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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
The Church of England
The Church of England claims to be a branch of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; it is episcopal in its essence and administration, and is established by law in that the state recognizes it as the national church of the English people, an integral part of the constitution of the realm. It existed, in name and in fact, as the church of the English people centuries before that people became a united nation, and, in spite of changes in doctrine and ritual, it remains the same church that was planted in England at the end of the 6th century. From it the various tribes which had conquered the land received a bond of union, and in it they beheld a pattern of a single organized government administered by local officers, to which they gradually attained in their secular polity. In England, then, the state is in a sense the child of the church. The doctrines of the English Church may be gathered from its Book of Common Prayer (see Prayer, Book Of Common) as finally revised in 1661, with the form of ordaining and consecrating bishops, priests and deacons, with the exception of the services for certain days which were abrogated in 1859; from the XXXIX Articles (see Creeds), published with royal authority in 1571; and from the First and Second Books of Homilies of 1 549 and 1562 respectively, which are declared in Article XXXV. to contain sound doctrine.
Christianity reached Britain during the 3rd century, and perhaps earlier, probably from Gaul. An early - tradition records the death of a martyr Alban at Christi- Verulamium, the present St Albans. A fully grown Roman British Church existed in the 4th century: bishops Britain. of London, York and Lincoln attended the council of Arles in 314; the church assented to the council of Nicaea in 325, and some of its bishops were present at the council of Rimini in 359. The church held the Catholic faith. Britons made pilgrimages, to Rome and to Palestine, and some joined the monks who gathered round St Martin, bishop of Tours. Among these was Ninian, who preached to the southern Picts, and about 400 built a church of stone on Wigton Bay; its whiteness struck the people and their name for it is commemorated in the modern name Whithorn. From northern Britain, St Patrick (see Patrick, St) went to accomplish his work as the apostle of Ireland. Early in the 5th century Britain was infected by the heresy of Pelagius, himself a Briton by birth, but in 429 Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus, bishop of Troyes, recalled the church to orthodoxy and, according to tradition, led their converts to victory, the "Hallelujah victory," over the Picts and Scots. When the Britons were hard pressed by Saxon invaders large bodies of them found shelter in western Armorica, in a lesser Britain, which gave its name to Brittany. A British Church was founded there, and bishops, scholars and recluses of either Britain seem constantly to have visited the other. The Saxon invasion cut off Britain from communication with Rome; and the British Church having no share in the pro gressive life of the Roman Church, differences gradually arose between them. The organization of the British Church was monastic, its bishops being members, usually abbots, of monasteries, and not strictly diocesan, for the monasteries to which the clergy were attached had a tribal character. The monastic communities were large, Bangor numbered 2000 monks. From Gildas, a British monk, who wrote about 550, we gather that the bishops were rich and powerful and claimed apostolical succession; that though governed by synods the church lacked discipline; that simony was rife, and that bishops and clergy were neglectful. He evidently draws too dark a picture, for religious activity was not extinct. Gildas himself and others preached in Ireland, and from them the Scots, the dominant people of Ireland, received a ritual. The organization of the Scotic Church in Ireland was similar to that of the British Church. Its monastic settlements or schools were many and large, and were the abodes of learning. Bishops dwelt in them and were reverenced for their office, but each was subject to the direction of the abbot and convent. In 565 (?) St Columba, the founder and head of several Scotic monasteries, left Ireland and founded a monastery in Hii or Iona, which afforded gospel teaching to the Scots of Dalriada and the northern Picts, and later did a great work in evangelizing many of the Teutonic conquerors of Britain. By 602 the British Church, in common with the Irish Scots, followed practices which differed from the Roman use as it then was; it kept Easter at a different date; its clergy wore a different tonsure, and there was some defect in its baptismal rite. The conquerors of Britain - Saxons, Angles and Jutes - were heathens; the Britons gradually retreated before them to Wales, and to western and northern districts, or dwelt among them either as slaves or as outlaws hiding in swamps and forests, and they made no attempts to evangelize the conquering race.
About 587 a Roman abbot, Gregory, afterwards Pope Gregory the Great, is said to have seen some English boys exposed for sale in Rome and asked of what people they were, of what kingdom and who was their king. They were "Angli," he was told, of Deira, the modern Yorkshire, and their king was ?Elle. "Not ` Angli,'" said he, struck with the beauty of the fairhaired boys, "but angeli' (angels), fleeing from wrath Founda= (de ira), and ZElle's people must sing Alleluia." He tion of the wished himself to go as a missionary to the English, English but was prevented. After he became pope he sent church. a mission to England headed by Augustine. The way was prepared, for IEthelberht, king of Kent, had married a Christian, a Frankish princess Berhta, and allowed her to worship the true God. She brought with her a bishop who ministered to her in St Martin's church outside Canterbury, but evidently made no effort to spread the faith. Augustine and his band landed probably at Ebbsfleet in 597. They were well received by IEthelberht, who was converted and baptized. On the 16th of November Augustine was consecrated by the archbishop of Arles to be the archbishop of the English, and by Christmas had baptized ro,000 Kentish men. Thus the fathers of the English Church were Pope Gregory and St Augustine. Augustine restored a church of the Roman times at Canterbury to be the church of his see. The mission was reinforced from Rome; and Gregory sent directions for the rule of the infant church. There were to be two archbishops, at London and York; London, however, was not fully Christianized for some years, and the primatial see remained at Canterbury. Augustine held two conferences with British bishops; he bade them give up their peculiar usages, conform to the Roman ritual, and join him in evangelizing the English. His haughtiness is said to have offended them.; they refused, and the English Church owes nothing to its British predecessor. The mission prospered, and bishops were consecrated for Rochester, and for London for the East Saxons. After Augustine and IEthelberht died a short religious reaction took place in Kent, and the East Saxons apostatized. In 627 Edwin, king of Northumbria, who had married a daughter of lEthelberht, was converted and baptized with his nobles by Paulinus, who became the first bishop of York. As Edwin's kingdom extended from the Humber to the Forth and included the Trent valley, while he exercised superiority over all the other English kingdoms, except Kent, his conversion promised well for the church, but he was slain and his kingdom overrun by Penda, the heathen king of Mercia, the central part of England. Penda's victories endangered the cause of Christianity. The Roman mission was dying out. Kent and East Anglia, which was evangelized by Felix, a Burgundian bishop sent from Canterbury, were settled in the faith. Though Bernicia, the northern part of Northumbria, was little affected by the gospel, and after Edwin's death heathenism became dominant in his kingdom, Christianity did not die out in Northumbria. The East Saxons had heard the gospel, and in 634 the conversion of the West Saxons was begun by Birinus, an Italian missionary. Central England and the South Saxons, however, were wholly untouched by Christianity. The work of the Romans was taken up by Scotic missionaries. Oswald, under whom the Northumbrian power revived, had lived as an exile among the Scots, and asked them for a bishop to teach his people. Aidan was sent to him by the monks of Iona in 635, and fixed his see in Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, where he founded a monastery. Saintly, zealous and supported by Oswald's influence, he brought Northumbria generally to accept the gospel. The conversion of the Middle Angles and Mercians, and the reconversion of the East Saxons, were also achieved by Scots or by disciples of the Scotic mission. After Aidan's death in 651 the differences between the Roman and Scotic usages, and specially that concerning the date of Easter, led to bitter feelings, were inconvenient in practice, and must have hindered the church in its warfare against heathenism. Oswio, who reigned over both the Northumbrian kingdoms, was, like his brother Oswald, a disciple of the Scots, his son and his queen, the daughter of Edwin, held to the Roman usages, and these usages were maintained by Wilfrid, who on his return from Rome in 658 was appointed abbot of Ripon. By Oswio's command a conference between the two parties was held at the present Whitby in 664. Oswio decided in favour of the Roman usages. This was the end of the Scotic The British church. mission. The Scots left Lindisfarne, and their disciples generally adopted the Roman usages. The Scots were admirable missionaries, holy and self-devoted, and building partly on Roman foundations and elsewhere breaking new ground, they and their English disciples, as Ceadda (St Chad), bishop of the Mercians, and Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, who were by no means inferior to their teachers, almost completed the conversion of the country. But they practised an excessive asceticism and were apt to abandon their work in order to live as hermits. Great as were the benefits which the English derived from their teaching, its cessation was not altogether a loss, for the church was passing beyond the stage of mission teaching and needed organization, and that it could not have received from the Scots.
Its organization like its foundation came from Rome. An archbishop-designate who was sent to Rome for consecration having died there, Pope Vitalian in 668 consecrated o Theodore of Tarsus as archbishop of Canterbury. The English Scots had no diocesan system, and the English Church. bishoprics were vast in extent, followed the lines of the kingdoms and varied with their fortunes. The church had no system of government nor means of legislation. Theodore united it in obedience to himself, instituted national synods and subdivided the over-large bishoprics. At his death, in 690, the English dominions were divided into fourteen dioceses. Wilfrid, who had become bishop of Northumbria, resisted the division of his diocese and appealed to the pope. He was imprisoned by the Northumbrian king and was exiled. While in exile he converted the South Saxons, and their conversion led to that of the Isle of Wight, then subject to them, in 686, which completed the evangelization of the English. After long strife Wilfrid, who was supported by Rome, regained a part of his former diocese. Theodore also gave the church learning by establishing a school at Canterbury, where many gained knowledge of the Scriptures, of Latin and Greek, and other religious and secular subjects. In the north learning was promoted by Benedict Biscop in the sister monasteries which he founded at Wearmouth and Jarrow. There Bede received the learning which he imparted to others. In the year of Bede's death, 735, one of his disciples, Ecgbert, bishop of York, became the first archbishop of York, Gregory III. giving him the gallium, a vestment which conferred archiepiscopal authority. He established a school or university at York, to which scholars came from the continent. His work as a teacher was carried on by Alcuin, who later brought learning to the court and Frankish dominions of Charlemagne. The infant church, following the example of the Irish Scots, showed, much missionary zeal, and English missionaries founded an organized church in Frisia and laboured on the lower Rhine; two who attempted to preach in the old Saxon land were martyred. Most famous of all, Winfrid, or St Boniface, the apostle of Germany, preached to the Frisians, Hessians and Thuringians, founded bishoprics and monasteries, became the first archbishop of Mainz, and in 754 was martyred in Frisia. He had many English helpers, some became bishops, and some were ladies, as Thecla, abbess of Kitzingen, and Lioba, abbess of Bischofsheim. After his death, Willehad laboured in Frisia, and later, at the bidding of Charlemagne, among the Saxons, and became the first bishop of Bremen. Religion, learning, arts, such as transcription and illumination, flourished in English monasteries. Yet heathen customs and beliefs lingered on among the people, and in Bede's time there were many pseudo-monasteries where men and women made monasticism a cloak for idleness and vice. In the latter part of the 8th century Mercia became the predominant kingdom under Offa, and he determined to have an archbishop of his own. By his contrivance two legates from Adrian I. held a council at Chelsea in 787 in which Lichfield was declared an archbishopric, and seven of the twelve suffragan bishoprics of Canterbury were apportioned to it. In 802, however, Leo III. restored Canterbury to its rights and the Lichfield archbishopric was abolished.
The rise of Wessex to power seems to have been aided by a good understanding between Ecgbert and the church, and his successors employed bishops as their ministers. 'Ethelred, who was specially under ecclesiastical influence, went on a pilgrimage to Rome, and before his departure made large grants for pious uses. His donation, though not the origin of tithes in England, illustrates the idea of the sacredness of the tenth of income on which laws enforcing the Anglo- payment of tithes were founded. His pilgrimage was probably undertaken in the hope of averting the attacks of the pagan Danes. Their invasions fell heavily on the church; priests were slaughtered and churches sacked and burnt. Learning disappeared in Northumbria, and things were little better in the south. Bishops fought and fell in battle, the clergy lived as laymen, the monasteries were held by married canons, heathen superstitions and immorality prevailed among the laity. Besides bringing the Danish settlers in East Anglia to profess Christianity in 878, Alfred set himself to improve the religious and intellectual condition of his own people (see Alfred). The gradual reconquest of middle and northern England by his successors was accompanied by the conversion of the Danish population. A revival of religion was effected by churchmen inspired by the reformed monasticism of France and Flanders, by Odo, archbishop of Canterbury, Oswald, archbishop of York, and Dunstan (see Dunstan), who introduced from abroad the strict life of the new Benedictinism. King Edgar promoted the monastic reform, and by his authority Bishop "Ethelwold of Winchester turned canons out of the monasteries and put monks in their place. Dunstan sought to reform the church by ecclesiastical and secular legislation, forbidding immorality among laymen, insisting on the duties of the clergy, and compelling the payment of tithes and other church dues. After Edgar's death an anti-monastic movement, chiefly in Mercia, nearly ended in civil war. In this strife, which was connected with politics, the victory on the whole lay with the monks' party, and in many cathedral churches the chapters remained monastic. The renewed energy of the church was manifested by councils, canonical legislation and books of sermons. In the homilies of Abbot ZElfr.ic, written for Archbishop Sigeric, stress is laid on the purely spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but his words do not indicate, as some have believed, that the English Church was not in accord with Rome. The ecclesiastical revival was short-lived. Renewed Danish invasions, in the course of which Archbishop Alphege was martyred in ror 2, and a decline in national character, injuriously affected the church and, though in the reign of Canute it was outwardly prosperous, spirituality and learning decreased. Bishoprics and abbacies were rewards of service to the king, the bishops were worldly-minded, plurality was frequent, and simony not unknown. Edward the Confessor promoted foreign ecclesiastics; the connexion with Rome was strengthened, and in 1062 the first legates since the days of Offa were sent to England by Alexander II. A political conflict led to the banishment of Robert, the Norman archbishop of Canterbury. An Englishman Stigand received his see, but was excommunicated at Rome, and was regarded even in England as schismatical. When William of Normandy planned his invasion of England, Alexander II., by the advice of Hildebrand, afterwards Gregory VII., moved doubtless by this schism and by the desire to bring the English Church under the influence of the Cluniac revival and into closer relation with Rome, gave the duke a consecrated banner, and the Norman invasion had something of the character of a holy war.
Before the Norman Conquest the church had relapsed into deadness: English bishops were political partisans, the clergy were married, and discipline and asceticism, then the recognized condition of holiness were extinct. The g, Conqueror's relations with Rome ensured a reform; for the papacy was instinct with the Cluniac spirit. In x070 papal legates were received and held a council by which Stigand was deposed. Lanfranc, abbot of Bec, was appointed archbishop of Canterbury and worked harmoniously with the king in bringing the English Church up to the level of the church in Normandy. Many native bishops and abbots were deposed, and the Norman prelates who succeeded them were generally of good character, strict disciplinarians, and men of grander ideas. A council of 1075 decreed the removal of bishops' sees from villages to towns, as on the continent; the see of Sherborne, for example, was removed to Old Sarum, and that of Selsey to Chichester, and many churches statelier than of old were built in the Norman style which the Confessor had already adopted for his church at Westminster. In another council priests and deacons were thenceforward forbidden to marry. William and Lanfranc also worked on Hildebrandine lines in separating ecclesiastical from civil administration. Ecclesiastical affairs were regulated in church councils held at the same time as the king's councils. Bishops and archdeacons were no longer to exercise their spiritual jurisdiction in secular courts, as had been the custom, but in ecclesiastical courts and according to canon law. The king, however, ruled church as well as state; Gregory granted him control over episcopal elections, he invested bishops with the crozier and they held their temporalities of him, and he allowed no councils to meet and no business to be done without his licence. Gregory claimed homage from him; but while the king promised the payment of Peter's pence and such obedience as his English predecessors had rendered, he refused homage; he allowed no papal letters to enter the kingdom without his leave, and when an anti-pope was set up, he and Lanfranc treated the question as to which pope should be acknowledged in England as one to be decided by the crown. The Conquest brought the church into closer connexion with Rome and gave it a share in the religious and intellectual life of the continent; it stimulated and purified English monasticism, and it led to the organization of the church as a body with legislative and administrative powers distinct from those of the state. The relations established by the Conqueror between the crown, the church and the pope, its head and supreme judge, worked well as long as the king and the primate were agreed, but were so complex that trouble necessarily arose when they disagreed. William Rufus tried to feudalize the church, to bring its officers and lands under feudal law; he kept bishoprics and abbacies vacant and confiscated their revenues. He quarrelled with Anselm who succeeded Lanfranc. Anselm while at Rome heard the investiture of prelates by laymen denounced, and he maintained the papal decree against Henry I. Bishops were vassals of the king, holding lands of him, as well as officers of the church. How were they to be appointed ? Who should invest them with the symbols of their office ? To whom was their homage due ? (see Investiture). These questions which agitated western Europe were settled as regards England by a compromise: Henry surrendered investiture and kept the right to homage. The substantial gain lay with the crown, for, while elections were theoretically free, the king retained his power over them. Though Henry in some degree checked the exercise of papal authority in England, appeals to Rome without his sanction were frequent towards the end of his reign. Stephen obtained the recognition of his title from Innocent II., and was upheld by the church until he violently attacked three bishops who had been Henry's ministers. The clergy then transferred their allegiance to Matilda. His later quarrel with the papacy, then under the influence of St Bernard, added to his embarrassments and strengthened the Angevin cause.
During Stephen's reign the church grew more powerful than was for the good either of the state or itself. Its courts en croached on the sphere of the lay courts, and further The claimed exclusive criminal jurisdiction over all clerks whether in holy or minor orders, with the result that criminous clerks, though degraded by a spiritual court, escaped temporal punishment. Henry II., finding ecclesiastical privileges an obstacle to administrative reform, demanded that the bishops should agree to observe the ancient customs of the realm. These customs were, he asserted, expressed in certain constitutions to which he required their assent at a council at Clarendon in 1164. In spirit they generally maintained the rights of the crown as they existed under the Conqueror. One provided that clerks convicted of temporal crime in a spiritual court and degraded should be sentenced by a lay court and punished as laymen. Archbishop Becket (see Becket) agreed, repented and refused his assent. The king tried to ruin him by unjust demands; he appealed to Rome and fled to France. A long quarrel ensued, and in 1170 Henry was forced to be reconciled to Becket. The archbishop's murder consequent on the king's hasty words shocked Christendom, and Henry did penance publicly. By agreement with the pope he renounced the Constitutions, but the encroachments of the church courts were slightly checked, and the king's decisive influence on episcopal elections and some other advantages were secured. The church in Wales had become one with the English Church by the voluntary submission of its bishops to the see of Canterbury in 1192 and later. The Irish Church remained distinct, though the conquest of Ireland, which was sanctioned by the English pope Adrian IV. (Nicholas Breakspear), brought it into the same relations with the crown as the English Church and into conformity with it. Under the guidance of ecclesiastics employed as royal ministers, the church supported the crown until, in 1206, Innocent III. refused to confirm the election of a bishop nominated by King John to Canterbury; and representatives of the monks of Christ Church, in whom lay the right of election, being at his court, the pope bade them elect Stephen Langton whom he consecrated as archbishop. John refused to receive Langton and seized the estates of Christ Church. Innocent laid England under an interdict in 1208; the king confiscated the property of the clergy, banished bishops and kept sees vacant. Papal envoys excommunicated him and declared him deposed in 1211. Surrounded by enemies, he made his peace with the pope in 1213, swore fealty to him before his envoy, acknowledged that he held his kingdom of the Roman see, and promised a yearly tribute for England and Ireland. Finally he surrendered his crown to a legate and received it back from him. The banished clergy returned and an agreement was made as to their losses. Langton guided the barons in their demands on the king which were expressed in Magna Carta. The first clause provided, as charters of Henry I. and Stephen had already provided, that the English Church should be" free,"adding that it should have freedom of election, which John had promised in 1214. As John's suzerain, Innocent annulled the charter, suspended Langton, and excommunicated the barons in arms against the king. On John's death, Gualo, legate of Honorius III., with the help of the earl marshal, secured the throne for Henry III., and he and his successor Pandulf, as representatives of the young king's suzerain, largely directed English affairs until 1221, when Pandulf's departure restored Langton to his rightful position as head in England of the church. Reforms in discipline and clerical work were inculcated by provincial legislation, and two legates, Otho in 1237 and Ottoboni in 1268,. promulgated in councils constitutions which were a fundamental part of the canon law in England. Religious life was quickened by the coming of the friars (see Friars). Parochial organization was strengthened by the institution of vicars in benefices held by religious bodies, which was regulated and enforced by the bishops. It was a time of intellectual activity, in character rather cosmopolitan than national. English clerks studied philosophy and theology at Paris or law at Bologna; some remained abroad and were famous as scholars, others like Archbishops Langton, and Edmund Rich, and Bishop Grosseteste returned to be rulers of the church, and others like Roger Bacon to continue their studies in England. The schools of Oxford, however, had already attained repute, and Cambridge began to be known as a place of study. The spirit of the age found expression in art, and English Gothic architecture, though originally, like the learning of the time, imported from France, took a line of its own and reached its climax at this period. Henry's gratitude for the benefits which in his early years he received from Rome was shown later in subservience to papal demands. Gregory IX., and still more Innocent IV., sorely in need of money to prosecute their struggle with the imperial house, laid grievous taxes on the English clergy, supported the king in making heavy demands upon them, and violated the rights of patrons by appointing to benefices by" provisions "often in favour of foreigners. Churchmen, and prominently Grosseteste, the learned and holy bishop of Lincoln, while recognizing the pope as the divinely appointed source of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction, were driven to resist papal orders which they held to be contrary to apostolic precepts. Their remonstrances were seldom effectual, and the state of the national church was noted by the Provisions of Oxford in 1258 as part of the general misgovernment which the baronial opposition sought to remedy. The alliance between the crown and the papacy in this reign diminished the liberties of the church.
Edward I., who was a strong king, checked an attempt to magnify the spiritual authority by the writ Circumspecte agatis, which defined the sphere of the ecclesiastical courts, put a restraint on religious endowments by the Statute of Mortmain, and desiring that every estate in the realm should have a share in public burdens and counsels, caused the beneficed clergy to be summoned to send proctors to parliament. The clergy preferred to make their grants in their own convocations, and so lost the position offered to them. For some years clerical taxation by the crown was carried on with the good-will of the papacy; it was not oppressive for unbeneficed clergy and incomes below ten marks were exempt, and in theory the clergy were celibate. Papal demands, however, were additional burdens. In 1296 Boniface VIII., by his bull Clericis laicos, forbade the clergy to grant money to lay princes, and Edward's request for a clerical subsidy was in 1297 refused by convocation led by Archbishop Winchelsea. The king thereupon outlawed the clergy. The northern province yielded, the southern held out longer; but finally the clergy made their peace severally, each paying his share, and the royal victory was complete. Winchelsea joined the baronial opposition which forced Edward to grant the" Confirmation of the Charters."Edward procured his disgrace from Clement V., and in return allowed Clement to exact so much from the church that the doings of the papal agents provoked an indignant remonstrance from parliament in 1307. With that exception the king's dealings with the church were statesmanlike. He employed clerical ministers and paid them by church preferments, but his nominations to bishoprics did not always receive papal confirmation which had become recognized as essential. His weak son Edward II. yielded readily to papal demands. The majority of the bishops of the reign, and specially those engaged in politics, were unworthy men; religion was at a low ebb; plurality and non-residence were common. By the constitution Execrabilis John XXII. ordered that all cures held in plurality save one should be vacated, and, which was not so well," reserved "all benefices so vacated for his own appointment. As the residence of the popes at Avignon from 1308 to 1377 brought them under French influence, Englishmen during the war with France were specially displeased that large sums should be drawn from the kingdom for them and that they should exercise patronage there. In the reign of Edward III. the popes, though appointing to bishoprics by provision, did not give them to foreigners, but they appointed foreigners, enemies of England, to lesser preferments, deaneries and prebends. In 1351 the Statute of Provisors declared provisions unlawful. Capitular elections, however, remained mere forms; the king nominated, and the popes provided, and took advantage of their claim to appoint to sees vacant by translation. Papal interference in suits concerning temporalities was checked by a law of 1353 (the first statute of Praemunire ), which made punishable by outlawry and forfeiture the carrying before a foreign tribunal of causes cognizable by English courts. This measure was extended in 1365, and in 1 393 by the great Statute of Praemunire. Indignant at the law of 1365, Urban V. demanded payment of the tribute promised by John, which was then thirty-three years in arrear, but parliament repudiated the claim. The Black Death disorganized the church by thinning the ranks of the clergy, who did their duty manfully during the plague. In the diocese of Norwich, for example, Boo parishes lost their incumbents in 1349, 83 of them twice over (Jessopp). Large though insufficient numbers were instituted to benefices and unfit persons received holy orders. The value of livings decreased and many lay vacant. Some incumbents deserted their parishes to take stipendiary work in towns or secular employments, and unbeneficed clergy demanded higher stipends. Greediness infected the church in common with society at large. Yet Chaucer's ideal parish priest must have represented a familiar type, so that we may believe that much good work was here and there unobtrusively done by the clergy. Prominent among abuses were the sale of pardons, and the extortions of the ecclesiastical courts; their decrees were enforced by excommunication, and on a writ issued to the sheriff an excommunicated person would be imprisoned until he satisfied the demands of the church. The state needed money and attacks were made in parliament on the wealth of the church. Already, in 1340, Edward III., who quarrelled with Archbishop Stratford on political grounds, had appointed lay ministers, and in 1371 William of Wykeham, bishop of Winchester, and other clerical ministers were turned out of office and succeeded by laymen. A political crisis in 1376 was followed by a struggle between the bishops and John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, the head of the anticlerical party, who allied himself with John Wycliffe. He was unpopular, and when the bishops cited Wycliffe before them in St Paul's, the duke's conduct provoked a riot and the proceedings ended abruptly. Wycliffe held that the church was corrupted by wealth; that only those in grace had a right to God's gifts, and that temporal power belonged only to laymen and not to popes nor priests. Later he attacked the papacy itself, which in 1378 was distracted by the great schism; by 1380 he condemned pilgrimages, secret confession and masses for the dead. While holding the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, he denied a change of substance in the elements, arguing that accidents or qualities, such as form and colour, could not exist without substance. He taught that Holy Scripture was the only source of religious truth, to the exclusion of church authority and tradition, and he and his followers made the first complete English version of the Bible. His opinions were spread by the poor priests whom he sent out to preach and by his English tracts. That his teaching had any direct effect on the insurrection of 1381, though commonly believed, appears to be an unfounded idea; many priests were concerned in the rising, and specially the mendicant orders, Wycliffe's bitter enemies, but the motives of the insurrection were essentially secular (Oman, The Great Revolt of 1381). The reaction which followed extended to religion, and Wycliffe's doctrines were condemned by a church council in 1382. Nevertheless he died in peace. He had many disciples, especially in Oxford and in industrial centres. The Lollards, as his followers were called, had supporters in parliament and among people of high rank in the court of Richard II., and the king's marriage to Anne of Bohemia brought about the importation of Wycliffe's writings into Bohemia, where they had a strong influence on the religious movement led by Hus. At first the bishops were not inclined to persecute, and the earlier Lollards mostly recanted under pressure, but their number increased.
With the accession of the Lancastrian house the crown allied itself with the church, and the bishops adopted a repressive policy towards the Lollards. By the canon law obstinate heretics were to be burnt by the secular power, and though England had hitherto been almost free from heresy, one or two burnings had taken place in accordance with that law. In 1401 a statute, De heretico comburendo, ordered that heretics convicted in a spiritual court should be committed to the secular arm and publicly burned, and, while this statute was pending, one Sawtre was burned as a relapsed heretic. Henry V. was zealous for orthodoxy and the persecution of Lollards increased; in 1414 Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, who had been condemned as a heretic, escaped and made an insurrection; he was taken in 1417 and hanged and burned. Lollardism was connected with an insurrection in 1431; it then ceased to have any political importance, but it kept its hold in certain towns and districts on the lower classes; many Lollards were forced to recant and others suffered martyrdom. The church was in an unsatisfactory state. As regards the papacy, the crown generally maintained the position taken up in the previous century, but its policy was fitful, and the custom of allowing bishops who were made cardinals to retain their sees strengthened papal influence. The bishops were largely engaged in secular business; there was much plurality, and cathedral and collegiate churches were frequently left to inferior officers whose lives were unclerical. The clergy were numerous and drawn from all classes, and humble birth did not debar a man from attaining the highest positions in the church. Candidates for holy orders were still examined, but clerical education seems to have declined. Preaching was rare, partly from neglectfulness and partly because, in 1401, in order to prevent the spread of heresy, priests were forbidden to preach without a licence. While the marriage of the clergy was checked, irregular and temporary connexions were lightly condoned. Discipline generally was lax, and exhortations against field-sports, tavern haunting and other unclerical habits seem to have had little effect. Monasticism had declined. Papal indulgences and relics were hawked about chiefly by friars, though these practices were discountenanced by the bishops. On the other hand, all education was carried on by the clergy, and religion entered largely into the daily life of the people, into their gild-meetings, church-ales, mystery-plays and holidays, as well as into the great events of family life - baptisms, marriages and deaths. Many stately churches were built in the prevailing Perpendicular style, often by efforts in which all classes shared, and many hamlet chapels supplemented the mother church in scattered parishes. The revival of classical learning scarcely affected the church at large. Greek learning was regarded with suspicion by many churchmen, but the English humanists were orthodox. The movement had little to do with the coming religious conflicts, which indeed killed it, save that it awoke in some learned men like Sir Thomas More a desire for ecclesiastical, though not doctrinal, reform, and led many to study the New Testament of which Erasmus published a Greek text and Latin paraphrases.
During the earlier years of the 16th century Lollardism still existed among the lower classes in towns, and was rife here and there in country districts. Persecution went on and martyrdoms are recorded. The old grievances con cerning ecclesiastical exactions remained unabated and were further strengthened by an ill-founded rumour that Richard Hunne, a Londoner who had refused to pay a mortuary, was imprisoned for heresy in the Lollards' tower, and was found hanged in his cell in 1514, had been murdered. Lutheranism affected England chiefly through the surreptitious importation of Tyndale's New Testament and heretical books. In 1521 Henry VIII. wrote a book against Luther in which he maintained the papal authority, and was rewarded by Leo X. with the title of Defender of the Faith. Henry, however, whose will was to himself as the oracles of God, finding that the pope opposed his intended divorce from Catherine of Aragon, determined to allow no supremacy in his realm save his own. He carried out his ecclesiastical policy by parliamentary help. Parliament was packed, and was skilfully managed; and he had on his side the popular impatience of ecclesiastical abuses, a new feeling of national pride which would brook no foreign interference, the old desire of the laity to lighten their own burdens by the wealth of the church, and a growing inclination to question or reject sacerdotal authority. He used these advantages to forward his policy, and when he met with opposition, enforced his will as a despot. The parliament of 1529 lasted until 1536; it broke the bonds of Rome, established royal supremacy over the English Church, and effected a redistribution of national wealth at the expense of the spirituality. It began by acts abolishing ecclesiastical exactions, such as excessive mortuaries and fees for probate, and by prohibiting pluralities except in stated cases, application to Rome for licence to evade the act being made penal. Henry having crushed his minister Cardinal Wolsey, archbishop of York, declared the whole body of the clergy involved in a praemunire by their submission to Wolsey's legatine authority, and ordered the convocation to purchase pardon by a large payment, and by acknowledging him as" Protector and Supreme Head of the English Church and Clergy."After much debate, the acknowledgment was made in 1531, with the qualification" so far as the law of Christ allows."A" supplication "against clerical jurisdiction and legislation by convocation was obtained from the Commons in 1532, and Henry received from convocation the" submission of the clergy,"surrendering its legislative power except on royal licence, and consenting to a revision of the canon law by commissioners to be appointed by the king. A bill for conditionally withholding the payment of annates, or first-fruits, to Rome was passed, and Henry took advantage of the fear of the Roman court lest it should lose these payments, to obtain without the usual fees bulls promoting Cranmer to the see of Canterbury in 1533, and thus was enabled to gain his divorce. Cranmer pronounced his marriage to Catherine null, and declared him lawfully married to Anne Boleyn. Clement VII. retorted by excommunicating the king, but for that Henry cared not. Appeals to Rome were forbidden by statute, and the council ordained that the pope should thenceforth only be spoken of as bishop of Rome, as not having authority in England. In 1534 the restraint of annates was confirmed by law, all payments to Rome were forbidden, and it was enacted that, on receiving royal licence to elect, cathedral chapters must elect bishops nominated by the king. The papal power was extirpated by statute, parliament at the same time declaring that neither the king nor kingdom would vary from the" Catholic faith of Christendom."The submission of the clergy was made law. Appeals from the archbishops' courts were to be to the king in chancery, and were to be heard by commissioners, whence arose the Court of Delegates as the court of final appeal in ecclesiastical cases. The first-fruits and tenths of benefices were given to the king, and his title as" Supreme Head in earth of the Church of England "was declared by parliament without the qualification added by convocation. Fisher, bishop of Rochester, and Sir Thomas More, lately chancellor, the two most eminent Englishmen, were beheaded in 1535 on an accusation of attempting to deprive the king of this title, and some Carthusian monks suffered a more cruel martyrdom in the same cause. Meanwhile New Testaments were burnt, and heretics, or reformers, forced to abjure or, remaining steadfast, were sent to the stake, for though the heresy law of Henry IV. was repealed, heresy was still punishable by death, and persecution was not abated. By breaking the bonds of Rome Henry did not give the church freedom; he substituted a single despotism for the dual authority which pope and king had previously exercised over it. In 1535 Cromwell, the king's vicar-general, began a visitation of the monasteries. The reports ( comperta ) of his commissioners having been delivered to the king and communicated to parliament in 1536, parliament declared the smaller monasteries corrupt, and granted the king all of less value than f zoo a year. A rebellion in Lincolnshire and another in the north, the formidable Pilgrimage of Grace, followed. The suppression of the greater houses was effected gradually, surrenders were obtained by pressure, and three abbots who were reluctant to give up the possessions of their convents for confiscation were hanged. Monastic shrines and treasuries were sacked and the spoil sent to the king, to whom parliament granted all the houses, their lands and possessions. Of the enormous wealth thus gained Henry spent a part on national defence, a little on the foundation of the bishoprics of Westminster, dissolved in 1550, Bristol, Chester, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough, and gave the lands to men either useful to or favoured by himself, or sold them to rich purchasers. In 1536 he dictated the belief and ceremonial of the church by issuing Ten Articles which were subscribed by convocation. This first formulary of the English Church as separate from Rome did not contravene Catholic doctrine, though it showed the influence of Lutheran models. Another exposition of Anglican doctrine was made in the Institution of a Christian Man or" Bishops' book,"in some respects more likely to satisfy those attached to the tenets of Rome, in others, as in the distinct repudiation of purgatory and the declaration that salvation depended solely on the merits of Christ, showing an advance. It was published in 1537 with Henry's sanction but not by authority. In that year licence was granted for the sale of a translation of the Bible, and in 1538 another version called Matthew's Bible, was ordered to be kept in all churches (see [[[Elizabethan Settlement Bible]]). Pilgrimages were suppressed and images used for worship destroyed. Denial of the king's supremacy, denial of the corporal presence in the Eucharist, and insults to Catholic rites were alike punished by cruel death. The publication abroad of the king's excommunication rendered an assertion of orthodoxy advisable for political reasons, and in 1539 came the Act of the Six Articles attaching extreme penalties to deviations from Catholic doctrines. The backward swing of the pendulum continued; Cromwell was beheaded and three reforming preachers were burnt in 1540. Prosecutions for heresy under the act were fitful: four gospellers were burnt in London in 1546, of whom the celebrated Anne Askew was one. Cranmer, however, did not lose the king's favour. A fresh attempt to define doctrine was made in the Necessary Doctrine and Erudition of a Christian Man, the" King's Book,"published by authority in 1543, which, while repudiating the pope, was a declaration of Catholic orthodoxy. A Primer, or private prayer-book, of which parts were in English, as the litany composed by Cranmer, and virtually the same as at present, was issued in 1546, and further liturgical change seemed probable when Henry died in 1547.
Henry, while changing many things in the church, would not allow any deviation in essentials from the religion of Catholic Europe, which was not then so dogmatically defined as it was later by the council of Trent. Edward VI. was a child, and the Protector Somerset and the council favoured further changes, which were carried out with Cranmer's help. They issued a book of Homilies and a set of injunctions which were enforced by a royal visitation. Pictures and much painted glass were destroyed in churches, frescoed walls were whitewashed, and in 1548, the removal of all images was decreed. Parliament ordered that bishops should be appointed by letters patent and hold their courts in the king's name. An act of the last reign granting the king all chantries and gilds was enlarged and enforced with cruel injustice to the poor. On the petition of convocation parliament allowed the marriage of priests; and it further ordered that the laity should receive the cup in communion. A communion book was issued by the council in English, the Latin mass being retained for a time. Many German reformers came to England, were favoured by the council, and gained influence over Cranmer. The first Book of Common Prayer was authorized by an Act of Uniformity in 1 549; it retained much from old service books, but the communion office is Lutheran in character. It excited discontent, and a serious insurrection broke out in the West, the insurgents demanding the revival of the Act of the Six Articles and the withdrawal of the new service as" like a Christmas game."After Somerset's fall the government rapidly pushed forward reformation. A new Ordinal issued with parliamentary approval in 1550 was significant of the change in sacramental doctrine, and the four minor orders disappeared. Altars were destroyed and tables substituted. Five bishops, Bonner of London, Gardiner of Winchester, and Heath of Worcester, then already in prison, and two others, were deprived; and the Lady Mary, who would not give up the mass, was harshly treated. The reformers were not tolerant; for a woman was burnt for Arianism in 1550 and a male Anabaptist in 1551. Under the influence of foreign reformers, who took a lower view of the Eucharist than the Lutheran divines, Cranmer soon advanced beyond the prayer-book of 1549. A second prayer-book, departing further from the old order, appeared in 1552, and without being accepted by convocation was enforced by another Act of Uniformity, and in 1553 a catechism and forty-two articles of religion were authorized by Edward for subscription by the clergy, though not laid before convocation. A revision of the canon law in accordance with the act for" submission of the clergy "was at last undertaken in 1551, but the only result was a document entitled Reformatio legum ecclesiasticarum, which never received authority. Edward died in 1553. Apart from matters of faith, the church had fared ill under a royal supremacy exercised by self-seeking nobles in the name of the boy-king. Convocation lost all authority and bishops were treated as state officials liable to deprivation for disobedience to the council. Means of worship were diminished, and the poor were shamefully wronged by the suppression of chantries, gilds and holy days; even the few sheep of the poor brethren of a gild were seized to swell a sum which from 1550 was largely diverted from public purposes to private gain. Churches were despoiled of their plate; the old bishops were forced, the new more easily persuaded, to give up lands belonging to their sees, and rich men grew richer by robbing God.
When Mary succeeded her brother, the deprived bishops were restored, some reforming bishops were imprisoned, and Cranmer, who was implicated in the plot on behalf of Lady Jane Grey, was attainted of treason. As regards doctrine, religious practices and papal supremacy, Mary was set on bringing back her realm to the position existing before her father's quarrel with Rome. Her first parliament repealed the ecclesiastical legislation of Edward's reign, and convocation formally accepted transubstantiation. Seven bishops were deprived in 1554, four of them as married, and about a fifth of the beneficed clergy, though some received other benefices after putting away their wives. Apparently Mary at first believed that her authority would be accepted in religious matters; but she met with opposition, partly provocative, for Wyat's rebellion consequent on her intended marriage to Philip of Spain was closely connected with religion, and more largely passive in the noble resolution of those who chose martyrdom rather than denial of their faith. To the nation at large, though not averse from the old doctrines and practices of the church, a return to the Roman obedience was distasteful. Nevertheless, Cardinal Pole was received as legate, and the title of Supreme Head of the Church having been dropped, a parliament carefully packed, and the fears of the rich appeased by the assurance that they would not have to surrender the monastic lands, he absolved the nation in parliament and reunited it to the Church of Rome on November 30, 1554, the clergy being absolved in convocation. Parliament repealed all acts against the Roman see since the twentieth year of Henry VIII. The heresy laws were revived, and a horrible persecution of those who refused to disown the doctrines of the prayer-book began in 1555, and lasted during the remainder of the reign. Nearly 300 persons were burned to death as heretics in these four years, among them being five bishops: Hooper of Gloucester, Ferrar of St David's, Ridley of London, and Latimer (until 1539) of Worcester in 1555, and Archbishop Cranmer in 1556. The chief responsibility for these horrors rests with the queen; the bishops who examined the accused were less zealous than she desired. The most prominent among them in persecution was Bonner of London. The exiles for religion were received at Frankfort, Strassburg and Zurich. At Frankfort a party among them objected to the ceremonies retained in the prayer-book, and, encouraged by Calvin and by Knox, who came to them from Geneva, quarrelled with those who desired to keep the book unchanged. Mary died in 1558
Her reign arrested the rapid spoliation of the church and possibly prevented the adoption of doctrines which would have destroyed its apostolic character; the persecution by which it was disgraced strengthened the hold of the reformed religion on the people and made another acceptance of Roman supremacy for ever impossible.
Elizabeth's accession was hailed with pleasure; she was known to dislike her sister's ecclesiastical policy, and a change was expected. An Act of Supremacy restored to the - crown the authority over the church held by Henry VIII., and provided for its exercise by commissioners, whence came the court of High Commission nominated by the crown, as a high ecclesiastical court; but Elizabeth rejected the title of Supreme Head, and used that of Supreme Governor, as" over all persons and in all cases within her dominions supreme."An Act of Uniformity prescribed the use of the prayer-book of 1552 in a revised form which raised the level of its doctrine, and injunctions enforced by a royal visitation re-established the reformed order. All the Marian bishops save two refused the oath of supremacy'and were deprived, and eight were imprisoned. Of the clergy generally few refused it; for only some 200 were deprived for religion during the first six years of the reign. Bishops for the vacant sees were nominated by the crown and elected by their chapters as in Henry's reign; Matthew Parker was canonically consecrated archbishop of Canterbury. The orthodoxy of the church was vindicated by Bishop Jewel's Apologia ecclesiae Anglicanae. Adherents to Rome vainly tried to obtain papal sanction for attending the church services, and were forced either to disobey the pope or become" recusants "; many were fined, and those who attended mass were imprisoned. Meanwhile a party, soon known as Puritans, rebelled against church order; the exiles who had come under Genevan influence objecting on their return to vestments and ceremonies enjoined by the prayer-book. There was much nonconformity in the church which the queen ordered the bishops to correct. Parker, though averse to violent measures, insisted on obedience to his" Advertisements "of 1566, which, though not formally authorized by the queen, expressed her will, and became held as authoritative, and some of the refractory were punished. A company engaged in irregular worship was discovered in London in 1567 and a few persons were imprisoned by the magistrate. Active opposition to the government was stirred up by Pius V., and in 1569 a rebellion in the north, where the old religion was strong, was aided by papal money and encouraged by hopes of Spanish intervention. In 1570 Pius published a bull excommunicating and deposing the queen. Thenceforward recusants had to choose between loyalty to the queen and loyalty to the pope. They lay under suspicion, and severe penal laws were enacted against Romish practices. About 1 579 many seminary priests and Jesuits came over to England as missionaries; some actively engaged in treason, all were legally traitors. The country was threatened with foreign invasion, plots against the government were detected, and the queen's life was held to be endangered. The council hunted down these priests and their abettors, and many were executed, martyrs to the doctrine of the pope's power of deposition. The number put to death in this reign under the penal laws was 187. The papal policy defeated itself; a large number of the old religion while retaining their faith chose to be loyal to the queen rather than lend themselves to the designs of her enemies. From 1571 recusants can no longer be reckoned as nonconforming members of the English Church: the law recognized them as separate from it. The church's doctrine was defined in the catechism of 1570, and in the revised articles of religion which appeared as the XXXIX. Articles in 1571, and its law by a body of canons published with authority in 1576, the attempt at codification made in the Reformatio legum having been laid aside.
From 1574 the Protestant Nonconformists strove to introduce Presbyterianism. Cause for grievance existed in the state of the church which had suffered from the late violent The changes. Elizabeth plundered it, and laymen who o wned the rectories formerly held by monasteries Y Y followed her example; bishoprics were impoverished by the queen and parish cures by her subjects, and the reform of abuses was checked by self-interest. As bishops, along with some able men, Elizabeth chose others of an inferior stamp who consented to the plunder of their sees and whom she could use to report on recusants and harry nonconformists. Separation, or Independency, began about 1578 with the followers of Robert Browne, who repudiated the queen's ecclesiastical authority; two Brownists were executed in 1583. The nonconformists remained in the church and continued their efforts to subvert its episcopal system. Elizabeth, though personally little influenced by religion, understood the political value of the church, and would allow no slackness in enforcing conformity. Archbishop Grindal was sequestrated for defending" prophesyings,"or meetings of the Puritan clergy for religious exercises. The House of Commons, in which there was a Puritan element, repeatedly attempted to discuss church questions and was sharply silenced by the queen, who would not allow any interference in ecclesiastical matters. Whitgift, who succeeded Grindal in 1583, though kind-hearted, was strict in his administration of the law. Violent attacks were made upon the bishops in the Martin Marprelate tracts printed by a secret press; their author is unknown, but some who were probably connected with them were executed for publishing seditious libels. Whitgift's firmness met with success. During the last years of the reign the movement towards Presbyterianism was checked and nonconformity was less prominent.. The church regained a measure of orderliness and vigour; its claims on allegiance were advocated by eminent divines and expounded in the stately pages of Hooker. The queen, who had so vigorously ordered ecclesiastical affairs, died in 1603.
On the accession of James I. the Puritans expressed their desire for ecclesiastical change in the Millenary Petition which purported to come from Iaoo clergy; their requests were moderate, a sign of the success of Whitgift's policy, but some could not have been granted without causing widespread dissatisfaction. At a conference between divines of the two parties at Hampton Court in 1604, James roughly decided against the Puritans. Some small alterations were made in the prayer-book, and a new version of the Bible was undertaken, which appeared in 1611 as the" authorized version."In 1604 convocation framed a code of canons which received royal authorization. Refusal to obey them was punished with deprivation, and, according to S. R. Gardiner, about 300 clergy were deprived, though a 17th century writer (Peter Heylyn) puts the number at 49 only, which W. H. Frere (History of the English Church, 1558-1625, p. 321) thinks more credible. Conformity could still be enforced, but before long the Puritan party grew in strength partly from religious and partly from political causes. They would not admit any authority in religion that was not based on the scriptures; their opponents maintained that the church had authority to ordain ceremonies not contrary to the scriptures. In doctrine the Puritans remained faithful to the Calvinism in which most Englishmen of the day had been brought up; they called the high churchmen Arminians, and asserted that they were inclined to Rome. The Commons became increasingly Puritan; they were strongly Protestant and demanded the enforcement of the laws against recusants, who suffered much, specially after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, though they were sometimes shielded by the king. The Commons regarded ecclesiastical jurisdiction with dislike, specially the Court of High Commission, which had developed from the ecclesiastical commissions of Elizabeth and was hated as a means of coercion based on prerogative. The bishops derived their support from the king, and the church in return supported the king's claim to absolutism and divine right. It suffered heavily from this alliance. As men saw the church on the side of absolutism, Puritanism grew strong both among the country gentry, who were largely represented in the Commons, and among the nation at large, and the church lost ground through the king's political errors. A restoration of order and decency in worship and the introduction of more ceremonial begun in James's reign were carried on by Laud under Charles I. Laud aimed at silencing disputes about doctrine and enforcing outward uniformity; the Puritans hated ceremonial and wished to make every one accept their doctrines. Many of the reforms introduced by Laud after he became archbishop in 1633 were needful, but they offended the Puritans and were enforced in a harsh and tyrannical manner, for he lacked wisdom and sympathy. Under his rule nonconforming clergy were deprived and sometimes imprisoned. The cruel punishments inflicted by the Court of Star Chamber of which he was a member, the unpopularity of the High Commission Court, his own harsh dealing, and the part which he took in politics as a confidential adviser of the king, combined to bring odium upon him and upon the ecclesiastical system which he represented. The church was weak, for the Laudian system was disliked by the nation. A storm of discontent with the course of affairs both in church and state gathered. In 1640 Charles, after dissolving parliament, prolonged the session of convocation, which issued canons magnifying the royal authority and imposing the so-called" et cetera oath "against innovations on all clergy, graduates IX. 15 and others. The Long Parliament voted the canons illegal; Laud was imprisoned, and in 1642 the bishops were excluded from parliament. The civil war began in 1642; in 1643 a bill was passed for the taking away of episcopacy, in 1645 Laud was beheaded, and parliament abolished the prayer-book and accepted the Presbyterian directory, and from 1646 Presbyterianism was the legal form of church government. Many, perhaps 2000, clergy were deprived; some were imprisoned and otherwise maltreated, though a fifth of their former revenues was assigned to the dispossessed. The king, who was beheaded in 1649, might have extricated himself from his difficulties if he had consented to the overthrow of episcopacy, and may therefore be held a martyr to the church's cause. The victory of the army over the parliament secured England against the tyranny of Presbyterianism, but did not better the condition of the episcopal clergy; the toleration insisted on by the Independents did not extend to" prelacy."Churchmen, however, occasionally enjoyed the ministrations of their own clergy in private houses, and though their worship was sometimes disturbed they were not seriously persecuted for engaging in it. Non-delinquent or nonsequestrated private patronage and the obligation of tithes were retained. Community of suffering and the execution of Charles I. brought the royalist country gentry into sympathy with the clergy, and at the Restoration the church had the hold upon the affection of the laity which it lacked under the Laudian rule.
On the king's restoration the survivors of the ejected clergy quietly regained their benefices. The Presbyterians helped to The bring back the king and looked for a reward. Charles II. promised them a limited episcopacy and other concessions, but his plan was rejected by the Commons.
A conference at the Savoy between leading Presbyterians and churchmen in 1661 was ineffectual, and a revision of the prayer-book by convocation further discontented nonconformists. The parliament of 1661 was violently anti-Puritan, and in 1662 passed an Act of Uniformity providing that all ministers not episcopally ordained or refusing to conform should be deprived on St Bartholomew's day, the 14th of August following. About 2000 ministers are said to have been ejected, and in 1665 ejected ministers were forbidden to come within five miles of their former cures. Though some bishops and clergy showed kindness to the ejected, churchmen generally approved of this oppressive legislation; they could not forget the wrongs inflicted on their church by the once triumphant Puritans. Nonconformist worship was made punishable by fine and imprisonment, and on the third offence by transportation. In 1672 Charles, who
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Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'The Church of England'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/bri/t/the-church-of-england.html. 1910.
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