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offence, 400 marks; and for the third offence, forfeiture of all goods and chattels, and imprisonment for life.

Attendance at church was also enforced. Every person within the realm, having no lawful or reasonable excuse to be absent, should diligently and faithfully endeavour themselves to resort to their parish church or chapel accustomed, or if prevented there, to some usual place of common prayer, upon every Sunday and holiday, and abide there during the service, upon pain of punishment of the censures of the Church, and of forfeiting twelve pence, for the use of the poor.

These were the principal acts of her first parliament, but there were, besides, two others, one by which the queen's title to the throne was recognized by parliament, and the succession was settled according to the act of Henry;' the other restored to the queen and her successors the firstfruits and tenths of which it had been deprived by Mary.

The clergy were soon tested by the oath of supremacy, and it must be remembered that they were, for the most part, the same persons as had adopted, or given their adherence to Catholicism, under the reign of Mary. All the bishops, except one, refused the oath. The general body of the clergy took the oath, with the exception of eighty rectors and vicars, fifty prebendaries, fifteen heads of colleges, twelve archdeacons, many

deacons.3 The act of uniformity established the new religion, but it did not in express terms prohibit the old. It denounced punishment on ministers of the new establishment, who should use, and on persons who should compel them to use, in any of the national churches, any other services than those of the new book of Common Prayer; and it required all persons, without exception, to attend the established Church on Sundays and holidays. This marked an exclusive, if not a persecuting spirit; but provided there was conformity to that extent, to the established religion, worship 11 Elizabeth, cap. 3.

2 35 Henry VIII., cap. 1, 3 Humo's History, cap. 38, apud Camden, p. 376.

and as




according to the doctrines or forms of the old religion was not expressly prohibited, nor made subject to any penalty, This omission was, however, afterwards abundantly supplied. A course of legislation was entered upon which extended through nearly the whole of Elizabeth's reign,-not indeed rising in severity, for that was scarcely possible,-although the first statute in the future series refers to the previous laws as mild and merciful.

The legislation was at first directed altogether against the Roman Catholics, in order to counteract their efforts, open or secret, through the medium of the pope or of the Jesuits and priests, to retain the old religion and the authority of the pope in the affections of the people. At a later period the legislation was directed against the Puritans as a sect. A distinction must, however, be made between the followers of the two denounced religions. However likely it may be that the Roman Catholics would have been satisfied with reasonable toleration, yet they acknowledged a foreign power, and professed doctrines and opinions hostile to the queen and to the established religion. The Puritans, on the other hand, not only approved, but when their inAuence became extended, strongly urged, legislation against the Catholics; nor did they dispute the temporal authority of the queen, nor wish to separate from, although they wished to reform, the national Church.

It is essential to the understanding of our constitutional progress, to have some acquaintance with this legislation, which expresses a policy that was continued by the nation for upwards of two hundred years, and which strongly affected the civil, as well as the religious freedom of the people. Its successive steps, and general scope, will be brought into view by the following table,

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1570 . . The Act against Bulls from Rome

s for Ministers of the Church

(to be of sound religion . 1581 . . against Mass 1585 . .

and Priests 1593

against Popish Recusants 1593.

Sectaries (Puritans)

23 Eliz., cap. 1.


Ş for the departure of Jesuits 27 Eliz., cap. 2.


35 Eliz., cap. 2. 35 Eliz., cap. 1.

The two first of these statutes have been already noticed. The object of the third was to extend the oath of supremacy over a larger number of the people. It refers to the “perils, dishonours, and inconveniences that have resulted from the usurped power of the see of Rome, and also to the dangers from the fautors (favourers) of that usurped power, at that time grown to marvellous outrage and licentious boldness, and then requiring more sharp restraint and correction of laws, than thitherto, in the time of the queen's most mild and merciful reign, had been had, used, or established.” It imposed the penalties of præmunire on those who maintained or defended the authority of the pope within the realm ; and it required that the oath of supremacy and allegiance should be taken not only by ecclesiastics, and temporal office-bearers, receiving the queen's wages, but by all other persons, in holy orders, or admitted to any degree in the universities; by all schoolmasters, and public and private teachers of children; barristers and officers of the inns of court, attorneys and officers of the law. The bishops were empowered to tender the oath to ecclesiastics, and the lord chancellor to appoint commissioners to tender the oath to laymen. The penalty of refusal was, for the first offence, præmunire; and if, after three months, there was a second tender and refusal, the offence was high treason. Every knight, citizen, and burgess elected to parliament, was obliged, before he entered the parliament-house, or had any voice there, to take the oath before the lord-steward

Stat. 5 Elizabeth, cap. 1, “ An Act for the Assurance of the Queen's royal power over all estates and subjects within her dominions." (1562..




or his deputy, but no temporal peer should be compelled to take the oath. The act settled a doubt “whether, by the laws of this realm, there be any punishment for such as slay or kill a person attainted in or upon præmunire,” by declaring that“ it should not be lawful to kill or slay any such person.”

An interval of eight years elapsed, and one parliament intervened without another statute against Rome; but in 1570 parliament met. Catholic intrigues had produced an insurrection in the north of England, with the purpose of displacing Elizabeth from the throne, and giving the kingdom to Mary, Queen of Scots. This plot was encouraged by Pope Pius V., and aided by his famous bull, excommunicating Elizabeth, and depriving her of her throne for heinous crimes against the Church. The bull was affixed to the gate of the archbishop's palace at Lambeth, by one Fenton, who was hanged for the offence. The parliament met on the 2nd of April, 1570, and immediately passed an act, with express reference to the bull. “Seditious and evil-dis. posed people (the preamble states) have lately procured and obtained from the Bishop of Rome, and his see, bulls and writings, to absolve and reconcile all those that will be contented to forsake their due obedience to the queen, and to yield and subject themselves to the said feigned, unlawful, and usurped authority. And by colour of such bulls, wicked persons, in parts of the realm where the people, for want of good instruction, are weak, simple, and ignorant, have so far wrought, that sundry simple and ignorant persons have been reconciled to the usurped authority of Rome, and to take absolution, whereby have grown great disobedience and boldness, not only to withdraw from all divine service, but thinking themselves discharged from allegiance to the queen,

wicked and unnatural rebellion hath ensued. Therefore, any person who should use any bull of absolution or reconciliation from the Bishop of Rome, or by colour of

1 13 Elizabeth, cap. 2, “An Act against the bringing in, and putting in execution of bulls, writings or instruments, and other superstitious things from the see of Rome.”

any such bull, should take upon him to absolve or reconcile, or who should receive and take absolution or reconciliation, or should get from Rome any bull, and publish it, should be guilty of high treason, and suffer death.” Aiders and comforters after the fact should incur præmunire. Any person to whom absolution should be offered, who should not disclose the offer within six weeks to some of the privy. council, should be guilty of misprision of high treason. Præmunire was imposed upon those who brought into the realm “things called Agnus Dei, or any pictures, crosses, beads, or such-like superstitious things, hallowed and consecrated, as it is termed, by the Bishop of Rome.”

In the same session was passed an act which still regulates admission into holy orders.' The articles of the established Church were agreed upon by the archbishops, bishops, and clergy, in the convocation held in 1562, in the reign of Edward VI., and they were assented to and approved by Elizabeth, and confirmed by convocation in the year 1571. By this act it was and is now required that every priest or minister shall, in the presence of the bishop of his diocese, declare his assent, and subscribe to the articles of religion; and shall bring from the bishop, under his seal, a testimonial of such assent and subscription; and openly upon some Sunday, in the time of the public service afore noon, in every church where by reason of any ecclesiastical living he ought to attend, read both the testimonial and the articles; upon pain of being deprived. Any person ecclesiastical, who shall advisedly maintain or affirm any doctrine directly contrary or repugnant to any of the articles, and being convented before the bishop, shall persist therein, and not revoke his error, or after revocation do affirm such untrue doctrine, the same shall be just cause to deprive such person of his ecclesiastical promotions; and it shall be lawful to the bishop to deprive him. No person shall be admitted to any benefice with cure, except he shall be of the age of twenty-three years at the least, and a deacon--and shall first

| 13 Elizabeth, cap. 12 (1571), “An Act for the Ministers of the Church to be of sound Religion.”

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