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II.

CHAP. of benefices was first invented, is not so certain as to ad

mit of any dispute : some ascribing the imposition of this
tax to Pope John XXIII X. others to Pope Boniface IX.
about the year 1400. But that it could not be so lately
introduced is very plain from the several complaints of the
great grievance of it, made by our Parliaments from the
year 1350 and afterwards, fifty years before this time.
This was an arbitrary tax, the sum to be paid being fixed
or settled by the mere will and pleasure of the Pope, or the
officers of his Chamber : so that though it was pretended
to be only the first year's fruits of the bishopric, or half a
year's profits of any lesser benefice worth above twenty-
four nobles a year, it sometimes proved to be the fruits of
three or four years; for let what accidents would happen,
as loss of the crop, &c. the sum appointed by the Chamber
was to be raised. It is fairly owned by one of the Pope's
y collectors of this tax in England, that of all the projects

1

acciperet. Quod si illam fortassis summam annua fructuum collectio, aut ex
diminutione fructuum, aut alia calamitate conficere non posset, triennali vel
quandoque quadriennali fructuum exactione ad summam ipsam pertingi volue-
runt. Nic. de Clemangis de cor. Ecclesiæ Statu.

Onus illud Annatarum ab initio omnes generatim populi subire minus recu-
sarunt extra Anglos qui suis minoribus sacerdotiis, quando, ea Pontifex dabat,
id servitutis imponendum non censuerunt. Nam Pontifex Romanus minorum
quoque sacerdotiorum aliarum gentium quæ ipse confert, dimidiam capit vecti-
galium unius anni partem, si pluries viginti quatuor aureis æstimentur. Pol.
Vergil de Invent. lib. viii. cap. 2.

* S. Thomas nullos solvit primos fructus seu annata Papæ Romano, quod nullus episcopus in tempore S. Thomæ solvit primos fructus Papæ nec antea. Postea tamen in tempore Papæ Romani, Johannis XXII. primi fructus sive annata Papæ solvi cæperunt, ex cupida ordinatione Papæ Johannis XXII. et sibi adhærentium in curia Romana. Et sic inolevit in Anglia consuetudo quod consensus Papæ Romani et ejus canteræ, et consensus Regis in Anglia, et certa millia pecuniarum constituunt episcopum quemcunque jam in Anglia, ut sit episcopus. Gascoigne, Dict. Theol. MS.

y Nullum inventum majores Romano Pontifici cumulavit opes quam annatum (quas vocant) usus, qui omnino multo antiquior est quam recentiores quidam scriptores suspicantur. Et annates, more suo, appellant primos fructus unius anni sacerdotii vacantis, aut dimidiam eorum partem. Sane hoc vectigal jampridem cum Romanus Pontifex non habuerit tot possessiones, quot nunc habet, et eum oportuerit, pro dignitate, pro officio, multos magnosque facere sumptus, paulatim impositum fuit sacerdotiis vacantibus quæ ille conferret, de

II.

Edw. III. 4,

invented by the Court of Rome for augmenting its reve

СНАР. nues, this was the most gainful one; and, that though it. was by little and little imposed, that so it might insensibly, as it were, take place, (for when the Pope first of all pretended to dispose of vacant benefices by his mandates of provision, this tax seems not to have been demanded, yet it was often protested against, and complained of as a great grievance, but to no purpose. Here in England we find remonstrances made against this imposition from Rome, by several Parliaments, who call it an unheard of 25, 47, 51, thing, a damnable custom newly introduced, and represent 6, Rich. II. it as the occasion of a great part of the treasure of this 6 Hen. IV. realm being carried to the court of Rome, and of impoverishing the several Archbishops and Bishops. In the address of the Lords and Commons, on which the first of these acts is grounded, made in less than twenty years after this tax is said to have been first imposed, it is complained, that the Pope had then newly set forth the hardest explanations of the collection of this tax, and which were very prejudicial to the King and kingdom, and the whole Church of England.

25. Of this grievance Dr. Wiclif very loudly com- of Prelates, plained; he said it was symony to serve the Pope in such a strange travail and country, and give him gold for his lead, and the first fruits for gift of a church. When

(saith he) a lord hath the gold for presenting, the gold “ dwelleth still in our land; but when the Pope hath the first fruits, the gold goeth out and cometh never again.” And then he proceeds to shew the malice and cursedness of symony. Nor was hez singular in this opinion of his.

MS. c. 5.

qua quidem re, ut gravi, sæpe reclamatum fuisse testatur Henricus Hostiencis qui cum Alexandro IV. Pontifice vixit, sic ut Franciscus Zabarellus tradit, post hæc in concilio Viennensi (quod Clemens V. indixit qui factus est Pontifex anno salutis humanæ 1305) agitatum fuisse ut, eo deposito annatum onere, vigesima pars vectigalium sacerdotalium penderetur quotannis Romano Pontifici, et id quidem frustra. Quare Pontifex annatas in sua nassa retinuit, ut ne indidem exire possent. Polydore Vergil de Invent. Rerum, lib. viii. cap. 2.

2 Nec satis perspicio ut se excusare possint hoc modo promoti a Pontifice, quominus in canonum pænam incurrant, et tanquam vitio creati, ut veteres

II.

CHAP. We are told that it is the opinion of almost all Divines

and Canonists, that the Pope is equally obliged with other Duaren. de Bishops by the law of a symoniacal ambitus, if he takes any Beneficiis, lib. iv. c. 8. money for disposing of the sacred ministries of the Church :

and, that by the Council of Basil, this kind of tax was • Depriva- condemned, and the pain * of simoniacal ambitus decreed tion is the against those who this way come at the sacred ministries simony.

of the Church.

26. Our Bishop, in his defence of himself and the other Bishops thus promoted by the Pope, seems to have been misled by the prevailing opinion of this time; that the Pope, as universal Pastor, had a right to the fruits of all the ecclesiastical benefices in the Christian Church. For thus his Lordship is said to have preached at Paul's Cross, “ that b Bishops paying to the Pope before they are admit** ted to be Bishops 5000 marks, or a greater sum, are not “ guilty of sin on this account, because by this payment “they do not give any thing to the Pope, but only make

a tender to him of what is his own, as a bailiff or stew« ard does, when he accounts or reckons with his lord.

By this it should seem as if it was then generally thought, Consilium that the Pope had a right to all the benefices of the

Church, and might in the disposal of them reserve to him

self what he thought fit of the profits of them, without beJanda Ec- ing guilty of symony, since, as rightful lord of them, he

sold only that which was his own: and indeed so far was the power or authority claimed by the Popes, of providing

delectorum Cardinali

um, &c.

de emen

clesia.

loquebantur, dignitatem, honoremque, ecclesiasticum amittant, siquis ad priscæ institutionis normam potius, quam receptæ consuetudinis, hæc exigere velit. Duaren. de Beneficiis, lib. vi. c. 3.

. Hic autem ambitus vulgo simoniacus dicitur a Simone, quodam apostolorum contemporaneo, qui mirificam illam divinamque vim ac potestatem Spiritus Sancti gratiam infundendi per manuum impositionem, quam habebant Apostoli, ab ipsis emere et mercari voluit. Ibid. cap. 2.

6 Item prædicavit Londoniis ad crucem S. Pauli, quod episcopi solventes Papæ Romano, antequam per Papam admittantur, ut sint episcopi, quinque millia marcarum seu majorem summam non peccant in hoc, nec hæc solvendo Papæ aliquid dant Papæ, ut ipse dicit, sed tum tribuunt Papæ quod Papæ est, sicut tribuit aliquis Ballivus suo domino. Gascoigne, Dict. Theol. MS.

II.

persons to bishoprics and other dignities, when they should chAP. become void, by degrees established in this weak and troublesome reign, that the Popes seem to have acted in this matter with little or no Copposition, application being generally made to them, as if they were the undoubted rightful patrons. Insomuch that, as it has been hinted before, Gascoigne tells us it was commonly said, that three things made a man a Bishop in England: 1. the will of the King; 2. the will of the Pope; and, 3. a round sum of money paid into the Pope's Chamber at Rome.

28. Whatever were the effects of this complaint of our Bishop's preaching, it is plain it did not discourage his Lordship from proceeding in his endeavours to vindicate the Bishops and Clergy of the established Church, and to reconcile the dissenting Lollards to it, by causing them to have a better opinion of their discipline and governance. Of this I shall give an account in the next chapter.

Per provisionem factam Romæ in diebus meis facti sunt plures episcopi, et abbates et decani sine electione quacunque, excepta electione Papæ, quæ vocatur provisio. Gascoigne, Dict. Theol. MS.

CHAP. III.

from A. S.

An account of a book published by the Bishop, entitled,

The Repressour, &c. 1. OUR Bishop was not, it seems, by the offence lately taken at his preaching in vindication of the Bishops and conforming Clergy, and the trouble given him on that account, made to desist from his attempts to defend the established Church from the objections made to her by the dissenting Lollards. And therefore in the year 1449, his

Lordship published a book in English, which he entitled, * blaming The repressing of over miche* witing the Clergie; in which

his Lordship endeavoured to defend the Clergy of the then pitan.

Church of England against the common objections of the followers of Dr. John Wiclif, then going by the nick-name of Lowlardis, or Lollards. The design of this book may be seen by what the Bishop himself says of the partition or division of it. “I schal,” says he,“ justifie xi gover“ nauncis of the Clergie whiche summe of the comoun

peple unwiisly and untreuli jugen and comdempnen to “be yuele. Of which xi governauncis oon is the hauvinge “ and using of ymagis in chirchis; and another is pil“grimage in going to the memorials or the 'mynde

placis of seintis, and, that pilgrimagis and offeringis

mowe be doon weel, not oonli priueli, but also openli; “ and not oonli so of laymen, but rather of prestis and “ of bischops. And this schal I do by writing of this

“present book in the comoun peplis langage, pleinli and t called.

openli and schortli, and to be † clepid The Repressing, &c. and he schal have v principal parties. In the firste “ of whiche parties schal be maad in general manner the “ seid repressing, and in general maner proof to the xi “ seid gouernauncis. And in the ii, iii, iv, and v parties “ schal be maad in special manner the seid repressing, “ and in special maner the proof to the same xi governauncis.' 2. In the first part of this work, where the Bishop, as

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