all images were condemned by the 
jGftthers ; then the use of them was allowed, but the toor- 
shipping of them was condemned." That abuses arose, and 
''had now grown to such a height, that heathenism, its^ 
had not been guilty of greater absurdities towards its idols." 
This is mere gratuitous assertion, unaccompanied by a single 
fact. The practice of using images is eoeval widi Chris- 
tianity, and the worshipping or reverencing them was never 
condemned by the early &thers, but, on the contrary, the 
fathers wrote in defence of this doctrine. St. Gregory of 
Nyssa, who died late in the fourth century, and consequentiy 
lived in that age when Fhytestants admit the Cbistian diurcb 
to have been pure, thus speaks to his audience, when cele- 
brating the feast of the martyr Theodoras:— ''When any 
one entera such a place as this^ where the mttuory ot ihb 

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just man and his relics are preserved, his mind is first strock 
—while he views the stmotore and all its ornaments— with 
the general magnificence that breaks upon him. The artist 
has here shewn his skill in the figores of animab^ and the 
airy sculpture of the stone ; while the painter's hand is most 
conspicuous in delineating die high achievements of the 
martyr : his torments ; the savage forms of his executioners ; 
their furious efforts ; the burning furnace ; and the happy 
consummation of the laborious contest. The figure of Christ 
is also beheld, looking down upon the scene. X^us, as in a 
book the letters convey the history, so do the colours describe 
the conflict of the martyr, and give the beauty of a flowery 
mead to the walls of our temple. The picture, though silent, 
E^teaks, and gives instruction to the beholder ; nor is the 
mosaic pavement, which we tread on, less instructive." — 
{Orat. de Theod. Martyr, t. ii., p. 1011.) 

The Booh of Martyrs says, the worshipping of images 
was generally received in the eighth and ninth centuries, 
after a long contest. This is an allusion to the heresy of 
the Inconoclasts. or image destroyers, which was opposed by 
all the prelates of the Catholic church, and, like all other 
heresies, when possessed of the civil sword, was supported by 
brute force and persecution. The founder of this sect was 
the emperor Leo III., sprung from a plebeian family in 
Isauria. He, like the reformers in our Edward's reign, sent 
forth an edict, ordering the images of our Saviour, and his 
virgin mother, and the saints, to be removed out of the 
churches under the severest penalties. This extraordinary 
declaration against the universal practice of the Catholic 
church, excited murmurs and discontent at Constantinople, 
the seat of the empire. St. Germain, the patriarch of that 
see, tried by mild persuasion to disabuse the emperor of his 
error, and represented to him, that fipom the time of the 
i4>ostles this relative honour had been paid to the images of 
Christ and his Uessed mother. Leo was ignorant and obsti- 
nate : he C(mimanded all the images and pictures to be col- 
lected and burned. The people resisted, and by an imperial 

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402 REVIEW OF fox's 

order were massacred without mercy. St Germain was 
driven into banishment, and a t^nporising priest, another 
Oranmer, waa thrust into his place. This took place in the 
year 729. The holy pope (Gregory III., on coming to the 
papal chair, wrote a long epistle to the emperor, exhorting 
him to desist from his unholy purposes, and among other 
things he tells him, << Our churches in their rude state are 
but the work of the builders, a rough fabric of stone, of 
wood, of brick, of lime, and mortar. But within they are 
adorned with rich paintings, with historical representations 
of Jesus Christ and his saints. On these the converted 
gentiles, the neophytes, and children of the faithful, gaze with 
no less profit thmi delight. In these they behold the mys- 
teries of our religion dbplayed before their eyes ; by theae 
they are animated to the practice of virtue, and silently 
taught to raise their affections and hearts to Gk>d. But of 
these external helps to virtue and religious information you 
have deprived the fai(hful; you have profanely stript the 
churches of their sacred ornaments, which so much contri- 
buted to edify, to instruct, and animate. In doing this you 
have usurped a power which God has not given to the sceptre. 
The empire and the priesthood have their respective powers, 
differing from each other in their use and object As it 
bdongs not to the bishop to govern within the palace, and to 
distribute civil dignities, so it does not belong to the emperor 
to command within the church, or to assume a spiritual 
jurisdiction, which Christ has left solely to the ministers of 
his altar. Let each one of us move and remain within the 
sphere to which he is called, as the apostle admonishes." — 
(Reeves Hist, of the Church, vol. ii., p. 9.) 

This emperor, however, continued the persecution whilst 
he lived, and his son Constantino Copronymus, when he 
mounted the throne, exceeded his father's barbarity, and ex- 
tended the persecution through all the provinces. After a 
cruel reign of thirty-four years, Constantino was seized by 
death, and his son Leo followed his steps in harassing the 
church during the five years that he reigned. He was sue-* 

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ceeded by his wife, the empress Irene, who, being a Catholie, 
gave peace to the church, and by her desire a council was 
called by pope Adrian, which assembled at Nice, on the 24th 
of September, 787. It consisted of 377 bishops, from 
Gieece, Thrace, STatolia, the islands of the Archipelago, 
Sicily, and Italy* The prelates thus assembled were occu- 
pied in examining the fathers, the conduct of the Incono- 
clasts, and the objections made against the practice of 
venerating images. In the seventh session of the synod the 
bishops came to the following decision: — "After mature 
deliberation and discussion, we solemnly declare, that holy 
pictures and images, especially of Jesus Christ our Lord and 
Saviour, of his immaculate Mother our Lady, of the angels 
and other saints, are to be set up in churches as well as in 
other places, that at the sight of them the faithful may re- 
member what they represent ; that they are to be venerated 
and honoured, not indeed with that supreme honour and 
worship, which is called Latria, and belongs to God alone, 
but with a relative and inferior honour, such as is paid to the 
cross, to the gospel, and other holy things, by the use of 
incense or of burning lights. For the honour paid to images 
passes to the architypes or things represented, and he wha 
reveres the image reveres the person it represents. Such 
has been the practice of our pious forefathers ; such is the 
tradition of the Catholic church transmitted to us : this eccle- 
siastical tradition we closely hold conformably to the injunc- 
tion given by St. Paul to the Thessalonians." — (2 Thess. 
c. ii., V. 14.) The decree was published and received with loud 
acclamations by the people ; Iconoclasm died away, and was 
heard of no more, till the reformers of the sixteenth century 
thought fit to revive it with many other pernicious doctrines, 
that entailed misery upon the people where happiness before 
reigned. To shew the concurrent belief of the Catholic 
church in all ages on this ancient practice^ we will here give 
the decree of the council of Trent, which sat at the same 
period when the work of devastation was going forward in 
England^ by comparing which with the sen4;iments of 

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404 RBviBW OP fox's 

Gregory IIL and the council of Nice, the reader will see that 
the doctrine of the Catholic church is invariahle, and that 
what was tanght in the eighth centurj^ was grounded on the 
universal practice of the church from the time of the 
apostles, as it was in the sixteenth century, and is now at the 
present day. The council of Trent decreed : " That images 
of Christy of the hlessed Virgm, and of other saints, are to 
he exposed and retained particularly in diurches^ and that 
due honour and veneration are to he shown tiiem ; not as 
helieving that any divinity or virtue is in them, for which 
they should he honoured ; or that anything is to he asked of 
them, or any trust be placed in them, as the Gentiles once 
did in their idols ; but because the honour given to pictures 
is referred to the prototypes, which they represent ; so that 
through the images, which we kiss^ and before which we 
uncover our heads and kneel, we may learn to adore Christ, 
and to venerate his saints." — (Sess. xxv. cle Invoeat 88,, p» 
289.) Having thus clearly established the doctrinal part of 
the subject, we may now proceed to examine the motives 
which induced the reformers of the sixteenth century to 
ad<^t the violent measures of the Iconoclasts of the eighlli, 
or, as Burnet says, '* to clear the churches of images, tiiat 
the people might be pbeserted from idolatry." 

But though, as Burnet would make us believe, the advisers 
of the youthful Edward were anxious to preserve the people 
from idolatry, they were not so feelingly alive to preserve for 
them those civil privileges which had hitherto made them a 
free and happy nation. Of this, however, we have not a 
word in the modem Booh of Martyrs ; it is therefore neces- 
sary that we should supply the omission. The object of the 
modem editors is to mislead the public mind, and excite 
hatred against the Catholics and their religion ; ours iB to 
elucidate the truth, and, by removing the vdl of ignorance 
which has so long clouded the Protestant mind, dissipate 
those groundless prejudices which interested bigots have so 
long kept alive against the professorsof the ancient fsath of 
the kingdom. While the chief reformers were hypocritically 

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exclaiming against idolatry, or the use of images in churches, 
they were worshipping and paying adoration to the mammon 
of iniquity, and contriving means how to aggrandize diem- 
selves hoth in titles and estates. Though Harry's will was 
in some respects wholly disregarded, in others it was made to 
sanction the schemes of amhition which the &ctious leaders 
meditated. Set a heggar on horseback, and it is said he will 
ride to the devil ; the same we may say of the prominent 
characters who ruled under Edward VI. Of the sixteen in- 
dividuals named as executors to the late king's will, it was 
remarked that they were men hitherto but little known, 
having no claim to high birth, but raised to their present 
rank by the partiality of Harry, and their readiness to pander 
to his vices. Of their moral character some estimate may be 
formed from the fact, that after having solemnly sworn to see 
the last will and testament of their late master scrupidously 
fulfilled, they almost immediately absolved themselves from 
the obligation of that oath, to cmnply with the ambitious 
projects of the protector Hertford. In another point of view, 
however, where their personal interests were concerned, they 
took care that nothing should be neglected that could he^ 
their own aggrandizement In the body of Henry's will 
there was a clause charging the executors with ratifying 
every gift, and performing every promise which he should 
have made before his deatii. Here was a sweeping charge, 
which it was resolved to turn to the best account. Dr. 
Lingard, in his History of England, says : — " What these 
gifts and promises might be, must, it was presumed, be 
known to Paget, Herbert, and Denny, who had stood high 
in the confidence, and been constantly in the chamber of the 
dying monarch. These gentlemen were therefore inter- 
FOgated before their colleagues ; and from their depositions it 
was inferred, that the king had intended to give a dukedom 
to Hertford, to create the earl of Essex, his queen's brother, 
a marquess, to raise the viscount Lisle and brd Wriothesley 
to the higher rank of earls, and to confer the title of baron 
on Sir Thonats Seymour, Sir Bichard Bieh, 8k John St. 

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406 REVIEW OF fox's 

Leger, Sir William Willoughby, Sir Edward Sheffield, and 
Sir Christopher Danbj : and that, to enable the new peers to 
support their respective titles, he had destined for Hertford 
an estate in land of £800 per annum, with a yearly pension 
of £300 from tiie first bishopric which should become 
vacant, and the incomes of a treasurership, a deanery, and 
six prebends, in different cathedrals: for each of the others 
a proportionate increase of yearly income ; and for the three 
deponents, Paget, Herbert, and Denny, 400 pounds, 400 
marks, and 200 pounds. Two out of the number, St. 
Leger and Danby, had sufficient rirtue to refuse the honours 
and revenues which were allotted to them: Hertford was 
created duke of Somerset, Essex marquess of Northampton, 
Lisle earl of Warwick, Wriothesley earl of Southampton, 
and Seymour, Bich, Wiltoughby, and Sheffield, barons of the 
same name : and to all these, with the exception of the two 
last, and to Cranmer, Paget, Herbert, and Denny, and more 
than thirty other persons, were assigned in different propor- 
tions manors and lordships out of the lands, which had be- 
longed to the dissolved monasteries, or still belonged to the 
existing bishoprics. But Sir Thomas Seymour was not 
satined: as uncle of the king he aspired to office no less 
than rank : and to appease his discontent the new earl of 
Warwick resigned in his favour the patent of high, admiral, 
and was indemnified with that of great chamberlain, which 
Somerset had exchanged for the dignities of lord high 
treasurer, and earl marshal, forfeited by the attainder of the 
duke of Norfolk. These proceedings did not pass without 
severe animadversion. Why, it was asked, ware not the 
executors content with the authority which tliey derived from 
the will of thdr late master ? Why did they reward them- 
sdves beforehand, instead of waiting till their young sove- 
reign should be of age, when he might recompense their 
services according to their respective merits ? " Thus the 
reader will see that though the crime of idolatry is r^re- 
sented as havbg touched the oonsdences of these menders of 
religion, they were not averse to the crimes of self-aggran* 

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dizement, robbery, and sacrilege. We should have added 
forgery too ; for the same historian remarks, that though the 
clause to the above effect appears in the body of the will, yet 
it is somewhat mysterious that it should be ordered, as the 
deponents testified, to be inserted only when the king was on 
his death bed, that is, about January the 28th, and the will 
purports to be executed three weeks before, on the 30th of 

We must now notice the funerfil of Henry. The ceremony 
was performed with very great pomp, and, while the body lay 
in state at WhitehaU, masses were said every day, so that it 
is as clear as the sun at noon-day, that though Protestants 
are now compelled, in order to qualify for civil o£Sce, to swear 
that the mass is idolatry, yet Cranmer, and all the crew of 
reformers at the beginning of Edward's reign, as well as the 
reign of the first pope of the Bnglish church, believed in and 
followed the doctrine and practice of this great sacrifice. The 
king himself, by his will, left 600Z. a year f(»r masses to be 
said for the repose of his soul ; but this part of his will was 
soon violated, and the money appropriated to other purposes, 
as he had impiously deprived others of the same religious 
benefit. Next followed the coronation of the young king, the 
ceremony of which was much shortened, and an alteration 
was made of so important a nature that we shall give the 
relation in Dr. Lingard's words. '* That the delicate health 
t>f the young king," says the historian, ** might not suffer 
from fatigue, the accustomed ceremony was considerably 
abridged : and, under respect for the laws and constitution of 
the reakn, an important alteration was introduced into that 
part of the form which had been devised by our Saxon ances* 
tors, to put the new sovereign in mind that he held his crown 
by the free choice of the nation. Hitherto it had been the 
custom for the archbishop, first to receive the king's oath to 
preserve the liberties of the realm> and then to ask the people 
if they were willing to accept him, and obey him as their 
liege lord. Now the order was invected : and not only did 
the address to the people precede the oath of the king, but in 

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408 REVIEW OF fox's 

that very address they were reminded diat lie held liis crown 
by descent, and that it was their duty to submit to his rule. 
* Sirs,' said the metropolitan, ' I here present king Edward, 
rightful and undoubted inheritor, by laws of Qod and man, 
to the royal dignity and crown imperial of this realm, whose 
consecrati(m, inunction, and coronation, is appointed by all 
the nobles and peers of the land to be this day. Will ye 
serve, at this time, and give your good wills and assents to 
the same consecration, inunction, and coronation, as by your 
duty of allegiance ye be bound to do ? ' When the acclama* 
tions of the spectators had subsided, the young Edward took 
the accustomed oath, first on the sacrament, and then on the 
book of the gospels. He was next anointed, after the 
anoieht form : the protector and the archbishop placed on his 
head successively three crowns, embleinatic of the three king- 
doms of England, France, and Ireland ; and the lords and 
prelates first did homage two by two, and then in a body pro- 
mised fealty on their knees. Instead of a sermon, Cranmer 
pronounced a short address to the new sovereign, telling him 
that the promises that he had just made could not effect his 
right to sway the sceptre of his dominions. That right he, 
like his predecessors, had derived from GK)d : whence it fol- 
lowed, that neither the bidiop of Bome, nor any other bishop, 
could impose conditions on him at his coronation, ni r pretend 
to deprive him of his crown on the plea that he had brdc^i 
his coronation oath. Yj^t these solemn rites served to ad^ 
monish him of his duties, whidi were,^ as GK)d's vicegerent, and 
Christ's vicar, to see that Gk>d be worsh^^, and idoktiybe 
destroyed that the tyraanyofthe bishop of Rome be banii^edy 
and images be removed ; to rewaid virtue, and revenge vice; 
to justify the innocent, and relieve the pocnr; to repress vio*- 
lence, and execute justice. Let him do this, and he would 
become a second Josias, whose £ame would remam to the end 
of days.' The ceremony was conshidod with a solenm high 
mass, sung by theanchbishop." 

Here we have tSranmer i^;ain upon the csrpei We see 
him not only teaching the young king to look upon himself 

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as holding the sceptre hy divine right, and authorized to jp^r- 
secuU for religious opinions, but we also see him celebrating 
that august sacrifice of the mass^ which had been offered up 
ever since the introduction of Christianity, but which was soon 
after to be abolished, and by the instrumentality of this very 
archbishop. Thus, then, to Cranmer, who is so much extolled 
by the liberty-loving disciples of the Reformation, we may lay 
the loss, in the first instance, of those fundamental principles 
of civil freedom which distinguishes the genuine constitution 
of our country, and the conduct of our forefathers when 
Catholics, and the origin of those bitter grievances which the 
people have sufiered from misrule and faction, Burnet, who 
is the trumpeter of Cranmer, speaks of this deviation for the 
first time frH)m the form devised by our Saxon ancestors, as a 
matter of common place, though he acknowledges the altera- 
tion to have been a " remarkable " one. He says, ** that for- 
merly the king used to be presented to the people at the 
corner of the scaffold, and they were asked if they would have 
him to be their king ? Which looked like a right of an elec- 
tion, rather than a ceremony of investing one that was already 
king. This was now changed, and the people were desired 
only to give assent and good will to his coronation, as by 
duty of allegiance they were bound to do.'' This is the lan- 
guage of a church-of-England bishop, and one too who was 
raised to that dignity by William the Dutchman, who came 
over to this country to dethrone his father-in-law, having 
married James the Second's eldest daughter, Mary, and was 
placed on the English throne during the life-time of James, 
not, indeed, by divine right, but by the consent of the people, 
who, in Edward's reign, we arie told by this bishop, had only 
to give their assent to the coronation as by duty of allegiance 
they were bound to do. Such was the regard which Cranmer, 
in the first instance, and Burnet, after him, had for the rights 
and privileges of the people. 

We must now return again to the modem Book of Martyrs, 
or rather to Burnetts Abridgment, from which the editors 
have selected their account. In order to justify the work of 

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410 BBYIEW OF pox's 

desolation which followed the coronation of Edward YI., 
Bomet makes the following remarks on the Catholic doctrine 
of prajing for the dead : — ^* The pomp of this endowment 
[alluding to Henry's bequest for daily masses for his soul] 
led people to examine into the usefulness of sotU-masses and 
obits, Christ i4>pointed the sacrament for a commemorati<m 
of his death among the living y but it was not easy to conceive 
HOW that was to be applied to departed souls; and it was 
evidently a project for drawing the wealth of the world into 
their hands. In the primitive church there was a com^ 
memoration of the dead, or an honourable remembrance of 
them made in the daily offices. But even this custom grew 
into abussy and some inferred from it, that departed souls, 
unless they were signally pure, passed through a purgation 
in the next life, before they were admitted to heaven ; of 
which St. Austin, in whose time the opinion began to be re^ 
ceivedy says, that it was taken up without any sure ground 
in scripture. But what was wanting in scripture-proof was 
supplied by visions, dreams, and talesy till it was generally 
received. King Henry had acted like one who did not much 
believe it, for he had deprived innumerable souls of the 
masses that were said for them in monasteries, by destroying 
those foimdations. Yet he seems to have intended, that if 
masses could avail the departed souls, he would himself be 
secure ; and as he gratified the priests by this part of his 
endowment, so he pleased the people by appointing sermons 
and alms to be given on such days. Thus he died as he 
had lived, wavering between both persuasions." The modem 
editors have here cut off the paragraph which goes on thus : — > 
^^ And it occasioned no small debate, when men sought to 
find out what his opinions were in the controverted points of 
religion ; for the esteem he was in, made both sides study to 
justify themselves, by seeming to follow his sentiments; the 
one party said, he was resolved never to alter religion, but 
only to cut off some abuses, and intended to go no further 
than he had gone. They did, therefore, vehemently press 
the others to innovate nothing, but to keep things in the 

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state in which he left them, till his son should come of age. 
But the opposite party said, that he had resolred to go a 
great way further, and particularly to turn the mass to a 
communion; and, therefore, religion heing of such con- 
Bequence to the salvation of souls, it was necessary to make 
all the haste in reformation that was fitting and decent." 

This is Burnet *s account, to co?er the shameful rohheries 
that preceded and accompanied the famous, or rather in- 
famous, Reformation, of which he was the historian. Burnet 
was a hishop as well as a writer, but his sacred character did 
not prevent him from being as gi-eat a falsifier as ever sat 
down to write for the purpose of deception. We have proved, 
in the first volume of this Beview, from the testimony of the 
fathers, that Christ appointed the eucharist to be a sacrifice 
as well as a sacrament; that tiiere was a commemoration 
daily made in the mass iot the dead as well as the living, in 
the primitive church ; and that there was no difficulty among 
the faithful, in the pure ages of the church, nor is there any 
now, to conceive how the merits of Christ in the mass are 
applied to departed souls. But it is insinuated that the pro- 
ject of soul-masses and obits or anniversaries, was evidently 
broached for the purpose of drawing the wealth of the world 
into their hands. This insinuation comes with a bad grace 
from a bishop of the established church, whose brethren 
draw a great deal of wealth by their vocation, without doing 
much for it. Burnet forgot, or at least he did not wish his 
readers should know, the vast works of charity that were 
performed by the Catiiolic clergy through the revenues they 
derived from this custom of soul-masses ; whereas, if we 
look to what has been done by the Protestant clergy since 
the change of religion, we shall find litde for them to boast 
of. It is notorious that all the beautiful churches, all the 
noble hospitals, the magoificent monasteries, the colleges 
an^ halls of the universities, the public schools, and, in fact, 
every public building of utility and ornament, were chiefly 
raised by the revenues of the church, aided by the donations 
of pious laymen and women. Not a &rthing was con- 

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412 BEVIEW OF F0X*8 

tributed through compulsory means; the statute book in 
Catholic times does not contain one single clause imposing 
a tax upon the people to support those noble works of our 
forefathers, while it is notorious that numbers of the beautiful 
edifices were destroyed by the reformers, others were con- 
verted into profane uses, and even at this day the people, 
though taxed to the utmost to support a debt caused by a 
profligate and ruinous war, are compelled to pay an impost 
towards erecting new churches, the old ones having been 
suffered to fall into decay. The doctrine of purgatory, 
Burnet says, began to be received about the time of St. 
Austin : this is false, for St. Basil, long before St. Austin 
lived, maintained this doctrine, and Fox called him '' the 
pillar of truth."— (iSctf Review, vol. i. p. 257.) But let St. 
Augustin speak for himself, and then let the reader decide 
whether he said, as this lying bishop asserts, ^' that it [the 
doctrine of purgatory] was taken up without any sure ground 
in scripture." This great luminary of the Catholic church 
writes thus : — " Before the most severe and last judgment, 
some undergo temporal punishments in this life ; some after 
death; and others both now and then. But not all that 
suffer af%er death are condemned to eternal flames. What 
is not expiated in this life, to some is remitted in the life to 
come, so that they may escape eternal punishment." — De 
Cevit. Dei, L, xxi. c, xiii. T. v. p. 1432. " The prayers 
of the church and of some good persons are heard in favour 
of those Christians who depsurted this life, not so bad as to 
be deemed unworthy of mercy, nor so good as to be entitled 
to immediate happiness. So also, at the resurrection of the 
dead, there will some be found to whom mercy will be im- 
parted, having gone through those pains to which the spirits 
of the dead are liable. Otherwise it would not have been 
said of some, with truUi, that their sin shaU not he forgiven, 
neither in this world, nor in the world to come (Matt. xii. 
82), unless some sins were remitted in the next world.'' — 
Ibid, c, xxiv. p. 1446. '' It cannot be thought, that the 
souls of the dead are not relieved by the piety of the living. 

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when the sacrifice of our Mediator is offered for them, or 
alms are distributed in the church. They are benefited, 
who so liyed as to have deserved such favours. For there 
is a mode of life, not so perfect as not to require this assist- 
ance, nor so bad as to be incapable of receiving aid. The 
practice of the church in recommending the souls of the 
departed, is not contrary to the declaration of the apostle, 
which says : We mtist all appear before the judgment- seat 
of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of 
the body, according as Tie hath done, whether it be good or 
evU, (2 Cor. v. 10). For this merit each one, in his life, 
has acquired, to be aided by the good works of the living. 
But all are not idded : and why so ? Because all have not 
lived alike. When, therefore, the sacrifice of the altar or 
ahns are offered for the dead ; in regard to those whose lives 
were very good, such offices may be deemed acts of thanks- 
giving ; acts of propitiation for the imperfect ; and though 
to the wicked they bring no aid, they may give some com- 
fort to the living." — JEnchirtd. c. ex. T. iii. p. 83. " Lord, 
chastise me not in thy anger ; may I not be numbered witli 
those, to whom thou wilt say : Oo into eternal fire, which 
hath been prepared for the devil and his angels. Cleanse 
me so in this life, make me such, that I may not stand in 
need of that purifying fire, designed ^r those who shall be 
saved, yet so as by fire. And why, but because (as the 
apostle says) they have built upon the foundation, wood, 
hay, and stubble f If they had built gold and silver, and 
precious stones, they would be secured from both fires ; not 
only from that in which the wicked shall be punished for 
ever, but likewise from that fire which will purify those who 
shall be saved by fire. But because it is said, he shall be 
saved, that fire is thought lightly of; though the suffering 
will be more grievous than anything man can undergo in 
this life." — In Psal xxxvii. T, viii. p. 127. " It cannot be 
doubted, that, by the prayers of the holy church, and by the 
salutary sacrifice, and by alms which are given for the repose 
of their souls, the dead are helped ; so that God may treat 

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414 ' RBVIBW OF fox's 

them more meroifullj than their sins deserved. This the 
vhole church observes, which it received from the tradition 
of the fathers, to pray for those who died in the communion 
of the body and blood of Christ, when, in their turn, they 
are commemorated at the sacrifice, and it is then announced, 
that the sacrifice is offered for them/' — De verbis Apostolic 
Serm. xxxii. T. i. p. 154. " We read in the second book 
of Maccabees (zii. 43), that sacrifice was offered for the 
dead ; but though, in the old testament, no such words had 
been found, the authority of the universal church must 
suffice, whose practice is incontrovertible. When the priest 
at the altar offers up prayers to God, he recommends in 
them the souls of the departed. When the mind sometimes 
reodlects that the body oi his friend baa been deposited necur 
the tomb of some martyr, he lails not, in prayer, to recom- 
mend the soul to that blessed saint; not doubting that 
succour may thence be derived. Such suffirages must not be 
neglected, which the church performs in general words, that 
they may be benefited who have no parents, nor children, 
nor relations, nor friends." — De cura pro Mortuut, e, i, iv. 
jT. pp. 288 — 290. The same sentimait is repeated through 
the whole treatise, and we now leave it to the unbiassed 
Protestant to decide whether there was any difficulty am^^ng 
Catholic fathers, and jlivines, and people, to oMiceive how 
the efficacy of the mass was applied to departed souls. 

We must allow that Henry acted like one who did not 
believe it, by his depriving so many souls of the benefit con- 
ferred by this Christian and divine sacrifice ; but Harry was 
then blinded by his passions, as Burnet was by his interests ; 
but when Henry came to the last point, and death was stand- 
ing before him, he knew too well the value of this religious 
consolation to reject it at such an awful moment, though the 
Almighty so ordered that he should derive little or no 
advantage from it. In the passage we have added, and the 
modem editors suppressed, Burnet would persuade ns that 
the monster in cnielty, Henry, was held in esteem by both 
parties. But where was the proof of this regard to the 

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deceased tyrant when his last will was neglected almost as 
soon as the hreath had left his body ? One party said he 
resolved never to alter religion, and yet it is very well knoWn 
that he did alter it. The other party contended that he had 
resolved ** to go a great way further, and particularly to turn 
the mass into a eommunion/^ and therefore '* it was necessary 
to make all the haste in reformation that was fitting and 
decent." iiVell said, Gilbert Burnet ; but what authority 
have you for this statement ? If Harry intended to have 
turned the mass into a communion, would he have left such 
a sum of money as he did by his last will, to have masses 
said for the repose of his soul ? Gome, Gilbert, get over 
this awkward predicament. No, no ; it was not the people 
who began to be inquisitive into the use/vlness cff soul^masseSf 
hot the fiEtctious leaders in the work of Bdormation, who cast 
their longing eyes on the goods of the church which had 
escaped the rapacity of the preceding reign, and which they 
coveted the usefulness of for their own private gain. This 
it was that made them in such Tuute to commence the change 
in rdigion, which you, Gilbert Burnet, represent as being 
** of such consequence to the salvation of souls !" Let us 
now have an account of their proceedings from the Book of 
Martyrs, It says : — ^* The nation was in an ill condition for 
a war with such a mighty prince ; — labouring under great 
distractions at home ; the people generally crying out for a 
Beformation, despising the clergy, and loving the new 
preachers. The priests were, Tor the most part, very 
ignorant, and scandalous in their lives ; many of them had 
been monks, and those who were to pay them the pensions 
which were reserved to them at the destruction of the monas- 
teries, till they should be provided, took care to get them into 
some small benefice. The greatest part of the parsonages 
were impropriated, for they belonged to the monasteries, and 
the abbots had only granted the incumbents either the vicar- 
age, or some smsdl donative, and left them the perquisites 
raised by masses and other offices! At the suppression of 
tiiose houses there was no care taken to make provision for 

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416 REVIEW OP pox's 

the incumbents ; so that thej were in some measure compelled 
to continue in their idolatrous practices for subsistance. 

*' Now these persons saw that a reformation of those abuses 
would deprive them oi their means of existence ; and, there- 
fore, they were at first zealous against all changes ; but the 
same principle made them comply with every change which 
was made, rather than lose their benefices. The clergy were 
encouraged in their opposition to the Eeformation by the pro- 
tection they expected from Gardiner, Bonner, and Tonstall, 
men of great reputation, and in power ; and, above all, the 
lady Mary, the next heir to the crown, openly declared 
against all changes till the king should be of age. 

" On the other hand, Cranmer resolved to proceed more 
vigorously ; the protector was firmly united to him, as were 
the young king's tutors, and Edward himself was as mudi 
engaged as could be expected from so young a person ; for 
both his knowledge and zeal for true religion were above his 
age. Several of the bishops also declared for a Eeformation, 
but Bidley, bishop of Eochester, was the person on whom 
Cranmer most depended. Latimer remained with him at 
Lambeth, and did great service by his sermons, which were 
very popular ; but he would not return to his bishojmc* 
choosing rather to ser^e the church in a more disengaged 
manner. Assisted by these persons, Cranmer resolved to 
proceed by degrees, and to give the reasons of ev«py advance 
so fully, that he hoped, by the blessing of God, to convince 
the nation of the fitness of whatsoever should be done, and 
thereby prevent the dangerous opposition that might other- 
wise be apprehended." 

We have here some more of Gilbert's falsehoods, but 
before we proceed to examine them, we must notice a trifling 
liberty the modem editors have taken with their text. We 
have more than once informed the reader that this account 
of the *' progress of the Eeformation," in the modem Book 
of Martyrs, is taken from Gilbert Bumet's " Abridgement 
of the History of the Eeformation," <fec. We have compared 
the above quotation with the original now before us, and we 

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find that Burnet thus speaks of Cranmer : — <^ But on the 
other hand, Cranmer, WHOSB greatest weakness was his 


LIBERTY, resolved to proceed more vigorously," Now, ' 
if the reader will turn to the last paragraph of the quotation, 
it will he seen that all the words we have put in small-capital 
letters have heen omitted hj the modem editors. So, then, 
these exciters of hatred against Popery were ashamed of 
the ohsequiousness of their own dear Tom Cranmer, whose 
slavish compliance, under every circumstance, to the wiU of 
Henry, could not he passed over uncensured, even hy his 
greatest flatterer, Gilbert Burnet. Well, but Tom was now 
at liberty to set about the godly work of Beformation, and it 
is time to see how he went to business. We are told that he 
** resolved to proceed by degrees,** so that the nation might 
be convinced "of the fitness of whatsoever should be done." 
The first proceeding, we are informed, was an order for " a 
general visitation of all the churches in England, which was 
divided into six precincts : and two gentlemen, a civilian, a 
divine, and a register, were appointed for each of these. 
But before they were sent out, a letter was written to all the 
bishops, giving them notice of it, suspending their jurisdic- 
tion while it lasted, and requiring them to preach no where 
but in their cathedrals, and that the other clergy should not 
preach but in their own churchM, without licence ; by which 
it was intended to restrain such as were not acceptable, to 
their own parishes, and to grant the others licences to preach 
in any church of England. The greatest difficulty i^e re^ 
formers found was in the want of able and prudent men ; 
most of the reformed preachers being too hot and indiscreet, 
and the few who were otherwise were required in London, 
and the universities." Here we have more disclosures not 
very creditable to the performers in this scene of civil and 
religious innovation. The commissioners were appointed by 
the privy coundl, and consisted of laymen as well as divines. 
These commissioners, on their arrival in any diocess, assumed 
the spiritual aadiori^ over the bishop himself, who was not 


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418 REVIEW OF fox's 

allowed to preach any where hut in his own cathedral, and 
the other clergy were prohibited from preaching without a 
liceme. The commissioners further summoned the bishops, 
' the clergy, and householders before them, and not pnly com- 
pelled them to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, 
but also to answer such questions on oath as might be put to 
them. Here was a comfortable state of freedom for English- 
men to enjoy I But they had renounced the tyranny of the 
pope, and the slavery of the Catholic church, and therefore 
the despotic restrictions imposed upon them, being cloaked 
with the charm of eyangelieal liberty, the Eeformation of 
religion was hailed as a blessing. What a change was here 
worked for the downfall of England's liberties, and the 
happiness of Englishmen. Heretofore religion was held aa 
of diyine right, and in the exercise of their spiritual functions 
the clergy had always been independent of the crown. Un - 
fettered with the cares of wives and families, and enjoined, 
not only by the canons of the church, but by the laws of the 
kingdom, to follow the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, 
by visiting the sick, comforting the houseless, entertaining 
the stranger, and supporting the poor, their interests became 
identified with the privileges of the people, and they formed 
a barrier agamst the encroachments of the crown and the 
ambition of the nobles. Thus we see, in the tenth century, 
king Edgar, while acting by the advice and counsels of an 
archbishop of Canterbury, St. Dunstan, governing his people 
with the anxiety of a father, and watching the administration 
ot justice with a jealous eye. Falling into the foul sin of 
adultery, he was brought to a sense of his crime, and retraced 
his steps by making atonement for the scandal he had given 
to religion and morality. We are aware that the conduct of 
St. Dunstan has been censured as arrogant and insolent, by 
by many of our modem writers, who wrote for profit and not fov 
truth ; but did the courageous and noble-minded archbishop 
do more than Nathan, who reproved king^ David to his face 
for the offence he had committed ? And would St. Dunstan 
have dared to rq[krove the king had he taken out a oommissioii 

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from Edgar^ as the reforming bbhops did uidet Edward the 

Again, in the eleventh century, we see St. Anselm with- 
standing the innovations attempted bj William Bufus, who,' 
like his Norman father, governed the kingdom more bj his 
own capricious and despotic will than bj the laws and 
customs of the country, established and confirmed by the 
Saxon monarchs. No threats nor persuasions could induce 
the holy Anselm to relinquish his own rights, or sanefcien the 
violation of others. He preferred banishment and poverty 
to ease and riches in his see, and he outlived the tyrant by 
whom he was persecuted. But had Anselm been a man of 
the world, like Tom Cranmer ; had he been encumbOTed with 
a wife and family, like our Protestant prelates ; had he held 
his high possessions through the influence and will of the 
sovereign, would he have had the courage to withstand the 
power of the monarch, and brave the storms which gathered 
around him, in the rigid performance of duty ? Oh^ no ! 
the endearments of his wife, the cries of his children, the 
bve of pleasure, and the fear of distress, would have influenced 
him, and he would probably have been as ready a slave to 
the whims of Hufus, as Tom- Cranmer b acknowledged by 
Burnet to have been to the will of Henry^ and as we shall 
shew him to have been to the will of the protector. 

So, in the next century, we find St. Thomas k Becket re- 
sisting the encroachments meditated by Henry II., in the 
constitution of the country. St. Thomas was the first 
Englishman who rose to any considerable station under the 
Norman race of kings. He was well versed in the canon 
and civil law, was made lord chancellor, and afterwards 
archbishop of Canterbury. On being raised to the primate's 
chair, he resigned his civil office, considering the two offices 
to be incompatible with each other. Henry, like other 
ambitious sovereigns, meditated pretensions contrary to ihe • 
established privileges of the constitution, and he required the 
assent of the archbishop. St Thomas had taken an oath to 
preserve these privileges^ and he refused to violate that oath 

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420 • REVIEW OF fox's 

and the constitution at the same time. This was the head 
and front of the archbishop's offence, and yet to this day hi» 
memory is maligned, and his patriotic firmness misrepresented. 
Even the great Sir Walter Scott, in his last novel, that 
famous vehicle for calumny and abuse of the Catholic 
church, has spoken of the conduct of St. Thomas in the 
most injurious and unjustifiable terms. The archbishop is 
represented by the popular novelist, who, by- the- by, is a 
thorough-paced Tory, as a proud and imperious prelate, 
which impression, we suppose, he borrowed from his country- 
man, Hume. The latter base and unprincipled writer, ^ 
insinuates that St Thomas k Becket was proud and ambitious 
and covered his vicious inclinations with the cloak of sanctity 
and zeal for religion. Had St. Thomas not been a church- 
man, he would probably have been held in as high esteem a» 
the most renowned of our statesmen since the Beformation, 
but it was his misfortune, as the world will say, to be a 
Catholic prelate, and therefore, though his resistance to the 
will of Henry was purely conscientious, and he refrained 
from entering into any party strife, yet he is foully attacked 
by the infidel Hume ; and the rage and violences of Henry, 
which ended in the archbishop's death, are extenuated. Had 
St. Thomas been a panderer and a base violator of his oaths, 
like Cranmer ; had he renounced the visible head of that 
divine religion, through whose influence we owe all that is 
valuable and venerable in our constitution ; had he consented, 
like Cranmer, to become the mere tool and lieutenant of the 
kmg, exercising the functions of his office to cheat the people 
of their rights and customs, and enrich the himgry expectants 
that crowd a vicious court out of the patrimony of the poor, 
we should have seen him extolled as one of the best benefacn 
tors of mai^ind, though he would have been, as Cranmer was, 
the disgrace of his sacred profession, and the curse of this 
once happy country. But St. Thomas was a disinterested 
and firm supporter of the laws and privileges of his country, 
and a Catholic prelate ; it was not fit therefore that the Pro- 
testant people should be told the truth. Cranmer was a base 

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truckler, a yicIoub sensualist, and a traitor to the constitution ; 
but he was an instrument in bringing about that reformation 
which has led to all the evils the country has suffered, and 
will yet suffer — it is therefore necessary that the truth should 
here too be' disguised ; — thus the brave and good prelate is 
represented as ambitious and arrogant for doing his duty ; 
while the corrupt and dissembling prelate, who basely betrayed 
his trust, is described as the paragon of excellence and per- 

In the thirteenth century we have another example of the 
great advantages derived to civil freedom and the people's 
rights, by an independent and disinterested clergy. To 
whom does England owe so much, next to Alfred and Edward 
the confessor, as to cardinal Langton, archbishop of Canter- 
bury, who advised and instructed the barons of England to 
curb the despotic conduct of an unprincipled king, and de- 
mand a restoration of the Saxon laws, which the Norman 
conqueror and his successors had abrogated ? As might be 
expected, John, the reigning monarch, resisted this demand ; 
but, encouraged by the counsels and example of the patriotic 
and inflexible primate, the barons persisted in their claims, 
and at length compelled the king to sign the great charter of 
English liberties, which was faithfully preserved till the 
bloody reign of Henry, the wife aed priest slaughterer, when 
Cranmer and his associates in the work of reform, or rather 
of devastation, consented to its violation, by making the 
church the footstool of the state, and placing its ministers in 
subserviency to the will of the king and his courtiers. 

Burnet has confessed that Cranmer was over obsequious to 
the will of Henry y nor was he less compliant to the will of 
the lord protector, after he was released from the control of 
the lustful and inexorable despot. On attaining the summit 
of power, Hertford aUowed Cranmer to make some progress 
in what they called a reform, without the consent of par- 
liament, and Cranmer, in return, assured the protector that 
he would find the episcopal order, who now held their sees 
durmg the pleasure of the crown, ready instruments to fulfil 

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422 REVIEW OF fox's 

the wishes of their masters. Gardiner was the only hishop 
who stood out for episcopal rights, and he soon found himself 
in a prison. But what does Bmnet himself say of the ca- 
pahilities and character of the reformers ? ^^ The greatest 
difficulty the reformers found was the want oi able and jpru- 
dent mm; most of the reformed prbaohers being too 
HOT and INDISCREET, and the few who were otherwise were 
required in London and the universities. Therefore (he 
adds) they intended to make those as common as was possible, 
and appointed them to preach as itinbrants and visitors." 
The latter sentence of this quotation the wise editors of the 
modem Book of Martyrs have suppressed, thinking, we 
suppose, it reflected no great credit on the work they were 
extolling. But what, gentle reader, will you say of that 
Keformation which was not performed by *^ able and prudent 
men," but was the work of ** Ao< aud indiscreet " preachers ? 
Could a change of religion be good and true that had such 
hands to produce it ? The Catholic religion was first founded 
by the apostles, who were inspired men, and renowned for 
their virtues, prudence, and invincible constancy. They 
selected others equally eminent for piety, integrity, and 
purity of conduct, to carry the faith delivered to them to 
other nations, and we find by the page of history, that king*- 
dom after kingdom was subdued to the Catholic faith by holy, 
able, and prudent men, till, in a word, the whole world had 
been converted from Paganism, and acknowledged the cross 
of Christ. We have it in the annals of our own country, 
that, at the close of the sixth century, St. Gregory the 
Gh'eat, who then filled the chair oi St. Peter at Eome, sent 
a holy and prudent man, St. Augustin, to preach the Catholic 
faith to the Saxon inhabitants of Britain, and that, aided by 
other able and prudent men, the whole island, in a ^ort 
i^Mtce of time, became Catholic, and so continued through a 
series of nine hundred years, producing, during that period, 
the most just laws, the most valiant and wise kings, noUes, 
and legislators, the most pious and charitable prelates and 
priests, and the moi^ learned and exp^ienced sdiolars. And 

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now we are unblushinglj told, bj the panegjristB of what is 
galled " THE Reformation," that the change from Catho- 
licism to Protestantism was the work of men who were wholly 
destitute of the qualities requisite to be a true servant of 
religion, being devoid of prudence and ability, and influenced 
by passion and indiscretion. From such a tree is it possible 
that good fruit could come ? Need we wonder at the nu- 
merous evils that have sprung from this unhappy change 
from good to bad; from a system of perfect liberty and 
justice, to a chaos of licentiousness and oppression? The 
wonder is, that the people have remained so long under the 
reign of folly and delusion, but that wond^ ceases when we 
reflect on the pains taken by interested and unprincipled 
writers to disguise and deface the truth, which, however, has 
been preserved by the care of learned and trusty scholars, 
and we rejoice to say is now making rapid progress among a 
people so long the dupes of designing men, an illustration of 
which we shall now proceed to give the reader. 

Speaking of the progress of this hitherto unheard-of visi- 
tation, the editors of the modem Book of Martyrs say ; — 
" The injunctions made by Cromwell, in the former reign, 
for instructing the people, for removing images, and putting 
down all other customs abused to superstition ; for reading 
the scriptures, saying the litany in English, for frequent 
sermons and catechising, for the exemplary lives of the 
clergy, their labours in visiting the sick, reconciling differ- 
ences, and exhorting the people to charity, <&c., were now 
renewed ; and all who gave livings by simoniacal bargains, 
were declared to have forfeited their right of patronage to 
the king. A great charge was also given for ihe strict ob- 
servation of the Lord*s day, which was appointed to be spent 
wholly in the service of God, it not being enough to hear 
mass or matins in the morning, and spend the rest of the 
day in drunkenness and quarrelling, as was commonly prac- 
tised ; but it ought to be all employed, either in the duties 
of religion, or in acts of charity. Direction was also given 
for the saying of prayers, in which the king, as supreme 

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head, the queen, and the king's sisters, the protector and 
council, and all orders of persons in the kingdom, were to 
he mentioned. Injunctions were also given for the hishops 
to preach four times a year in all their diocesses, once in 
their cathedral, and thrice in any other church, unless they 
had a good excuse to the contrary; that their chaplains 
should preach often ; and that they should give orders to 
none hut to such as were duly quidified. The visitors, at 
length, ended the visitation, and in London and every part 
of England, the images — for refusing to how down to whichy 
many a saint had been bumt^^were now committed to the 
flames." What we hav« here quoted is a selection from 
Burnet, with an addition of their own. The modem editors 
have shamefully violated the truth in stating that many a 
SAINT had heen burned for refusing to bow down to images, 
as there is not a single burning on record f(Nr such an offence. 
We challenge the assertors to the proof, and we boldly defy 
them to produce one authenticated case of a saint, or even a 
sinner, having suffered for refusing to bow down to an image. 
What can we think of that cause which requires FALSEHOOD 
for its support ? What are we to think of those men who 
can have recourse to such detestable practices to vilify and 
malign their neighbour's good name, and blind the unsus- 
pecting reader? Having detected this addition to Burnet's 
tales, we shall now notice a stippression which the modem 
editors have been guilty of, on a very important subject. 
Among the directions given for praying, Burnet says, " they 
were idso to pray for departed souls, that at the last 
day we with them might rest both body and soul.** This 
order too clearly proved that the reformers in Edward's day 
held, at first, the doctrine of purgatory and praying for the 
dead^ which they afterwards abolished, when they had 
stripped the church of all the chantries, and violated the 
testamentary deeds of their ancestors, by appropriating the 
money left for masses for the repose of the souls of the 
testators, to their own use. So dear a testimony of the 
Catholic doctrine, though recorded by Bumet, was too much 

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for the modem editors, who profess to convey a true know- 
ledge of Ghrastianity to their readers, and therefore it was 
omitted. Thus the ignorant reader is confirmed in his 
ignorance, while they pretend to have the desire of enlight- 
ening him. The modem editors could not be ignorant 
themselves that this doctrine was not only enjoined, but even 
Jbilotvedhj Granmer and his associates at this time, for 
Collier, in his Ecelesiaatical History , alluding to the death of 
the king of France, Francis I., on which occasion the in- 
junction suppressed by the modem editors was observed by 
the too hot and indiscreet preachers, says : — <' on the 19th 
of June, a dirge was sung for him in all the churches of 
London. The choir of St. Paul's was hung with mourning, 
and no other circumstance of state or solemnity omitted. 
The archbishop of Canterbury (Cranher), with eight other 
bishops, in their richest pfrntifieal habits, sung A mass ad 
requiem, and a sermon was preached by Dr. Eidley, elect of 
Eochester." So, then, the reforming bishops, with Cranmer 
at their head, did not scmple to celebrate that august sacrifice 
which Protestants now swear is damnable idolatry, to qualify 
themselves for office under the crown of England. But it 
was necessary to keep up appearances for the present ; there- 
fore, while these hypocrites were complying with the forms 
of the old religion, the preachers were ordered to inveigh 
against the doctrines of the Catholic church, in order to 
prepare the people for the change which the courtiers medi- 
tated. These proceedings did not pass, however, without 
opposition. Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, and some 
other of the prelates, stood so stoutly in the old belief, that 
neither threats nor persuasions could move them ; and the 
princess Mary, afterwards queen, wrote to the protector, 
telling him that the changes made and about to be made, 
<' were contrary to the honour due to her father's memory, 
and that it was against their duty to the king to enter upon 
such points, and endanger the public peace, before he was of 
age." The protector wrote for answer, " that her father had 
died before he could finish the good things he had intended 

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concerning religion ; and had ex|Hres8ed his regret, both 
before himself and many others, that he left things in so 
unsettled a state ; and assured her, that nothing should be 
done but what would turn to the glorj of God, and the king's 
honour/' What hypocrisy and blasphemy ! We shall soon 
see how far the glory of God, and the honour of the king 
was respected by these base and iniquitous scourges of a once 
happy people. 

The Book of Martyrs next proceeds to detail the new acts 
passed by the first and only parliament of Edward, but it 
does not furnish us with the origin of this parliament. The 
mode of selecting it was so dissimilar to the elections in the 
time of Catholicism, and was attended with such dire conse- 
quences to the nation at large, tiiat we shall give it in the 
words of Dr. Heylin, a Protestant diyine, from his History 
of the Reformation. The doctor says: — " And now it is high 
time to attend the parliament, which took beginning on the 
fourth of November and was prorogued on the twenty-fourth 
of December following : in which the ciffds were so well 
packed by Sir Ealph Sadler, that there was no need of any 
other shuffling till the end of the game. This very parlia- 
ment, without any sensible alteration of the members of it, 
being continued by prorogation from session to session, until 
at last it ended by the death of the king. For a preparatory 
whereunto Ridiard lord Rich was made lord chancellor on 
the twenty-fourth of October ; and Sir John Baker chan- 
cellor of the court of first fruits and tenths, was nominated 
speaker for ihe House of Commons. And that all things 
might be carried with as little opposition and noise as might 
be, it was thought fit that bishop Gardiner should be kept in 
prison till the end of the session ; and that bishop Tonstal 
of Durham (a man of a most even and moderate spirit) 
should be made less in reputation, by being deprived of his 
place at the council table. And though the parliament con- 
sisted of such members as disagreed amongst themselves in 
respect of religion, yet they agreed well enough together in 
one common principle, which was to serve the present time 

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and preserve themselves. For though a great part of the 
nobility, and not a few of the chief gentry in the House of 
Commons, were cordially affected to the church of Borne ; 
yet were they willing to give way to all such acts and 
statutes as were made against it, out of a fear of losing such 
church lands as they were possessed of, if tliat religion should 
prevail and get up again. And for the rest, who either were 
to make, or improve their fortunes, there is no question to 
be made, but that they came resolved to further such a re- 
solved to further such a Beformation, as should most visibly 
qonduce to the advancement of their several ends. Which 
appears plainly by the strange mixture of the acts and re- 
sults thereof; some tending simply to Qod's glory, and the 
good of the church ; some to the present benefit and enrich- 
ing of particular persons ; and some again being devised of 
purpose to prepare a way for exposing the revenues of the 
church unto spoil and rapine.'^ Look at Uiis account, sensible 
reader, and then go back to the time of John, when Langton 
and the barons stipulated for the nation's freedom and rights. 
•Alas, what a change ! When the Catholic religion flonridied, 
the parliaments were freely elected, and lasted only during 
the session, so that parliaments were as frequent as they were 
free. It was only in the preceding reign that parliaments 
were packed to carry the changes and inroads on the religion 
and constitution of the country against the will of the people, 
and we here see how the system of corruption was improved 
upon. Here we have an assemblage of men influenced by 
the basest motives, and packed for the worst ends, legislating 
for the church as well as the state, and forming new articles 
of faith, at the whim of the moment. Here we have it 
avowed that they were actuated not with a love of country or 
of truth, but with the sordid view of enriching themselves by 
the spoil and rapine of the revenues of the church, which 
had already suffered severely in the former reign. Here it 
is distinctly stated that the Eepormation, as it is called, 
was promoted by laymen under the fear that they would be 
obliged, in the event of the old order of things being restored, 

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to give up the ill-gotten goods they were possessed of, wldch 
did not suit their worldly views. Such then was the origin 
of that change of religion which took place in this country 
in the sixteenth century, after having heen Catholic nine 
hundred years. Is it possible that the change could be good, 
springing as it ,did from such a source ? 

Of the acts passed by this parliament, some were of a 
civil nature, and others regarded matters of conscience. 
The most material, however, was the act for placing the 
funds of the chantries, colleges, free chapels, and hospitals, 
which had escaped the rapacity of the late king, at the dis- 
posal of the reigning monarch, that he might employ them 
in providing for the poor, increasing the salaries of the 
preachers, and endowing free shools for the diffusion of learn- 
ing. All this however was no more than pretence ; for the 
harpies of the court took especial care that very little of the 
spoil should he applied to public purposes. Dr. Heylin says 
there were then no less than ninety colleges, which being for ^ 
the ends of education, why were they destroyed to make room 
for free schools ? Ofthis we shall say more hereafter. Another 
act was for the regulation of the election of bishops, by which 
the originators intended to weaken the episcopal authority^ 
" by forcing them," writes Dr. Heylin, ** from their strong 
hold of divine institution, and making them no other than 
the king's mmisters only, his ecdesiastical sheriffs (as a man 
might say), to execute his will, and disperse his mandates. 
And of this act [continues the doctor] such use was made 
(though possible beyond the true intention of it), that the 
bishops of those times were not in a capacity of conferring 
orders, but as they were thereunto impowered by especial 
licence. The tenor whereof (if Sanders is to be believed) 
was in these words following : viz. the king to such a bishop, 
greeting, whereas all and all manner of jurisdietion, as weU 
ecclesiastical as civU, flows from the king as from ike «»- 
pr&me head of all the body, Sfc. We therefore give and 
grant to thee full power and licence, to continue during our 
good pleasure, for holding ordination within thg diocess of 



N, and for promoting fit persom unto holy orders, even to 
that of the priesthood. Which being looked on by queen 
Mary, not only as a dangerous diminution of the episcopal 
power, but as an odious innovation in the church of Christy 
she caused this act to be repealed in the first year of her 
reign, leaving the bishops to depend on their former claim, 
and to act all things which belonged to their jurisdiction in 
their own names, and under their own seals, as in former 
times. In which estate they have continued, without any 
legal interruption, from that time to this. But in the first 
branch there was somewhat more than what appeared at the 
first sight : for, though it seemed to aim at nothing but that 
the bishops should depend wholly on the king for their pre- 
ferment to those great and eminent places ; yet the true drift 
of the design was to make deans and chapters useless for the 
time to come, and thereby to prepare them for a dissolution.'' 
But the most arbitrary and diabolical piece of tyranny 
, remains yet to be recorded. This was the act legalizing 
8LAY£BY in once free England, under the pretence of sup- 
pressing mendicity. Thb circumstance we must give in the 
words of Dr. Lingard. — ** The mendicants, who had formerly 
obtiuned relief at the gates of the monasteries and convents, 
now wandered in crowds through the country, and by their 
numbers and importunities often extorted alms from the 
intimidated passenger. To abate this nuisance a statute was 
enacted, which will call to the recollection of the reader the 
barbarous manners of our pagan forefathers. Whoever * lived 
idly and loiteringly for the space of three days,' came under 
the description of a vagabond, and was liable to the following 
punishment. Two justices of the peace might order the 
letter V to be burnt on his breast, and adjudge him to serve 
^e informer two years as his slave. His master was bound 
to provide him with bread, water, and refuse meat ; might fix 
an iron ring round his neck, arm or leg, and was authorized 
to compel him to * labour at any work, however vile it might 
be, by beating, chaining, or otherwise.' If the slave absented 
himself a fortnight, the letter S was burnt on his cheek or 

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forehead, and he hecame a slave for life : and if he offended 
a second time in the like manner, his flight suhjected him ta 
the penalties of felony. Two years later this severe Btatote 
was repealed." Burnet attempts to soften the severity of 
this infamous deed of the evangelical reformers, hy insinua- 
ting that it was ** chiefly intended to operate against the 
vagrant monks who went about the country infusing into the 
people a dislike of the government; " but Lingard in a note 
on this law, says, — ** Similar penalties were enacted against 
clerks convict, who were nt> longer to make their purgation. 
Hence it has been inferred, I conceive eironeoudy, that the 
sevoity of the statute was chiefly directed against some of 
the monks who are supposed to have become beggars, and to ' 
have railed against the government. (Burnet, ii. 45.) The 
young king in his journal calls it * an extreme law.' (Edward's 
Joiu*nal in Bum. p. 5)." 

Of this law for making shves of Englishmen it is impos- 
sible to speak in measured language, or to stifle those feelings 
of indignation which arise at the very thought of sudi a 
measure. What would a Langton, what would our Catholic 
ancestors have said or done, had such a tyrannous and 
diabolical law been proposed to make slaves of them, in case 
they felt the iron hand of poverty ? Well, thank Heaven, 
this law was the fruit of Protestant legislation ; it was an 
offspring of the Beformation which Englishmen are now 
taught to praise and admire, while a majority of them are 
steeped in misery, and numbers are made to supply the place 
of beasts of burden. Talk of the tyranny of the pope ; of 
the slavery of Popery ! Alas ! who are greater slaves than 
the labourers of England at this moment, who are not allowed 
to reap the profit of their labour, but are compelled to give 
more than one third of it to support a race of idle and pro- 
fligate tax-eaters. In some measure the present state of 
England is not unlike the state she was in under Edward VI. 
Schemes were entered into then to su^ress mendicity^ which 
had been increased to a frightful degree by the rapacioiia 
spoliations of the court ; and schemes have been proposed in 

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our days to reduce the population iu consequeucc of the in- 
crease of pauperism arising from the plundering of state 
cormorants. Masters were authorized hj Edward's statute 
to cause the dave to perform any work, however vile, by 
beating and chaining ; and in our own days men have been 
harnessed to carts to drag gravel, by order of the overseers^ 
and the whip is only wanted to complete the paralleL 

There is one other act of this parliament of Edward which 
we must not overlook. It is that which legalised the mar- 
riages of the parsons^ and legitimated their children. . By 
t^is law a heavy burden was entailed on the people, and the 
tithes which heretofore had gone to repair churches smd feed 
the poor, were not only given solely to the parsons, but were 
found inadequate to maintain them, and millions have been 
voted to support the poor clergy out of the public taxes. 
The church and the poor were thrown upon the land and 
trade ; the parsons' sons and daughters are many of them 
fastened upon the taxes through the sinecure and half-pay 
lists ; and the bishops are not unmindful of their families, as 
they take care to promote their sons and sons-^in-law to 
benefices in preference to others, though perhaps more able 
candidates, and thus the church propei ty is made a kind of 
family patrimony between the patrons and the prelates. 
Now this was not the case in Catholic times ; then the poor 
man's son stood as good a chance of a parish or a mitre, if 
he possessed merit and abilities, as the son of the most power* 
fill nobleman ; and the property of the church, as we have 
before observed, was expimded in useful and charitable pur- 
poses. This is one of the blessings of the Eeformatiom, 
and, to throw dust in the eyes of the people, these parsons 
are ever and anon reviling the Catholic church for not allow- 
ing her ministers to marry, contending that it is contrary to 
the word of God, though the word is more in favour of 
celibacy than otherwise. But what shall we say, after all 
the abuse that has been lavished on Ci^holics since the com- 
mencement of the glorious work of refoim, and especially 
after the passing of the parson-marrying ]atn, to the schemes 

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lately proposed, and we believe actually brought into parlia- 
tnent, to prevent the Poor from marrying I Not, reader, 
the poor clergymen, but the poor laymen and women. And 
this infernal proposition originated, too, with a Protestant 
parson. How glorious is the inconsistency, and how great 
the blessings of Protestantism I 

Before we proceed further, we must recall the reader's 
attention to the consequences which resulted from the act 
which granted possession of chantries, colleges, <fec., to the 
king. Of these establishments, besides the greater and 
lesser monasteries, which had been dissolved by Harry, the 
number was computed to be about 2374, all endowed widi 
lands, pensions, and moveable goods, to an immense value. 
" Whwi the law passed," says Mr. Collier, " for their dis- 
solution, the act promised the estates o[ these foundations 
should be converted to good and yo<% tueSf in erecting 
grammar schools, in further augmenting universities, and 
better provision for the poor and needy. But these lands 
being mostly shared amongst the courtiers, and others of the 
rich laity, the promise of the preamble was, in a great 
measure, impracticable." Dr. Heylin is more diffuse in re-* 
lating the rapacious and scandalous proceedings of this reign, 
in his History of the Reformation, As many of the present 
aristocracy owe^ their estates and rank to the spoliations and 
sacrileges of the courtiers of Henry and Edward, and as the 
work of Br. Heylin is little known at this time, and the 
transactions he alludes to, much less, from the base cupidity 
of our popular historians, who wrote for lucre^ and not for 
truth, we will here give the doctor's words, which, though 
long, will, nevertheless, be deemed important and interesting. 
He writes : — '' In the next place, we must attend the king's 
commissioners, dispatched in the beginning of March into 
every shire throughout the realm, to take a survey of all 
colleges, free-chapels, chantries, and brotherhoods, within 
the compass of the statute or act of parliament. According 
to the return of whose commissions, it would be found no 
difficult matter to put a just estimate and xalue on so great 

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a gift, or to know how to parcel out» proportion, and diyide 
the spoil betwixt all such, who had before in hope devoured 
it. In the first place, as lying nearest, came in the free- 
chapel of St. Stephen, originally founded in the palace at 
Westminster, and reckoned for the chapel-royal of the court 
of England. The whole foundation consisted of no fewer 
than thirty- eight persons : viz., one dean, twelve canons, 
thirteen vicars, four clerks, six choristers, besides a verger, 
and one that had the charge of the chapel. In place of whom, 
a certain number were appointed for officiating the daily ser- 
vice in the royal chapel (gentlemen of the chapel they are 
commonly called), whose salaries, together with thai- of the 
choristers and other servants of the same, amount to a round 
yearly sum : and yet the king, if the lands belonging to that 
chapel had been together, and honestly laid unto the crown, 
had been a very rich gainer by it ; the yearly rents thereof 
being valued at 1085/. IO5. 5d. As for the chapel itself, 
together with a cloister of curious workmanship^ built by John 
Chambers, one of the king's physicians, and the master of the 
same, they are still standing as they were ; the chapel having 
been since fitted and employed for an house of commons in all 
times of parliament. 

** At the same time also fell the college of St. Martin's, 
commonly called St. Martin's le Grand, situate in the city of 
London, not far from Aldersgate : first founded for a dean 
and secular canons, in the time of the conqueror, and after- 
wards privileged for a sanctuary ; the rights whereof it con- 
stantly enjoyed, without interruption, till all privilege of 
sanctuary was suppressed in this realm by king Henry YIII. 
But the foundation itself being now found to be superstitious, 
it was surrendered uito the hands of king Edward VI. ; who 
after gave the same, together with the remaining liberties and 
precincts thereof to the church of Westminster : and they, to 
make the best of the king's donation, appointed, by a chi^ter 
held the seventh of July, that the body of the church, with 
the choir and isles> should be leased out for fifty years, at 
the rent of five marks per annum, to one H. Keeble, of 

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London ; excepting out of the said grant, the heUs, lead, stone, 
timher, glass, and iron, to he sold and disposed of for the sole 
use and henefit of the said dean and chapter. 'Which foul 
transaction heing made, the church was totally pulled down, 
a tavern huilt in the east part of it : the rest of the site of 
the said church and college, together with the whole precinct 
thereof, heing huilt upon with several tenements, and let out 
to strangers ; who very industriously affected to dwell therein 
(as the natural English since have done) in regard of the pri- 
vileges of the place, exempted from the jurisdiction of the 
lord mayor and sheriffs of London, and governed hy such 
officers^imongst themselves as ai*e appointed thereunto by the 
chapter of Westminster. 

*' But for this sacrilege the church of Westminster was 
called immediately in a manner to a soher reckoning ; for 
the lord protector, thinking it altogether unnecessary that two 
cathedrals should he founded so near one another, and think- 
ing that the church of Westminster (as being of a late 
foundation) might best be spared, had cast a longing eye upon 
the godly patrimony which remained unto it. And being 
then unfrimished of a house or palace proportionable unto his 
greatness, he doubted not to find room enough upon the dis- 
solutioD and destruction of so laige a fabrick, to raise a palace 
equal to his vast designs. Which coming to the ears of Benson; 
the last abbot and first dean of the church, he could bethink 
himself of no other means to preserve the whole, but by part- 
ing, for the present, with more than half the estate which 
belonged unto it. And thereupon a lease is made of seven- 
teen manors and good farms, lying almost altogether in the 
county of Gloucester, for the term of ninety-nine years; 
which they presented to the lord Thomas Seymour, to serve 
as an addition to his manor at Sudley : humbly beseeching 
him to stand their good lord and patron, and to preserve tbem 
in a fair esteem with the lord protector. Another present of 
aJmost as many manors and farms, lying in the counties of 
Gloucester, Worcester, and Hereford, was made for the like 
term to Sir John Mason, a special confidant of the duke's ; 

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BOt for his own, but for the use of his great master ; which, 
after the duke's fall, came to Sir John Bourn, principal secre- 
tary of the state in the time of queen Mary. And yet this 
would not serve the turn till they had put into the scale their 
manor of Islip, conferred upon that church by king Edward 
the Confesiaor ; to which no fewer than two hundred customary 
tenants owed their soil and service : and being one of the 
best wooden things in those parts of the realm, was to be 
granted also without impeachment of waste, as it was accord- 
ingly. By means whereof the deanery was preserved for the 
later times : how it succeeded with the bishopric we shall see 
hereafter. Thus Benson saved the deanery, but he lost him- 
self ; for, calling to remembrance that formerly he had been 
a means to surrender the abbey, and was now forced on the 
necessity of dilapidating the estate of the deanery, he fell into 
a great disquiet of mind, which brought him to his death 
within a few months after." 

The doctor then goes on : — " I had not singled these two 
(I mean St. Nfartin*s and St. Stephen's) out of all the rest, but 
they were the best and richest in their several kinds, and that 
there was more depending on the story of them than on any 
others. But ' bad examples seldom end where they first 
began.' For the nobility and inferior gentry, possessed of 
patronages, considering how much the lords and great men 
of the court had improved their fortunes by the suppression 
of those chanteries and other foundations, which had been 
granted to the king, conceived themselves in a capacity of 
doing the like, by taking into their hands the yearly profits 
of those benefices, of which, by law, they were entrusted with 
the presentations. Of which abuse, complaint is made by 
bishop Latimer, in his printed sermons. In which we find, 
' that the gentry at that time invaded the profits of the church, 
leaving the title only to the incumbent : and that chantery 
priests were put by them into several cures, to save their pen- 
sions ; (p. 38.) that many benefices were laid out in free 
fanms, (p. 71.) or given unto servants, for keeping of 
hounds, hawks, and horses, and for making of gardens 
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436 BEVIBW OF F0X*8 

(pp. 91, 114).' And finally, * tliat the poor defgy being kept to 
some sorry pittances, were forced to put themselves into gen- 
tlemen's houses, and there to serve as clerks of the kitchen, 
surveyors, receivers, &c. (p. 241)/ All which enormities 
(though tending so apparently to the dishonour of God, the 
disservice of the church, and the disgrace oi religion) were 
generally connived at by the lords and others, who only had 
the power to reform the same ; because they could not question 
those who had so miserably invaded the church's patrimony, 
without condemning of themselves/' 

Here let us pause a moment, and reflect upon the scenes 
thus described, and those which have passed since they 
occurred. What apology can be offered for the outrages thus 
committed ? Could Popery, with all its imputed corruptions 
and oppressions, produce calamities equal to what befel the 
country under the hands of the evangelical reformers ? Burnet 
tells us the clergy were ignorant in the time of Popery ; 
but the vast amount of valuable books and manuscripts de- 
stroyed by the sackings and burnings of public libraries, 
proved the careful regard in which learning was held by the 
calumniated Catholic clergy, and the little value that was set 
upon it by the reformers. See toathe respect shewn by the 
godly reformers for the clergy, by causing them to serve the 
most menial offices in their families, to avoid the horrors of 
starvation. Then again the appropriation of a portion of the 
tithes to lay purposes, many of the lords and gentry at this 
day deriving a part of their income from the tithes thus 
diverted from their original purport. Ail these things 
considered, and many more that might be added, can any 
reasonable being conceive that religion had any hand in thb 
pretended Beformation, unless, indeed, to cloak the villanies 
of the devastators ? Oh ! how deeply have the people had 
gccasion to deplore this eventful period. Penalties upon 
penalties have been enacted to restrain their comfort and 
abridge their liberties. New offences have been heaped upon 
each other in the statute book, till the most wary have reason 
to fear they may become trespassers. From the time of iht 

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separation of this kingdom from the oharch of Borne, the laws 
have heen multiplied a hundred fold, and so numerous axfi 
they grown, and^ so complicated in their hearings, that the 
wisest lawyer existing caimot digest them. Taxes have heen 
imposed on the people till the country is hrought nearly to 
the hnnk of ruin, and, as in the time of Edward, while the 
rich are rioting in luxury, the working classes are starring in 
the midst of plenty. 

Among other devices in the work of reform was the «hO'- 
lition of certain religious ceremonies, and the curtailment of 
the amusements of the people. Of these the BooJc of 
Martyrs, following Burnet, speaks thus :— *' Candlemas and 
Jjent were now approaching, and the clergy and people were 
much divided with respect to the ceremonies usual at those 
times. By some injunctions in Henry's reign, it had heen 
declared that fasting in Lent was only hinding hy a positive 
law. Wakes and Plough-Mondays were also suppressed, and 
hints were given that other customs, which were much ahused, 
should be shortly done away. The [Burnet s&js gross] rabble 
loved these things, as matters of diversion, and thought divine 
worship without them would be but a dull business. But 
others looked on them as relics of heathenism, and thought 
they did not become the gravity and simplicity of the Chris- 
tian religion." We doubt much that the customs thus alluded 
to were abused, at least to any great extent. But allowing 
they were abused, why not endeavour to remove the abuse, and 
not abolish the custom. Why deprive the people of their 
diver^ons, which had been so long standing, and afforded 
mirth and recreation to lighten labour and poverty ? The 
answer is obvious. The retention of the customs would have 
reminded the people of the old religion, and of the sad 
changes which had been made by the lamentable plans of the 
reformers, and therefore it was deemed best to do away with 
the innocent enjoyments, as well as with the more solemn 
religious rites, which the Catholics had introduced to remind* 
man of his Maker, and cheer him in his pilgrimage through 
life. Next followed a general order for the removal of alL 

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images out of the churches, and stripping the sacred edifices 
of all unnecessary furniture. To this species of rohbery 
bishop Hooper contributed largely by his doctrine. This 
reforming prelate was much displeased at the word altar, as 
well as the situation of it. He therefore exerted himself to 
have all the altars removed, and a table to be placed in the 
middle of the chanceL Such a scheme was very serviceable 
to those who had cast their eyes on the rich decorations 
which adorned the Catholic cathedrals and churches. The 
pretence was the superstitions and abuses occasioned by the 
use of images, &c., but the real design was that of plunder. 
Notwithstanding the vast treasure obtained by the confisca- 
tion of the chantries, colleges, &c., the king's exchequer was 
in an empty condition, and it was thought to replenish it by 
seizing the images, vestments, jewels, crosses, and other 
costly utensils and ornaments of the church. Commissioners 
were accordingly appointed to secure the delivery of these 
spoils for the king's use. But, writes Doctor Heylin, — ** In 
all great fairs and markets there are some forestallers, who 
get the best pennyworth themselves, and suffer not the richest 
and most gainful commodities to be openly sold. And so it 
fared also in the present business, there being some who were 
as much beforehand with the king's commissioners in em- 
bezzling the said plate, jewels, and other furnitures, as the 
commissioners did intend to be with the king, in keeping all 
or most part unto themselves. For when the commissioners 
came to execute their powers in their different circuits, they 
neither could discover all, or recover much of that which had 
been purloined ; some things being utterly embezzled by per- 
sons not responsible ; in which case the king as well as the 
commissioners was to lose his right ; but more concealed by 
persons not detectable, who had so cunningly carried the 
stealth, that there was no tracing of their footsteps. And 
some there were, who, being known to have such goods in 
their possession, conceived themselves too great to be called 
in question ; connived at willingly by those who were but 
their equals, and either were or meant to be offenders in the 

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"very same kind. So that although some profit was thereby 
raised to the king's exchequer, yet the far greatest part of 
the prey came to other hands ; insomuch that many private 
men's parlours were hung Mrith altar cloths, their tables and 
•beds covered with copes, instead of carpets and coverlits ; and 
■many made carousing cups of the sacred chalices, as once 
Belshazzar celebrated his drunken feast in the sanctified 
vessels of the Temple. It was a sorry house^ and not worth, 
the naming, which had not somewhat of this furniture in it, 
though it were only a fair large cushion made of a cope or 
^tar cloth, to adorn their windows, or make their chairs ap- 
pear to have somewhat in them of a cTiair of state. Yet 
how contemptible were these trappings in comparison of thosi3 
vast sums of money, which were made of jewels, plate, and 
cloth of tissue, either conveyed beyond the seas, or sold at 
Lome, and good lands purchased with the money ; nothing 
ihe more blessed to the posterity of them that bought ihem, 
for being purchased with the consecrated treasures of so 
many temples.'^ Mr. Collier, speaking of the same depre- 
dations, says : — '* This order for undressing churches was, it 
seems, represented to the king [as Burnet relates the fact] as 
an inoffensive expedient, and only calling for the superfluous 
plate, and other goods that lay in churches, more for pomp 
than for use. But those who called these things superfluous, 
and shewed so slender a regard for the honour of religion, 
were none of the best reformers. Had these people governed 
in the minority of Josiah, as they did in this of Edward YI., 
they would, in all likelihood, have retrenched Hie expense of 
the Mosaic institution, and served God at a more frugal rate. 
They would have disfumished the Temple of most of the gold 
plate, carried off the unnecessary magnificence, and left but 
little plunder for Nebuchadnezzar." 

While these nefarious practices were going on among the 
factious lay reformers, Cranmer and his apostate bishops were 
engaged in forming a new Uturgy, or office for the new 
ehurdi about to he established hy law, but now supported by 
the power and authority of the crown. Previous however to 

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this measure, Oranmer had published a cateditsm, **hr^be 
singular profit and instruction of children and young peo|de ;** 
and it is well descrying notice, indeed it is a thing not to be 
forgotten, that in this yerj catechism^ Cranmer comprises the 
prohibition of false gods and of images under one command- 
ment, as is the case with the Catholic catechism, and teaches 
that in the communion are receiyed with the bodily mouth 
THE fiODT AND BLOOD OF Ohrist ; iuculcatos, in strong terms, 
the adyantages of con/etaion and absolution, and attributes 
the origin of ecclesiastical jurisdictl<m to Christ, in a manner 
which seems to do away with his former opinion on the same 
subject. Now, howeyer, the doctrine was to be chan^rBXkd 
some new method was to be deyised, with a yiew to consum- 
mate the separation of the kingdom irom the mother and 
mistress of fdl Christian churches. The Book of Martyrt 
says : '^ The first step that was now taken was to make a new 
office fixr the communion, that is, the distribution of the 
jsacrament, for the office of consecration was not at this time 
touched. In the exhortation, auricular confesMOn to a priest 
is left free to be done or (miitted, and all w^e required not 
to judge one another in that matter. There was also a 
denunmation made, requiring impenitent sinners to withdraw. 
The bread was. to be still of the same form as that formerly 
used. In the distribution it was said, ^ The body of our 
Lord, <kc., preserye thy body ; and the blood of our Lord, 
&c., pres^re thy soul.' This was printed, with a prodama- 
tion, requiring all to receiye it with such reyerence and uni^ 
formity as might encourage the king to proceed further, and 
not to run to other things before the king gaye direction, 
assuring the people of his earnest zeal to s^ ibrth godly 
orders ; and therefore it was hoped they would wait for it : 
the books were sent all oyer England, and the clergy were 
appointed to administer the communion at the foUowing 
Easter according to them." 

We haye now arriyed at a most interesting period of the 
progress of the Beformation^ as it is called, and we beg tiie 
reader'B particular attention to it. It has been shews that 

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Cranmer in his catechism admitted the real presence of 
Christ in the hlessed sacrament, as the law-established church- 
catechism now does, though the law compels all candidates 
for ciril and ecclesiastical office to 9wear that He is not 
present, and that the doctrine is damnable, though the church- 
by-/aw teaches it. Such is the incongruity of the dabblers 
in error under the mask of truth. Well, we are told that 
the first sU^ in this work of innovation was to make a new 
office for the communion, which was only to affect the distri- 
bution of the sacrament, the office of the consecration, which, 
is the essential part of the ceremony, remaining untouched. 
Still, in the dietribution of the sacrament, the words thb 
BODY and THE BLOOD of our Lord, which words imply the 
realprssence of Christ, and had always been used by the 
Catholic church, as they now are, were retained, because it 
was considered too imprudent to abolish them precipitately, 
in consequence of the well-known doctrine of the Catholic 
church on that head, and the di^osition of the people, who 
were accurately acquainted with the faith and discipline of 
their creed, notwithstanding the representations of Burnet 
and his followers that they were ignorant and demoralized. 
As an instance of this fact, the Catholic clergy were wiUing 
to abide by public opinion, but the reformers, who preached 
up evangelical liberty, would not consent to leave their cause 
to argument and persuasion, but were resolved to cram their 
new sch^nes and opinions down% the people's throats by tmmi 
force. So long as the reformers proceeded no farther than 
ceremony and discipline, the lukewarm adherents to the 
Catholic faith slumbered at their posts; but when it was 
found that there was a design to attack the church both in 
doctrine and discipline, they began to arouse themselves from 
their apathy, and published sev^al books in defence of the 
old religion, and challenged the opposite party to try the 
cause by disputation. ** But," says Collier, in his Eccleei-* 
aetioal Bistort/, voL ii^ b. 4, p. 22Bf ^* the court, who, it is 
thought, had something &rther than religion in view, did not 
think it advisable to venture the cause upon disputation, and 

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Digitized by LjOOQiC 


rely wholly upon arguments. They might he apprehensive, 
that, unless the disagreement hetween Home and England 
was carried on to a wider distance, the hreach might possibly 
be closed, and that such an union might prove unfriendly to 
their church estates. On the other hand, they were not as- 
sured whether any farther alterations in doctrine and worship 
would be well received. The minority of the prince was a 
circumstance of disadvantage : and how far the people would 
be passive under a new face of things was not easy to con- 
jecture. To guard against the woi'st, it was thought fit to be 
furnished with forces, to awe the opposite party and pre- 
vent them from giving disturbance. And as an army was a 
seasonable provision, they wanted not a colour to rabe it. 
A marriage (as has been observed) was agreed, in the late 
reign, between the young queen of Scotland and the present 
king ; but the Scots failed in their articles. The protector 
and council, therefore, resolved to bring them to reason. For 
this purpose men were levied, a fleet equipped, and the veteran 
troops of Boulogne and Calais embarked for England. The 
protector likewise had several regiments of Walloons and 
Germans in his pay : not that he had a better opinion 
of their courage, but because he might believe them more 
ready to execute any harsh service at home, if occasion 

So, then, the preaching of the new doctrines was to be 
backed by an army, and that army t^o composed in part of 
FOBEIGN TROOPS, of German mercenaries ! What would 
the Catholic people of England have said to this gross viola* 
tion of their constitutional rights and national honour and 
freedom ? What can the liberal Protestant of the present 
day say in defence of his creed, which is here shewn to have 
been advanced, not by the power of miracles and the elo- 
quence of reason, as the Catholic faith was planted in every 
part of the globe, but by the force of war, and the terror oi 
bloodshed and rapine ? By these unhallowed and unlawful 
means where the people terrified into a tacit acquiescence of 
the projected changes, and a commission was accordingly 

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appointed in the year 1548^ by the protector and council, 
consisting of certain biehops and divines, to draw up a new 
form of prayer or liturgy, a new ordinal, with a collection of 
articles, canons, and homilies, which were intended as a 
STANDARD, both for doctrine and discipline. But futile is 
the work of man in raising a standard to guide the conscience 
of his fellow men, as we shall see in the progress of this 
pretended Keformation of religion. The Catholic rests his 
faith on God alone, from whom it is derived, and, like 
Him, is immutable and indivisible. The Catholic can trace 
the finger of God sustaining his church through all the 
vicissitudes of earthly establishments, firm and erect like a 
citadel upon a rock, defying the waste of time or the assaults 
of adversaries ; while the plans of the reformers to erect a 
standard of uniformity were no sooner attempted than they 
were dispersed like sand before the wind, and scattered into 
thousands of discordant sects, each alike claiming the golden 
talisman of Truth, but all immersed in the slough of err<»*. > 
Of the articles of faith there were /ortt/'two in number, and 
though pretended to have been drawn up under the influence 
of the Holy Ghost, yet under the popeship of queen fiess, 
they were reduced to thirty-nine, and blasphemously imputed 
to the same divine oracle of Truth, though they were well 
known to have been the work of impriucipled men. As to 
the liturgy in English, it was a selection from the Missal^ in 
which Hie collects, epistles, and gospels were preserved, and 
are the same as are now used by the Catholic church, which 
has not varied in her service ; and even the essential part*, 
relating to the great sacrifice of the mass, was not then 
omitted, though it has subsequently been erased. When this 
precious work was completed, it was some months before it 
obtained a legal establishment, and in the mean time many 
pf the bishops and clergy continued to make use of the 
ancient liturgy in Latin. Others made use of it according 
to their own whims and pleasure. Some were for both 
forms, and some for neither. In a word, the fiood-gates of 
discord were let open, and all was endless confusion. Collier 

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444 REVIEW of POX*9 

sajs, that *' some censured this provisioii of a common prayer^ 
because it is said to have been composed bj one unifortn 
consenty and yet /otcr of the bishops who were in the com- 
mittee for drawing it up, protested against the hill. These 
were the bishops of Norwich, Hereford, Chichester, and 
WestminstOT." The latter bishopric was afterwards abolished 
by the king's letters patent. Here then we hare a lie set 
forth, and this book too was specified in the act of parliament 
to have been carried on with the aid of the Hoiy Qhoet, 

Of this work Burnet thus speaks :— " It was now resolved 
to have a liturgy, which should bring the worship to a proper 
mean between the pomp of superstition and naked simplicity* 
It was resolved to change nothing merely in oj^KMition ta 
received practices, but rather (in imitation of what Christ did 
in the institution of the two sacraments of tire gospel, t^at 
consisted of rites used among the Jews, but sanctified by him 
to higher purposes) to comply with what had been fonnerly 
in use, as much as was possible, thereby to gain the peo^e. 
All the consecrations of water, salt, &c., in Hie church of 
Borne, being relics of heathenism, were laid aside. The ab- 
solutions on account of the merits of the Blessed Virgin imd 
the saints, the sprinklings of water, fastings, and pilgriuMiges, 
with many other things, imd the absolution given to dead 
bodies, were looked upon as gross impostures, tending to 
make the world think that the priests had the keys of hearen 
in their hands, and could carry people thither on easier terms 
than the gospel prescribes. This induced the people to pur- 
chase their favour, especially when they were dying ; so that^ 
as their fears were then heightened, there was no other way 
left them, in the conclusion of an ill life, to die with any hopes 
of eternal happiness, but as they bargained with their priests : 
all this was now rejected/' Here we are told that it was 
resolved to change nothing, but to comply with what had been 
formerly in use, as much as possible, thereby to gain the 
people. Out upon thee, hypocrite ! thou must have known that 
the way adopted by these reformers to gida the peoj^e, was 
by the force of military coercion and penal laws 1 Bat what 

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ftball ire say to the base iunnaation that the people w^:e, in 
those times, induced to purcTuue the favour of the priests ? 
This, we suppose, is throwD in as a set-off to hide the selfish 
dispo8iti<m of the refonned clergy, of whom Burnet was one, 
in seizing the tithes to themsdves, and grinding the people 
as much as they could, instead of gaining their favour. The 
priests were, at that time, as the Catholic clergy are now, and 
always have been, the fathers of the people and the rapportera 
of the poor : they were the shepherds of their flocks^ and not 
the shearers of them, like the reformed clergy. But though it 
«< was resolved to change nothing, merely in opposition to 
received practices, but rather to comply with what had been 
formerly in use," it appears that the reformers were some- 
what like the old man in the fable, in trying to please every- 
body they pleased nobody, for it must have been self-*evident 
that the Catholics would not be satisfied with the changes> 
moderate as they are represented to have been ; and as to the 
refbnners themselves, Burnet says, ** When the book came 
before the public, several things were censured : aa particu-^ 
larly the frequent use of the cross> and anointing. The for- 
mer was at first used as the badge of a crucified Saviour, but 
was much corrupted by the priests in after ages, sa that it 
was at length believed to have a virtue for driving away evil 
spirits, and preserving one from dangers; and acquired a 
kind of sacramental character, entirely unfounded in scripture 
or reason ; but Hie using it as> a ceremony, expressing the 
believing in a crucified Saviour, couht im|dy no superstition.''^ 
This representation may suit Mr» Gilbert Burnet, bishop of 
Sarum, and the modern editors of the Book <^ Mariyrs, but 
Catholics have better authority than this hireling historian^ 
for retaining and using this glorious and holy emblem of our 
redemption, wrought by a God-man. Why were not the 
^* after ages *^ specified when the use of this badge waa^r^t 
eorrupted by the priests? Why not name the express time 
when the belief that the use of this badge drove evil spirits 
from us, and preserved one fr