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THE TWO VOLUMES OF THE HISTORY OF THE REFORMA
TION OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND,
No. I. A Letter written to me by Anthony Ilood, in Justification of
his History of the University of Oxford, with Reflections upon it; referred to alphabetically.
Sir; Your book of The Reformation of the Church of England I have latelie perused, and finding my self mentioned therein, not without some discredit, I thought fit to vindicate my self so far in these animadversions following, that you may see your mistakes, and accordingly rectitie them (if you think fit) in the next part that is yet to publish. *P. 134. But after he hath set down the instrument, he gives some reasons, &c.
The two first reasons, (if they may be so called) * were put in by another hand; and the other were taken from these three books following, † viz. from Dr. Nicholas Harpesfeild's Treatise concerning Marriage, &c., which is a fair manuscript in folio ; written either in the time of Queen Marie, or in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth, and 'tis by me quoted in my book, in the place excepted against.
I could not know this: he publishes them, and is justly to be charged with them.
+ From such authorities what else was to be expected? VOL. III, Part II,
From Will. Forest's Life of Queen Catherine, written in the raigne of Queen Marie, and dedicated to her. 'Tis a manuscript also, and written verie fairlie in parchment. * From An Apologie for the Government of ihe Universitie against King Henry the VIII. Written by a Master of Arts Septimo Elizabetha. 'Tis a manuscript also, and hath all the King's letters therin ; written to the Universitie about the question of marriage and divorce, with several passages relating to convocatiuns concerning the said questions.
So that by this you see I do not frame those reasons out of mine owne head (as partiall men might), but what other authours dictate to me.
P. 134. Upon what design I cannot easily imagine.
No designe at all, God-wot, but meerlie for truth's sake, which verie few in these dayes will deliver.
Ibid. And as if it had been an ill thing, he takes pains te purge the Universities of it, &c. 'It was an ill thing, I think (I am sure it was taken so to be), for a prince by his letters to frightent people out of their consciences, and by menaces force them to say must please him. But seeing the masters would not be frightned, and therefore they were laid aside (the matter being discussed by a few old timerous doctors and batchellors of divinity, who would say any thing to please the king, least danger should follow), they ought to be commended, or at least justified for keeping their consciences sake.
P. 135. And without any proof gives credit to a lying story set down by Sanders, of an assembly called by night.”
Sanders is not my authour, for he says no such thing in his book de Schismate, of an assembly t called by night ; my author for this is the Apologie before mentioned, which adds, that, when a Regent of Baliol College (whom they called King Henry) heard that the commissarie, and his company, were going to dispatch this night work, denied the seale with his breeches about his shoulders, for want of a hood. See in Hist. et Antiq. Oxon. lib. i, p. 256. A*. The truth is, the meeting was unseasonable, and their actions clancular; as being protested against by, and done without the consent of the regents. And as for Sanders, though I cannot well defend him, yet many things in his book de Schismate, especially those relating to the Universitie of Oxford, I find from other places to be truet.
* This, as Dr. Lloyd in forms me, is Parsons' book, an author of no better credit than the former: for he ws a master of arts in Baliol College, in Queen Elizabeth's time. See Wood in Bal. Col.
+ I do not find there was any frightening threatenings; none ap. pear in the King's letters. If he had this from any good authors, he had done well to have quoted them. It is not honourable for the Úni. versity, as it is not probable, to represent all the doctors and bachelors of divinity as men apt to be frightened out of their consciences; and that only the masters of arts were impregnable. It is rather to be supposed that the one sort were carried away by faction; and that the others were guided by learning and conscience.
I He says it was called clam; that could hardly be, but in the night: so this is no material difference. In the rest you agree with Sanders,
P. 135. But it appears that he had never seen or considered the other instrument, to which the University set their seul.
The grand collection, or farrago, which Mr. Thomas Masters made (by the Lord Herbert's appointment), in order to the writing of King Henry the Villth's life, I have seen and perused, but could not with all my diligence find that instrument (as you call it, yet we, an act, or decree) of convocation ; neither in the three great folios, written by another hand, containing materials at large for the said life : neither in any of the registers, records, or papers, belonging to the Universitie. So that for these reasons, and that because the Lord Herbert says, it was blurred, and not intended for ine King; and also not under seal (you say 'twas), neither passed in the house by the majority of votes; therefore did I omitit, as not authentick. I truly believe, or at least have good grounds to think, that it was only drawn up, and not proposed ; for if it had, it would have been re
* I see no reason for this. The instruinent set forth by the Lord Herbert shows, that the persona deputed had good authority to set the University seal to their determination : and they were not tied to forms, but might have done it at any time.
† Yes, such authors as you quote. You say you cannot well defend Sanders. It seems, you would if you could. These are soft words concerning that scandalous writer.
I All that you say here, is only negative authority; but since the Lord Herbert says he saw the original, though it is not in any of these Collections, you must either believe it, or make him a liar: and if it was an original, it must either have been subscribed by the hands of the person deputed, or must have had the seal put to it. The beginning of it shows it was not subscribed; for it is in the name of John Cattisford, their commissary: so it must bave been either in the form of a notary's instrument, or must have had the scal put to it, for he calls it an ori. yinal. Perhaps the blurring of it might either be casual, or when it was brought to court, the king might have made some alterations in it, that it might be renewed according to these corrections. * It might be cusual; Lord Herbert says not that it was rased out, &c.
* These words, in Italic, are in the Bishop of Worcester's hand.
gistered: there being nothing proposed, either in convocation or congregation, but is registered, whether denied os not. And the register of that time is most exactly kept ; and nothing thence, as I can perceive, is torn out.
P. 135. There seems to be also another mistake, in the relation he gives: for he says, those of Paris had determined in this mutter.
I say * so from Warham, archbishop of Canterbury, then chancellor of the University ; who in his letters thereunto, desires the members to make what expedition they could, to give in their linsurer to the King's question ; forasmuch us PaTis and Cambridge had done it already.— For this I quote the book of Epistles, in Archiv. Lib. Bod. MS. Epist. 197. Yet, I believe, the archbishop said this, to hasten the University of Oxon the more; though probably it was not so. However, I am not to take notice of that, but to follow record as I find it. And that I do follow record throughout all my book, there is not one (I presume) of the Senate of Antiquaries can deny it: and therefore, how there can be many things in my book (of my framing) that are enemies to the Reformation of the Church of England, as was suggested by you to Sir Harbottle Grim
made a complaint in open parliament, last April, against the said book) I cannot see t. Truth ought to take place; and must not be concealed, especially when 'tis at a distance. And if our religion i hath had its original, or base, on lust, bleod, ruin, and desolation (as all religions, or alterations in governments, have had from one or more of them), why should it be hidden, seeing it is so obvious to all curious searchers into record.
July the 5th,
This is all from him
that studies truth,
ANTIIONY A Wood.
* In this you had a warrant for what you wrote, but I had a better to correct it by.
+ I do profess I do not remember that I ever mentioned your book to him : and Sir Harbottle himself, when I asked him the question, said, he never heard me speak of it.
+ This is writ very indecently: neither like a divine, nor a Christian.
A Letter to Mr. Ausont, which was translated into French, upon his procuring for me a Censure in writing, mude in Paris upon the First l'olume of my History of the Reformation.
Paris, the 10th of August, 1685. SIR; WIEN I came last to Paris, I was told there was a censure of the first volume of my History of the Reformation, going about in writing. I was glad to hear of this, when I was upon the place, ready either to justify myself, or to acknowledge such mistakes as should be offered to me : for I am ready, upon conviction, to retract any thing that may have fallen from my pen, as soon as I see cause for it, with all the freedom and candour possible. I should be much more out of countenance to persist in an error when I am convinced of it, than to acknowledge that in such a multitude of matters of fact, of which my History nakes mention, I might have been misinformed in some particulars, and have mistaken others; which I was resolved to rectify, when discovered in another edition. This made me very desircus to see what it was that had been objecied to me. And I am much obliged to you for procuring me a sight of it; for which I return you my most humble thanks.
When I had read it over and over again, I confess, I was amazed to find, that he who censured me so severely had read my book so slightly; and yet gives way to his passions, with so little judgment, and with less sincerity, that among all the things that he charges me with, there should not be one single particular, that might give me occasion to show my readiness to retract what I had written.
What can be expected from a writer, who, after the list I had given, of the many gross errors of which Sanders's His tory was made up, says, That I have proved, that he has fuiled in some circumstances, that may seem to aggravate the matten more or less? If any man will be at the pains to read what I have proved, of the falsehoods in that author, and compare it with the mild censure here given ; he will see cause to be ashamed of it, and will look for little sincerity, after so false a step made in the beginning. From this he goes on to his main design; and runs out into an invective against King Henry the villth, for his incontinencies, and other violences.