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and Meaning of the same; hath divers times most straitly commanded all and singuler his Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ministers of the Clergie of this his Noble Realme, in their Sermons and Preaching, plainly, purely, sincerely, and with all their possible Diligence, to set forth first to the Glorie of God, and 'Trouthe of his most Blessed Word; and aster, the true Meaning and End of the said Sacramentalls and Ceremonies; to the intent that all Supeisticious Abuses and Idolatries being avoided, the same Sacramentalls, Rites and Ceremonies, might be quietly used, for such only Intent and Consideration, as they were first instituted and meant. His Majestie having knowledge, that this his most Godly and most Vertuouse Commandment, hath not ben executed according to his Trust and Expectation ; therefore staitly estsones chargeth and commandeth, all
aid Archbishopes and Bishops of this his Realme, not only in their own persons, with more Diligence to preach, teach, open and set forth, to his People and loving Subjects within their Cures, committed to them by bis Highnes for that Purpose, as often as they conveniently maie, the Word of God sincerely and purely; declaring such Dif
nce between Thinges commanded by God, and the Rites and Ceremonies aforesaid, and the Use of them, in such wise, as his People, being under their Cures by his Highnes to them committed, maie be brought to the true Knowledge of their Lively Faith to God, and Obedience to his Highnes, with their Love and Charity also to their Neighbour's : But also his Highnes straitly chargeih and commandeth, all Archdeacons, Deans, Provosts, Parsons, Vicars, Curates, and other Ministers, and every of them, in their own Persons, within their Cures, truly and diligently to do the same. And further, in all their said Sermons and Collations, to stirre and exbort the People to Charitie, Love and Obedience; and also to rede and heare with Simplicite, and without any Arrogancie, the very Gospell and Holie Scripture, and to conforme, by earnest Deeds, their Mindes and Willes unto the same; avoiding all manner of Contencion, Strife and Occasions, upon Pain not only to incurre his Majesties Indignacion, but also for their Slacknesse and Negligence in the Executing of their Cures and Charges committed unto them by his Highnes, to be imprisoned and punished at his Majesty's Pleasure.
Item, Forasmuch as it appeareth clearly, that Thomas Becket, sometime Archbishope of Canterbury, stubbornely to withstand the Holsome Lawes established against the Enormities of the Clergy, by the King's Highnes most No. ble Progenitor, King Henry the Second, for the Common Welth, Rest, and Tranquility of this Realme; of his froward Mind, fled the Realme into France, and to the Bishop of Rome, Maintenour of those Enormities, to procure the Abrogation of the said Lawes, whereby arose much Trouble in this said Realm. And that his Death, which they untruly called Martirdome, happen'd upon a Reskewe by him made; And that, as it is written, he gave opprobrious Wordes, to the Gentlemen which then counsailed him to leave his Stubbornes, and to avoide the Commotion of the People, risen up for that Reskewe. And he not only called the one of them Bawde, bnt also toke Tracy by the Bosome, and violently shoke and plucked him in such manner, as he had almost overthrone him to the Pavement of the Church. So that uppon this Fray, one of their Company perceiving the same, struck him, and so in the Throng Becket was slain. And further, that his Canonization was made only by the Bishop of Rome, because he had been a Champion to mainteine his Usurped Authority, and a Bearer of the Iniquitie of the Clergie. For these, and for other great and urgent Causes long to recite, the King's Majestie, by the Advice of his Counsell, hath thought expedient to declare to his Loving Subjects, that notwithstanding the said Canonization, there appeareth nothing in his Life and exteriour Conversation, whereby he should be called a Saint, but rather esteemed to have been a Rebel and Traitor to his Prince. Therefor his Grace straightly chargeth and commandeth, that from henceforth the said Thomas Becket shall not be esteemed, named, reputed, nor called a Saint ; but Bishop Becket: And that his Images and Pictures, through the hole Realme, shall be put down and avoided, out of all Churches, Chappelles, and other Places. And that from henceforth, the Days used to be Festivall in his Name, shall not be observed; nor the Service, Office, Antiphones, Collettes, and Praiers in his Name redde, but rased and put out of all the Bookes. And that all other Festivall Daies already abrogate, shall be in no wise solemnised, but his Grace's Ordenance and Injunctions thereupon observed ; to the intent his Grace's Loving Subjects shall be no longer blindly led, and abused, to committ Idolatrie, as they have done in Times passed : upon Paine of his Majesties Indignacion, and Imprisonemente at his Grace's Pleasure.
Finallie, His Majestie willeth, and chargeth all his said True, Loving, and Obedient Subjects, that they, and every of them for his Parte, shall keepe and observe all and singuler the Injunctions made by his Majestie, upon the Paine therein conteined, and further to be punished at his Gracis Pleasure.
GOD SAVE THE KING.
LXII. An Original Letter of the King's, much to the same Purpose. (Cotton Libr. Cleop. E. 6, P. 224.)
BY THE KING. HENRY R. Trusty and Welbeloved, we grete you well. And whereas we, chiefly and principally regarding and tendring the Quiet, Rest, Prosperite and Tranquillite of our Nobles and Commons, and their Conservacion no less than our own, directed lately our Letters unto you, and other Justices of our Peace throughout this our Realme, conteining our Admonition and gentil Warening, to have such speciall Regard to the Dewties of your Office, according to the Trust we have reposed in you, that not only for thimportance it is both unto us and our Commonwelthe, ye shuld see our Dignitie of Supremacie of our Church (wherwith it hath pleased Almighty God, by his most certain and undoubted Word, torendowe and adorn our Auctorite and Crown Imperiall or this our Realme) to be set forth, and impressed in all our Subjects Herts and Mindes; and forsee, that the Mayntenors of the Bishop of Rome's Usurped and Fayned Auctorite, with all his Papistical Superstiticions and Abuses, with which he hath in Times past abused the Multitude of our Subjects; of whose Yoke, Tyranny and skornfull Illusion, we have, by God's Providence, deliver'd this our Realm, and other his Satellyts, which secretly did uphold his Faction, shuld be by you diligently serched, enquired and tried out, and so brought to our Justice, to receive Condign Punishment, according to their Demerits; but also that Tale-tellers about the Cuntries, and Spreders of Rumors, and false Inventors of News, to put our People in Fears, and to styrre them to Sedicion, should be apprehended and punished, to the terrible Example of others. Also, that Vagabonds, and valyant Beggers, shall be avoided, and have worthy Correction : And for the same Purpos, to keep Watches, and to see common Justice with Indif
rencie, and without Corruption, to be observed and miuistred unto all our Subjects; like as by the Purport and Contents of our said Letters, ye may more amply perceive. We have been credibly informed, that sundrie of you have for a Time so well done your Dewties, and endevored your selfs fulfilling our said Admonicions, and causing the Evildoers to be punished according to ther Demerits, that our Loving Subjects have not been disquieted of a long Season, untill now of late, that some ungracious, cankred, and maliciouse Peisons, have taken Boldnes tattempt with sundry divelish Persuasions, to move and seduce our true Subjects : using false Lyes, and most untrewe Rumors. And amongst them, we understand, sundry Parsons, Vicars and Curates of this our Realme, to be Cheef; which (to bring our People to Darknes) of their own perverse Minde, not only to blinde our Commons, do rede so confusely, hemmyng and hacking the Word of God, and such our Injunctions as we have lately set forth, that almost no Man can understande the trewe Meanyng of the said Injunctions, and also secretly have suborned certain Spreders of Rumors and false Tales in Corners, which do interpretat and wrast our trewe Meanyng and Intencion of our said Injunctions to an untrewe Sense: For wheras we have ordayned by our said Injunctions, for the avoiding of sundry Strives, Processis and Contentions, rising upon Aege, Lyneall, Descents, Title of Inheritance, Legitimation, or Bastardy, and for Knowledge whether any Person is our Subject born or no: Also for sundry other Causes, that the Names of all Children christen'd from henceforth, with their Birth, their Fathers and Mothers Names; and likewise all Marryages and Burials, with the Time and Date therof, should be registied from Tyme to Tyme in a Booke, in every Parish Church, safely and surely to be kept. They have brutid and blowen abiode, most falsely and untreuly, that we do intend to make sum new Examinations, at all Christnyngs, Weddings and Buryalls; the which in no wise we never meanyd, or thought upon. Alledging, for to fortefy and colour their false and manyfest Lyes, that therein we go about to take away the Liberties of our Realm ; for Conservation whereof, they fayne, that Bishop Becket of Canterbury, which they have tofore called Saint Thomas, dyed for: where in deede ther was never such Thyng don nor ment in that Tyme, nor since : For the said Becket never swarved nor contended with our Progenitor, King Henry the Second ; but only to let, that those of the Clergie shuld not be punished for their offences, nor justefied by the Courts and Lawes of this Realm; but only at the Bishop's Pleasure, and after the Decrees of Rome. And the Causes why he dyed, were upon a wyllfull Reskew and Fraye, by him made and begon at Canterbury; which was nevertheles afterward alledged to be for such Liberties of the Church, which he contended for, during his Life,with the Archbishop of Yorke; yea, and in case he should be absent, or fugitive out of the Realme, the King shuld not be crowned by any other, but constrayned tabyde his Retorne. These, and such other detestable and unlawfull Liberties, nothing concerning the Commun Wele, but only the Partie of the Clergie, the said Thomas Beckct most arrogantly desired, and traytorously sewed, to have contrary to the Lawes of this our Realme. To the which most false Interpre ations, and wrasting of our trewe Meanyng, they have joyned such myschevouse Lyes, and false Tales, for Marking of Catalls and others lyke sedyciouse Devises, whereupon our People were lately styrred to Sedicion and Insurrection, to their utter Ruyne and Destruction, onles Allmighty God, who by his Divine Providence gave unto us habundance of Force (as he allwayes doth unto Rightfull Prynces), had so with Clemencie illumyned us, that whereas we, with the Edge of the Sword, and by our Lawes might have overthrowen and destroyed them, their Wives, Children, and Posterite for ever; We nevertheless, as ye can right well remember, extended upon them at that Time our benygn and mercifull Pardon. Those miserable, and Papistical Superstitiouse Wretches, nothing regarding the same, nor caryng what Daunger and Myscheef our People shuld incurre, have both raysed the said old Rumors, and forged newe sediciouse Tales, intending (as much as in them lyeth) a newe Commocion, and all to satisfye their Cankered Herts. Wherefore, and for the immvnent Daunger to you, and to all our good Subjects, and Trouble that might enfews, oneles good and ernest Provision to repress them be taken thereupon: We desire and pray you, and nevertheless straitly charge and command you, that within the Precynct and Lymyt of your Charge, ye shall not only endevour your selfs, and imploy your most Diligence, to inquire and finde out such Canker'd Parsons, Vicars and Curats, which do not truely and substantially declare our said Injunctions, and the very Word of God, but momble confusely, saying that they be compelled to rede them, and byd their Parishioners nevertheles to do as they did in Tymes past, to live as their Fathers, and that the Old Fashion is the best, and other Craftie Sediciouse Parables; but also with your most effectual Vigillancie do inserche and try out such Sediciouse Tale-Tellers, and