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preach, being entangled in worldly business and bodily CHAP. “pleasures, or they cannot preach truly without preaching
against those evils, of which they themselves are guilty. “ Nor do they, when they do preach, preach good works, “ which are things the Bishops do not themselves, but
slight and make a jest of those who make conscience of
doing them, or however do not value them.” Accordingly he tells us, that notwithstanding our Bishop's labours in the pulpit to vindicate his brethren from these reproaches, almost every body cried out væ, ve Episcopus qui primus per eorum defectum, that he was the principal offender in thus patronizing their vices. The same writer imputes the civil calamities of this troublesome and unhappy reign to the Bishops not preaching, and our Bishop's justifying this omission of theirs. “ Since,” says he, “ the “ aforesaid Bishop Reginald Pecock, and other Bishops ad“vanced by the King, have asserted, that Bishops are not
obliged to preach themselves, almighty God has preached “ in England, to some purpose, by actually punishing the Bishops, and suffering them to be punished.”
9. The 'like complaint is made of the non-residency of Tho. Gasthe Bishops of this time on their dioceses. “Before King Theol. pars “ Henry VI.” says the forementioned writer, “ the Kings prima, p. " of England were wont to choose for their Confessors da, p. 450.
grave Doctors of Divinity, who had no other cure, and MS. “the Bishops then attended to the care of their dioceses. “ Thus Henry IV. when his Confessor was made a Bishop,
• Ante Regem Henricum Sextum solebant reges Angliæ maturos doctores theologiæ exutos a cura alia, eligere in suos confessores, et episcopi suæ curæ tunc vacabant; sed in tempore Henrici Sexti, Stafford Episcopus Cantuariæ, et bastardus origine, fuit Cancellarius Angliæ. Adam Molens, Episcopus Cicestrensis, fuit custos privati sigilli, et occisus fuit. Episcopus Norwicensis, Walter Lyard, de Cornubia, fuit Confessor Reginæ, residens in curia, et Episcopus Carliolensis, et postea Lincolniensis. Marmaducus Lumley fuit Thesaurarius Angliæ; et indignus Episcopus * Cestriæ, Buth nomine, fuit tunc Cancellarius * CovenReginæ Margaritæ Angliæ. Dict. Theol.
triæ. Nunquam invenire potui quod aliquis Rex Angliæ habuit episcopum in suum confessorem, nec episcopum in domo sua, hebdomatim manentem, excepto Henrico Sexto.
CHAP. “ commanded him to go to his cure and bishopric. Henry
“ V. likewise, a very wise King, and a terror to a great
ley, was Treasurer of England; and the unworthy Bi
shop of Coventry, Buth, was then Chancellor to MarPars prima," garet Queen of England.” He observes elsewhere, that p. 387.
“ u John Kemp, a native of Kent, Bishop of Rochester,
“ and afterwards of London, and then of York, for almost twenty-five.“ twenty-eight years, while he continued Archbishop of
“ that province, was wholly absent from his diocese, living . Probably“ at London, or in * Kent, or elsewhere in England, at a at Wye, “ distance from his diocese; excepting that sometimes in where he was born. ten or twelve
he resided in his diocese of York for “ two or three weeks, and at York a few or no days. And “ that the mob, when they set on * Asku, Bishop of Sarum,
p He was a Carmelite or White Friar, and a strenuous opposde of the WicHenry V. lifites, and was therefore sent by the King, together with John Clynton, his
ambassador to the Council of Constance.
4 John Stafford, Bishop of Bath and Wells, was translated to the see of Canterbury by Papal provision, May 15, 1443.
He was promoted to this bishopric by Papal provision, 1445-6. * He was translated from Carlisle to this see of Lincoln by Papal provision, 1450.
William Boothe, or Buth, was advanced to this see by Papal provision, 1447, and from thence translated to York, 1452.
u He was translated from this see to Canterbury by the Pope's bull of pro.vision, dated July 21, 1452.
* Henricus Sextus fuit primus Rex Angliæ, qui habuit Episcopum continue secum manentem in suum confessorem Episcopum Sarum, Willielmum Ayscough, qui a suis diocesanis occisus fuit anno Christi eo quod non residebat in suo episcopatu. Gasc. Dict. Theol.
516, 55. v.
to murder him, thus insulted and upbraided him: That CHAP. fellow always lived with the King, and was his con“fessor, and did not reside in his diocese of Sarum with us, nor keep any hospitality, therefore he shall not live.”
10. As to provisions, or the Pope's providing of a Bishop before the incumbent was dead, (called also Mandamus de providendo, or gratia expectativa, because the Pope p. 26, 29. pretended by it to provide for the cure, or the persons to whom these bulls were granted, were to expect, or wait for Tho. Gasthe grace or favour they were to enjoy by them, until the Dict. Theol. incumbent died,) we are assured by the forementioned pars 2da. p. writer, that through the frequency of granting licences to
Appropriaprocure and accept of the Pope's bulls of provision for va- tio; pars
prima, p. cant benefices, the most unworthy were promoted, or that 20. v. Epi
very wicked and worthless men were by these means ad- scopus. vanced to the highest stations in the Church. He instances, particularly, Ist, in “ William Buthe, who,” he says," he translated from Litchfield to York, and was nei“ther a good grammarian, nor knowing, nor reputed vir
tuous, nor a graduate in either University. 2. George “ Nevil, who was provided by the Pope to the see of “ Exeter, when he was but twenty-three years old. 3. • John Delabere, who was promoted to the see of St. Da“ vid's by the Pope's bull of provision, dated Sept. 15, “ 1447, and who indulged his Clergy in their keeping “ z concubines, receiving of every Priest who kept one, a “ noble a year or more. 4. John Kemp, Archbishop of “ York, who is represented as a non-resident, a dilapi“ dator, and one who left his church, when he was trans“lated to the see of Canterbury, in great disorder and con
y Novi nuper in Anglia homines pessime promotos, qui habuerunt licentiam a rege Henrico Sexto, ut laborarent Papæ Romano pro provisione, et qui illam acceptarent. Et sic per provisionem factam Romæ in diebus meis, facti sunt plures episcopi et abbates et decani sine electione quacunque, excepta electione Papæ, quæ vocatur provisio. Gasc. Dict. Theol.
* Plerisque in diocesibus, rectores parochiarum, ex certo et conducto cum suis prælatis pretio, passim et publice concubinas tenant. Nicolaius de Clemangis de corrupto Ecclesiæ Statu, c. 15.
CHAP. “ fusion. In sum we are assured, that from the
“ there were none preferred in the Church who knew how
or would do it: that at that time in England, the care Ibid. p. 55. “ of souls was destroyed by appropriations, the non-resi
“dence of Curates and Prelates, the promotion of worth“ less men, pluralities of benefices, and the very worst “ conferring of school degrees and granting graces to un“ worthy, wicked, and vicious persons, in Oxford, and “ other Universities.”
11. “ Lastly, as to the payment of a annates or firstIbid. pars“ fruits to the Pope, the same writer observes, that it was prima, p. 419. v. Epi- a novel practice, and but lately introduced : that Thomas
“ Becket, and the Bishops in his time, paid no first-fruits “to the Pope, and, that they were not paid at any time
before; but, that afterwards, in the time of Pope John about 1817.“ XXII. they begun to be paid by an avaricious ordinance
“ of the said Pope's, and of those who adhered to him in “ the court of Rome: and, that thus grew up a custom in “ England, that the consent of the Pope of Rome and his
chamber, the consent of the King of England, and cer
“ tain thousands of money, make any one a Bishop. So Episcopus. “ elsewhere he observes, that three things make a man a
“ Bishop in England, viz. the will of the King, the will of “ the Pope, or court of Rome, and monies paid in abun“ dance to the court of Rome, viz. several thousands of
pounds of English money paid here in England to the * Bankers. “* Lombards for exchange, which impoverishes the king
12. Of these corruptions and intolerable grievances and exactions very great and many complaints had been made for almost an hundred years before. Dr. Wiclif shewed, that Prelates and Priests ordained of God ben all
p. 438. v.
about 1400. a Annatarum usum beneficiis ecclesiasticis primus [Bonifacius IX.] imposuit,
hac conditione, ut qui beneficium consequeretur dimidium annui proventus fisco apostolico persolveret-Hanc autem consuetudinem omnes admisere, præter Anglos, qui id de solis episcopatibus concessere, in cæteris beneficiis non adeo. Platina in Vita Bonifacii IX.
MS. c. 19.
bounden by Jesu Christ to preach the Gospel : that Pre- CHAP. lates ben more bounden to this preaching, for that is commandment of Christ before his death and eke after, than Of Prelates, to seie Mattins, Mass, Even-song or Placebo, for that is 39. man's ordinance. He therefore complained, that they prechen not Christ's Gospel in word and dede by which Christen men should live holy life in charity--but they senden new hypocrites to preche fables and lesings, and to flattren men in sin, and to rob the poor people by false begging damned of God's law,—and pursuen and cursen if any poor Priest wole preache freely Christ's gospel, and deliver Christen souls out of the fends honds, and leaden them the right way to heaven. Elsewhere it is complained, Why poor that if Curates ben stirred to go learn God's law, and
no benefice, teche their parishioners the Gospel, commonly they shullen MS. c. 2. get no leave of Bishops but for gold, and when they shullen most profit in their learning, then shullen they be clepid home at the Prelate's will.
13. The ignorance of both the Bishops and inferior Clergy of this time is represented to have been generally so great, that they were incapacitated to perform this office of preaching. Dr. Wiclif assures us, that in his time there were muny unable b Curates, that kunnen not the Great Sen
tence of ten commandments, ne read their sauter, ne understood a verse of it. Nay, that it was then notorious, that too many pounded,
MS. c. iii. of even the Prelates were sinners in their being ignorant xvi. of God's law. This had long been a growing evil. The Dialog. lib.
iv. Friars seem to have taken advantage of this ignorance of the Clergy, to obtain the privilege of preaching and hearing confessions; for thus they represented the Parish Matth. Pa
ris, Hist. Priests as a parcel of idiots, who never heard divinity, and
Ang.p.694. were blind leaders of the blind. A writer nearer our Bi-See Abp.
Peckham's shops time gives us the following representation of the Constit.
b Suche that can nat ysay ther crede
With prayir shall be made Prelates, Nothir canne thei the Gospell rede Suche shul now weldin hie estates.
Chaucer's Plowman's Tale.