Online Encyclopedia

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 453 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND. The Church of England claims to be a branch of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; it is episcopal in its essence and administration, and is established by law in that the state recognizes it as the national church of the English people, an integral part of the constitution of the realm. It existed, in name and in fact, as the church of the English people centuries before that people became a united nation, and, in spite of changes in doctrine and ritual, it remains the same church that was planted in England at the end of the 6th century. From it the various tribes which had conquered the land received a bond of union, and in it they beheld a pattern of a single organized government administered by local officers, to which they gradually attained in their secular polity. In England, then, the state is in a sense the child of the church. The doctrines of the English Church may be gathered from its Book of Common Prayer (see PRAYER, BooK of CoxtMoN) as Finance : expenses of parish council. finally revised in 1661, with the form of ordaining and consecrating bishops, priests and deacons, with the exception of the services for certain days which were abrogated in 1859; from the XXXIX Articles (see CREEDS), published with royal authority in 1571; and from the First and Second Books of Homilies of 1549 and 1562 respectively, which are declared in Article XXXV. to contain sound doctrine. Precursors.—Christianity reached Britain during the 3rd century, and perhaps earlier, probably from Gaul. An early Christi- tradition records the death of a martyr Alban at anityin Verulamium, the present St Albans. A fully grown Roman British Church existed in the 4th century: bishops Britain. of London, York and Lincoln attended the council of Arles in 314; the church assented to the council of Nicaea in 325, and some of its bishops were present at the council of Rimini in 359. The church held the Catholic faith. Britons made pilgrimages, to Rome and to Palestine, and some joined the monks who gathered round St Martin, bishop of Tours. Among these was Ninian, who preached to the southern Picts, and about 400 built a church of stone on Wigton Bay; its whiteness struck the people and their name for it is commemorated in the modern name Whithorn. From northern Britain, St Patrick (see PATRICK, ST) went to accomplish his work as the apostle of Ireland. Early in the 5th century Britain was infected by the heresy of Pelagius, himself a Briton by birth, but in 429 Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus, bishop of Troyes, recalled the church to orthodoxy and, according to tradition, led their converts to victory, the " Hallelujah victory," over the Picts and Scots. When the Britons were hard pressed by Saxon invaders large bodies of them found shelter in western Armorica, in a lesser Britain, which gave its name to Brittany. A British Church was founded there, and bishops, scholars and recluses of either Britain seem constantly to have visited. the other. The Saxon invasion cut off Britain from communication with Rome; and the British Church having no share in the pro- gressive life of the Roman Church, differences gradually arose between them. The organization of the British Church was monastic, its bishops being members, usually abbots, of monasteries, and not strictly diocesan, for the monasteries to which the clergy were attached had a tribal character. The monastic communities were large, Bangor numbered 2000 monks. From Gildas, a British monk, who wrote about 550, we gather that the bishops were rich and powerful and claimed apostolical succession; that though governed by synods the church lacked discipline; that simony was rife, and that bishops and clergy were neglectful. He evidently draws too dark a picture, for religious activity was not extinct. Gildas himself and others preached in Ireland, and from them the Scots, the dominant people of Ireland, received a ritual. The organization of the Scotic Church in Ireland was similar to that of the British Church. Its monastic settlements or schools were many and large, and were the abodes of learning. Bishops dwelt in them and were reverenced for their office, but each was subject to the direction of the abbot and convent. In 565 (?) St Columba, the founder and head of several Scotic monasteries, left Ireland and founded a monastery in Hii or Iona, which afforded gospel teaching to the Scots of Dalriada and the northern Picts, and later did a great work in evangelizing many of the Teutonic conquerors of Britain. By 602 the British Church, in common with the Irish Scots; followed practices which differed from the Roman use as it then was; it kept Easter at a different date; its clergy wore a different tonsure, and there was some defect in its baptismal rite. The conquerors of Britain—Saxons, Angles and Jutes—were heathens; the Britons gradually retreated before them to Wales, and to western and northern districts, or dwelt among them either as slaves or as outlaws hiding in swamps and forests, and they made no attempts to evangelize the conquering race. About 587 a Roman abbot, Gregory, afterwards Pope Gregory the Great, is said to have seen some English boys exposed for sale in Rome and asked of what people they were, of what kingdom and who was their king. They were " Angli," he wastold, of Deira, the modern Yorkshire, and their king was IElle. " Not ` Angli,' " said he; struck with the beauty of the fair-haired boys, " but ` angeli' (angels), fleeing from wrath Founda (de ira), and'Elle's people must sing Alleluia." He Lion of the wished himself to go as a missionary to the English, English but was prevented. After he became pope he sent church. a mission to England headed by Augustine. The way was prepared, for fEthelberht, king of Kent, had married a Christian, a Frankish princess Berhta, and allowed her to worship the true God. She brought with her a bishop who ministered to her in St Martin's church outside Canterbury, but evidently made no effort to spread the faith. Augustine and his band landed probably at Ebbsfleet in 597. They were well received by IEthelberht, who was converted and baptized. On the 16th of November Augustine was consecrated by the archbishop of Arles to be the archbishop of the English, and by Christmas had baptized ic,000 Kentish men. Thus the fathers of the English Church were Pope Gregory and St Augustine. Augustine restored a church of the Roman times at Canterbury to be the church of his see. The mission was reinforced from Rome; and Gregory sent directions for the rule of the infant church. There were to be two archbishops, at London and York; London, however, was not fully Christianized for some years, and the primatial see remained at Canterbury. Augustine held two conferences with British bishops; he bade them give up their peculiar usages, conform to the Roman ritual, and join him in evangelizing the English. His haughtiness is said to have offended them; they refused, and the English Church owes nothing to its British predecessor. The mission prospered, and bishops were consecrated for Rochester, and for London for the East Saxons. After Augustine and i thelberht died a short religious reaction took place in Kent, and the East Saxons apostatized. In 627 Edwin, king of Northumbria, who had married a daughter of fEthelberht, was converted and baptized with his nobles by Paulinus, who became the first bishop of York. As Edwin's kingdom extended from the Humber to the Forth and included the Trent valley, while he exercised superiority over all the other English kingdoms, except Kent, his conversion promised well for the church, but he was slain and his kingdom overrun by Penda, the heathen king of Mercia, the central part of England. Penda's victories endangered the cause of Christianity. The Roman mission was dying out. Kent and East Anglia, which was evangelized by Felix, a Burgundian bishop sent from Canterbury, were settled in the faith. Though Bernicia, the northern part of Northumbria, was little affected by the gospel, and after Edwin's death heathenism became dominant in his kingdom, Christianity did not die out in Northumbria. The East Saxons had heard the gospel, and in 634 the conversion of the West Saxons was begun by Birinus, an Italian missionary. Central England and the South Saxons, however, were wholly untouched by Christianity. The work of the Romans was taken up by Scotic missionaries. Oswald, under whom the Northumbrian power revived, had lived as an exile among the Scots, and asked them for a bishop to teach his people. Aidan was sent to him by the monks of Iona in 635, and fixed his see in Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, where he founded a monastery. Saintly, zealous and supported by Oswald's influence, he brought Northumbria generally to accept the gospel. The conversion of the Middle Angles and Mercians, and the reconversion of the East Saxons, were also achieved by Scots or by disciples of the Scotic mission. After Aidan's death in 651 the differences between the Roman and Scotic usages, and specially that concerning the date of Easter, led to bitter feelings, were inconvenient in practice, and must have hindered the church in its warfare against heathenism. Oswio, who reigned over both the Northumbrian kingdoms, was, like his brother Oswald, a disciple of the Scots, his son and his queen, the daughter of Edwin, held to the Roman usages, and these usages were maintained by Wilfrid, who on his return from Rome in 658 was appointed abbot of Ripon. By Oswio's command a conference between the two parties was held at the present Whitby in 664. Oswio decided in favour of the Roman usages. This was the end of the Scotic The British church. mission. The Scots left Lindisfarne, and their disciples generally adopted the Roman usages. The Scots were admirable missionaries, holy and self-devoted, and building partly on Roman foundations and elsewhere breaking new ground, they and their English disciples, as Ceadda (St Chad), bishop of the Mercians, and Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, who were by no means inferior to their teachers, almost completed the conversion of the country. But they practised an excessive asceticism and were apt to abandon their work in order to live as hermits. Great as were the benefits which the English derived from their teaching, its cessation was not altogether a loss, for the church was passing beyond the stage of mission teaching and needed organization, and that it could not have received from the Scots. Its organization like its foundation came from Rome. An archbishop-designate who was sent to Rome for consecration organtza- having died there, Pope Vitalian in 668 consecrated tion on the Theodore of Tarsus as archbishop of Canterbury. The English Scots had no diocesan system, and the English Church. bishoprics were vast in extent, followed the lines of the kingdoms and varied with their fortunes. The church had no system of government nor means of legislation. Theodore united it in obedience to himself, instituted national synods and sub-divided the over-large bishoprics. At his death, in 69o, the English dominions were divided into fourteen dioceses. Wilfrid, who had become bishop of Northumbria, resisted the division of his diocese and appealed to the pope. He was imprisoned by the Northumbrian king and was exiled. While in exile he converted the South Saxons, and their conversion led to that of the Isle of Wight, then subject to them, in 686, which completed the evangelization of the English. After long strife Wilfrid, who was supported by Rome, regained a part of his former diocese. Theodore also gave the church learning by establishing a school at Canterbury, where many gained knowledge of the Scriptures, of Latin and Greek, and other religious and secular subjects. In the north learning was promoted by Benedict Biscop in the sister monasteries which he founded at Wearmouth and Jarrow. There Bede (q.v.) received the learning which he imparted to others. In the year of Bede's death, 735, one of his disciples, Ecgbert, bishop of York, became the first archbishop of York, Gregory III. giving him the gallium, a vestment which conferred archiepiscopal authority. He established a school or university at York, to which scholars came from the continent. His work as a teacher was carried on by Alcuin, who later brought learning to the court and Frankish dominions of Charlemagne. The infant church, following the example of the Irish Scots showed much missionary zeal, and English missionaries founded an organized church in Frisia and laboured on the lower Rhine; two who attempted to preach in the old Saxon land were martyred. Most famous of all, Winfrid, or St Boniface, the apostle- of Germany, preached to the Frisians, Hessians and Thuringians, founded bishoprics and monasteries, became the first archbishop of Mainz, and in 754 was martyred in Frisia. He had many English helpers, some became bishops, and some were ladies, as Thecla, abbess of Kitzingen, and Lioba, abbess of Bischofsheim. After his death, Willehad laboured in Frisia, and later, at the bidding of Charlemagne, among the Saxons, and became the first bishop of Bremen. Religion, learning, arts, such as transcription and illumination, flourished in English monasteries. Yet heathen customs and beliefs lingered on among the people, and in Bede's time there were many pseudo-monasteries where men and women made monasticism a cloak for idleness and vice. In the latter part of the 8th century Mercia became the predominant kingdom under Offa, and he determined to have an archbishop of his own. By his contrivance two legates from Adrian I. held a council at Chelsea in 787 in which Lichfield was declared an archbishopric, and seven of the twelve suffragan bishoprics of Canterbury were apportioned to it. In 802, however, Leo III. restored Canterbury to its rights and the Lichfield archbishopric was abolished. The rise of Wessex to power seems to have been aided by a good understanding between Ecgbert and the church, and his successors employed bishops as their ministers. 'Ethelred, who was specially under ecclesiastical influence, went on a pilgrimageto Rome, and before his departure made large grants for pious uses. His donation, though hot the origin of tithes in England, illustrates the idea of the sacredness of Later the tenth of income on which laws enforcing the Angie- payment of tithes were founded. His pilgrimage Saxon was probably undertaken in the hope of averting times. the attacks of the pagan Danes. Their invasions fell heavily on the church; priests were slaughtered and churches sacked and burnt. Learning disappeared in Northumbria, and things were little better in the south. Bishops fought and fell in battle, the clergy lived as laymen, the monasteries were held by married canons, heathen superstitions and immorality prevailed among the laity. Besides bringing the Danish settlers in East Anglia to profess Christianity in 878, Alfred set himself to improve the religious and intellectual condition of his own people (see ALFRED). The gradual reconquest of middle and northern England by his successors was accompanied by the conversion of the Danish population. A revival of religion was effected by churchmen inspired by the reformed monasticism of France and Flanders, by Ode, arch-bishop of Canterbury, Oswald, archbishop of York, and Dunstan (see DUNSTAN), who introduced from abroad the strict life of the hew Benedictinism. King Edgar promoted the monastic reform, and by his authority Bishop 'Ethelwold of Winchester turned canons out of the monasteries and `put monks in their place. Dunstan sought to reform the church by ecclesiastical and secular legislation, forbidding immorality among laymen, insisting on the duties of the clergy, and compelling the payment of tithes and other church dues. After Edgar's death an anti-monastic movement, chiefly in Mercia, nearly ended in civil war. In this strife, which was connected with politics, the victory on the whole lay with the monks' party, and in many cathedral churches the chapters remained monastic. The renewed energy of the church was manifested by councils, canonical legislation and books of sermons. In the homilies of Abbot iElfric, written for Archbishop Sigeric, stress is laid on the purely spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but his words do not indicate, as some have believed, that the English Church was not in accord with Rome. The ecclesiastical revival was short-lived. Renewed Danish invasions, in the course of which Archbishop Alphege was martyred in rot 2, and a decline in national character, injuriously affected the church and, though in the reign of Canute it was outwardly prosperous, spirituality and learning decreased. Bishoprics and abbacies were rewards of service to the king, the bishops were worldly-minded, plurality was frequent, and simony not unknown. Edward the Confessor promoted foreign ecclesiastics; the connexion with Rome was strengthened, and in to62 the first legates since the days of Offa were sent to England by Alexander II. A political conflict led to the banishment of Robert, the Norman archbishop of Canterbury. An Englishman Stigand received his see, but was excommunicated at Rome, and was regarded even in England as schismatical. When William of Normandy planned his invasion of England, Alexander II., by the advice of Hildebrand, afterwards Gregory VII., moved doubtless by this schism and by the desire to bring the English Church under the influence of the Cluniac revival and into closer relation with Rome, gave the duke a consecrated banner, and the Norman invasion had something of the character of a holy war. Before the Norman Conquest the church had relapsed into deadness: English bishops were political partisans, the clergy were married, and discipline and asceticism, then the recognized condition of holiness, were extinct. The flmes. Forman Conqueror's relations with Rome ensured a reform; for the papacy was instinct with the Cluniac spirit. In 1070 papal legates were received and held a council by which Stigand was deposed. Lanfranc, abbot of Bec, was appointed arch-bishop of Canterbury and worked harmoniously with the king in bringing the English Church up to the level of the church in Normandy. Many native bishops and abbots were deposed, and the Norman prelates who succeeded them were generally of good character, strict disciplinarians, and men of grander ideas. A council of 1075 decreed the removal of bishops' sees from villages to towns, as on the continent; the see of Sherborne, for example, was removed to Old Sarum, and that of Selsey to Chichester, and many churches statelier than of old were built it[ the Norman style which the Confessor had already adopted for his church at Westminster. In another council priests and deacons were thenceforward forbidden to marry. William and Lanfranc also worked on Hildebrandine lines in separating ecclesiastical from civil administration. Ecclesiastical affairs were regulated in church councils held at the same time as the king's councils. Bishops and archdeacons were no longer to exercise their spiritual jurisdiction in secular courts, as had been the custom, but in ecclesiastical courts and according to canon law. The king, however, ruled church as well as state; Gregory granted him control over episcopal elections, he invested bishops with the crozier and they held their temporalities of him, and he allowed no councils to meet and no business to be done without his licence. Gregory claimed homage from him; but while the king promised the payment of Peter's pence and such obedience as his English predecessors had rendered, he refused homage; he allowed no papal letters to enter the kingdom without his leave, and when an anti-pope was set up, he and Lanfranc treated the question as to which pope should be acknowledged in England as one to be decided by the crown. The Conquest brought the church into closer connexion with Rome and gave it a share in the religious and intellectual life of the continent; it stimulated and purified English monasticism, and it led to the organization of the church as a body with legislative and administrative powers distinct from those of the state. The relations established by the Conqueror between the crown, the church and the pope, its head and supreme judge, worked well as long as the king and the primate were agreed, but were so complex that trouble necessarily arose when they disagreed. William Rufus tried to feudalize the church, to bring its officers and lands under feudal law; he kept bishoprics and abbacies vacant and confiscated their revenues. He quarrelled with Anselm (q.v.) who succeeded Lanfranc. Anselm while at Rome heard the investiture of prelates by laymen denounced, and he maintained the papal decree against Henry I. Bishops were vassals of the king, holding lands of him, as well as officers of the church. How were they to be appointed ? Who should invest them with the symbols of their office ? To whom was their homage due ? (see INVESTITURE). These questions which agitated western Europe were settled as regards England by a compromise: Henry surrendered investiture and kept the right to homage. The substantial gain lay with the crown, for, while elections were theoretically free, the king retained his power over them. Though Henry in some degree checked the exercise of papal authority in England, appeals to Rome without his sanction were frequent towards the end of his reign. Stephen obtained the recognition of his title from Innocent II., and was upheld by the church until he violently attacked three bishops who had been Henry's ministers. The clergy then transferred their allegiance to Matilda. His later quarrel with the papacy, then under the influence of St Bernard, added to his embarrassments and strengthened the Angevin cause. During Stephen's reign the church grew more powerful than was for the good either of the state or itself. Its courts en- croached on the sphere of the lay courts; and further The claimed exclusive criminal jurisdiction over all clerks Angevin In whether in holy or minor orders, with the result that criminous clerks, though degraded by a spiritual court, escaped temporal punishment. Henry II., • finding ecclesiastical privileges an obstacle to administrative reform, demanded that the bishops should agree to observe the ancient customs of the realm. These customs were, he asserted, expressed in certain constitutions to which he required their assent at a council at Clarendon in 1164. In spirit they generally maintained the rights of the crown as they existed under the Conqueror. One provided that clerks convicted of temporal crime in a spiritual court and degraded should be sentenced by a lay court and punished as laymen. Archbishop Becket (see BECKET) agreed, repented and refused his assent. The king tried to ruin him by unjust demands; he appealed to Rome and fled to France. A long quarrel ensued, and in 1170 Henry was forced to be reconciled to Becket. The archbishop's murder consequent on the king's hasty words shocked Christendom, and Henry did penance publicly. By agreement with the pope he renounced the Constitutions, but the encroachments of the church courts were slightly checked, and the king's decisive influence on episcopal elections and some other advantages were secured. The church in Wales had become one with the English Church by the voluntary submission of its bishops to the see of Canter-bury in 1192 and later. The Irish Church remained distinct, though the conquest of Ireland, which was sanctioned by the English pope Adrian IV. (Nicholas Breakspear), brought it into the same relations with the crown as the English Church and into conformity with it. Under the guidance of ecclesiastics employed as royal ministers, the church supported the crown until, in 1206, Innocent III. refused to confirm the election of a bishop nominated by King John to Canterbury; and representatives of the monks of Christ Church, in whom lay the right of election, being at his court, the pope bade them elect Stephen Langton whom he consecrated as archbishop. John refused to receive Langton and seized the estates of Christ Church. Innocent laid England under an interdict in 1208; the king confiscated the property of the clergy, banished bishops and kept sees vacant. Papal envoys excommunicated him and declared him deposed in 1211. Surrounded by enemies, he made his peace with the pope in 1213, swore fealty to him before his envoy, acknowledged that he held his kingdom of the Roman see, and promised a yearly tribute for England and Ireland. Finally he surrendered his crown to a legate and received it back from him. The banished clergy returned and an agreement was made as to their losses. Langton guided the barons in their demands on the king which were expressed in Magna Carta. The first clause provided, as charters of Henry I. and Stephen had already provided, that the English Church should be " free," adding that it should have freedom of election, which John had promised in 1214. As John's suzerain, Innocent annulled the charter, suspended Langton, and excommunicated the barons in arms against the king. On John's death, Gualo, legate of Honorius III., with the help of the earl marshal, secured the throne for Henry III., and he and his successor Pandulf, as representatives of the young king's suzerain, largely directed English affairs until 1221, when Pandulf's departure restored Langton to his rightful position as head in England of the church. Reforms in discipline and clerical work were inculcated by provincial legislation, and two legates, Otho in 1237 and Ottoboni in 1268, promulgated in councils constitutions which were a fundamental part of the canon law in England. Religious life was quickened by the coming of the friars (see FRIARS). Parochial organization was strengthened by the institution of vicars in benefices held by religious bodies, which was regulated and enforced by the bishops. It was a time of intellectual activity, in character rather cosmopolitan than national. English clerks studied philosophy and theology at Paris or law at Bologna; some remained abroad and were famous as scholars, others like Archbishops Langton, and Edmund Rich, and Bishop Grosseteste returned to be rulers of the church, and others like Roger Bacon to continue their studies in England. The schools of Oxford, however, had already attained repute, and Cambridge began to be known as a place of study. The spirit of the age found expression in art, and English Gothic architecture, though originally, like the learning of the time, imported from France, took a line of its own and reached its climax at this period. Henry's gratitude for the benefits which in his early years he received from Rome was shown later in subservience to papal demands. Gregory IX., and still more Innocent IV., sorely in need of money to prosecute their struggle with the imperial house, laid grievous taxes on the English clergy, supported the king in making heavy demands upon them, and violated the rights of patrons by appointing to benefices by provisions " often in favour of foreigners. Churchmen, and prominently Grosseteste, the learned and holy bishop of Lincoln, while recognizing the pope as the divinely appointed source of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction, were driven to resist papal orders which they held to be contrary to apostolic precepts. Their remonstrances were seldom effectual, and the state of the national church was noted by the Provisions of Oxford in 1258 as part of the general misgovernment which the baronial opposition sought to remedy. The alliance between the crown and the papacy in this reign diminished the liberties of the church. Edward I., who was a strong king, checked an attempt to magnify the spiritual authority by the writ Circumspecte agatis, which defined the sphere of the ecclesiastical courts, put a restraint on religious endowments by the Statute of Mortmain, and desiring that every estate in the realm should have a share in public burdens and counsels, caused the beneficed clergy to be summoned to send proctors to parliament. The clergy preferred to make their grants in their own convocations, and so lost the position offered to them. For some years clerical taxation by the crown was carried on with the good-will of the papacy; it was not oppressive for unbeneficed clergy and incomes below ten marks were exempt, and in theory the clergy were celibate. Papal demands, however, were additional burdens. In 1296 Boniface VIII., by his bull Clericis laicos, forbade the clergy to grant money to lay princes, and Edward's request for a clerical subsidy was in 1297 refused by convocation led by Archbishop Winchelsea. The king thereupon outlawed the clergy. The northern province yielded, the southern held out longer; but finally the clergy made their peace severally, each paying his share, and the royal victory was complete. Winchelsea joined the baronial opposition which forced Edward to grant the " Confirmation of the Charters." Edward procured his disgrace from Clement V., and in return allowed Clement to exact so much from the church that the doings of the papal agents provoked an indignant remonstrance from parliament in 1307. With that exception the king's dealings with the church were statesmanlike. He employed clerical ministers and paid them by church preferments, but his nominations to bishoprics did not always receive papal confirmation which had become recognized as essential. His weak son Edward II. yielded readily to papal demands. The majority of the bishops of the reign, and specially those engaged in politics, were unworthy men; religion was at a low ebb; plurality and non-residence were common. By the constitution Execrabilis John XXII. ordered that all cures held in plurality save one should be vacated, and, which was not so well, " reserved " all benefices so vacated for his own appointment. As the residence of the popes at Avignon from 1308 to 1377 brought them under French influence, Englishmen during the war with France were specially displeased that large sums should be. drawn from the kingdom for them and that they should exercise patronage there. In the reign of Edward III. the popes, though appointing to bishoprics by provision, did not give them to foreigners, but they appointed foreigners, enemies of England, to lesser preferments, deaneries and prebends. In 1351 the Statute of Provisors declared provisions unlawful. Capitular elections, however, remained mere forms; the king nominated, and the popes provided, and took advantage of their claim to appoint to sees vacant by translation. Papal interference in suits concerning temporalities was checked by a law of 1353 (the first statute of Praemunire), which made punishable by outlawry and forfeiture the carrying before a foreign tribunal of causes cognizable by English courts. This measure was extended in 1365, and in 1393 by the great statute of Praemunire. Indignant at the law of 1365, Urban V. demanded payment of the tribute promised by John, which was then thirty-three years in arrear, but parliament repudiated the claim. The Black Death disorganized the church by thinning the ranks of the clergy, who did their duty manfully during the plague. In the diocese of Norwich, for example, Soo parishes lost their incumbents in 1349, 83 of them twice over (Jessopp). Large though insufficient numbers were instituted to benefices and unfit persons received holy orders. The value of livings decreased and many lay vacant. Some incumbents deserted their parishes to take stipendiary work in towns or secularemployments, and unbeneficed clergy demanded higher stipends. Greediness infected the church in common with society at large. Yet Chaucer's ideal parish priest must have represented a familiar type, so that we may believe that much good work was here and there unobtrusively done by the clergy. Prominent among abuses were the sale of pardons, and the extortions of the ecclesiastical courts; their decrees were enforced by excommunication, and on a writ issued to the sheriff an excommunicated person would be imprisoned until he satisfied the demands of the church. The state needed money and attacks were made in parliament on the wealth of the church. Already, in 1340, Edward III., who quarrelled with Archbishop Stratford on political grounds, had appointed lay ministers, and in 1371 William of Wykeham, bishop of Winchester, and other clerical ministers were turned out of office and succeeded by laymen. A political crisis in 1376 was followed by a struggle between the bishops and John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, the head of the anticlerical party, who allied himself with John Wycliffe (q.v.). He was unpopular, and when the bishops cited Wycliffe before them in St Paul's, the duke's conduct provoked a riot and the proceedings ended abruptly. Wycliffe held that the church was corrupted by wealth; that only those in grace had a right to God's gifts, and that temporal power belonged only to laymen and not to popes nor priests. Later he attacked the papacy itself, which in 1378 was distracted by the great schism; by 138o he condemned pilgrimages, secret confession and masses for the dead. While holding the-presence of Christ in the Eucharist, he denied a change of substance in the elements, arguing that accidents or qualities, such as form and colour, could not exist without substance. He taught that Holy Scripture was the only source of religious truth, to the exclusion of church authority and tradition, and he and his followers made the first complete English version of the Bible. His opinions were spread by the poor priests whom he sent out to preach and by his English tracts. That his teaching had any direct effect on the insurrection of 1381, though commonly believed, appears to be an unfounded idea; many priests were concerned in the rising, and specially the mendicant orders, Wycliffe's bitter enemies, but the motives of the insurrection were essentially secular (Oman, The Great Revolt of 1381). The reaction which followed extended to religion, and Wycliffe's doctrines were condemned by a church council in 1382. Nevertheless he died in peace. He had many disciples, especially in Oxford and in industrial centres. The Lollards, as his followers were called, had supporters in parliament and among people of high rank in the court of Richard II., and the king's marriage to Anne of Bohemia brought about the importation of Wycliffe's writings into Bohemia, where they had a strong influence on the religious movement led by Hus. At first the bishops were not inclined to persecute, and the earlier Lollards mostly recanted under pressure, but their number increased. With the accession of the Lancastrian house the crown allied itself with the church, and the bishops adopted a repressive policy towards the Lollards. By the canon law obstinate heretics were to be burnt by the secular power, and though England had hitherto been almost free from heresy, one or two burnings had taken place in accordance with that law. In 1401 a statute, De heretico comburendo, ordered that heretics convicted in a spiritual court should be committed to the secular arm and publicly burned, and, while this statute was pending, one Sawtre was burned as a relapsed heretic. Henry V. was zealous for orthodoxy and the persecution of Lollards increased; in 1414 Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, who had been condemned as a heretic, escaped and made an insurrection; he was taken in 1417 and hanged and burned. Lollardism was connected with an insurrection in 1431; it then ceased to have any political importance, but it kept its hold in certain towns and districts on the lower classes; many Lollards were forced to recant and others suffered martyrdom. The church was in an unsatisfactory state. As regards the papacy, the crown generally maintained the position taken up in the previous century, but its policy was fitful, and the custom of allowing bishops who were made cardinals to retain their sees 13th and 14th centuries. The 15th century. strengthened papal influence. The bishops were largely engaged in secular business; there was much plurality, and cathedral and collegiate churches were frequently left to inferior officers whose lives were unclerical. The clergy were numerous and drawn from all classes, and humble birth did not debar a man from attaining the highest positions in the church. Candidates for holy orders were still examined, but clerical education seems to have declined. Preaching was rare, partly from neglectfulness and partly because, in 1401, in order to prevent the spread of heresy, priests were forbidden to preach without a licence. While the marriage of the clergy was checked, irregular and temporary connexions were lightly condoned. Discipline generally was lax, and exhortations against field-sports, tavern haunting and other unclerical habits seem to have had little effect. Monasticism had declined. Papal indulgences and relics were hawked about chiefly by friars, though these practices were discountenanced by the bishops. On the other hand, all education was carried on by the clergy, and religion entered largely into the daily life of the people, into their gild-meetings, church-ales, mystery-plays and holidays, as well as into the great events of family life—baptisms, marriages and deaths. Many stately churches were built in the prevailing Perpendicular style, often by efforts in which all classes shared, and many hamlet chapels supplemented the mother church in scattered parishes. The revival of classical learning scarcely affected the church at large. Greek learning was regarded with suspicion by many churchmen, but the English humanists were orthodox. The movement haB little to do with the coming religious conflicts, which indeed killed it, save that it awoke in some learned men like Sir Thomas More a desire for ecclesiastical, though not doctrinal, reform, and led many to study the New Testament of which Erasmus published a Greek text and Latin paraphrases. During the earlier years of the 16th century Lollardism still existed among the lower classes in towns, and was rife here and there in country districts. Persecution went on and The martyrdoms are recorded. The old grievances con- Reforma- tioa era. cerning ecclesiastical exactions remained unabated and were further strengthened by an ill-founded rumour that Richard Hunne, a Londoner who had refused to pay a mortuary, was imprisoned for heresy in the Lollards' tower, and was found hanged in his cell in 1514, had been murdered. Lutheranism affected England chiefly through the surreptitious importation of Tyndale's New Testament and heretical books. In 1521 Henry VIII. wrote a book against Luther in which he maintained the papal authority, and was rewarded by Leo X. with the title of Defender of the Faith. Henry, however, whose will was to himself as the oracles of God, finding that the pope opposed his intended divorce from Catherine of Aragon, deter-mined to allow no supremacy in his realm save his own. He carried out his ecclesiastical policy by parliamentary help. Parliament was packed, and was skilfully managed; and he had on his side the popular impatience of ecclesiastical abuses, a new feeling of national pride which would brook no foreign interference, the old desire of the laity to lighten their own burdens by the wealth of the church, and a growing inclination to question or reject sacerdotal authority. He used these advantages to forward his policy, and when the met with opposition, enforced his will as a despot. The parliament of 1529 lasted until 1536; it broke the bonds of Rome, established royal supremacy over the English Church, and effected a redistribution of national wealth at the expense of the spirituality. It began by acts abolishing ecclesiastical exactions, such as excessive mortuaries and fees for probate, and by prohibiting pluralities except in stated cases, application to Rome for licence to evade the act being made penal. Henry having crushed his minister Cardinal Wolsey, archbishop of York, declared the whole body of the clergy involved in a praemunire by their submission to Wolsey's legatine authority, and ordered the convocation to purchase pardon by a large payment, and by acknowledging him as " Protector and Supreme Head of the English Church and Clergy." After much debate, the acknowledgment was made in 1531, with the qualification " so far as the law of Christ allows." A " supplication "against clerical jurisdiction and legislation by convocation was obtained from the Commons in 1532, and Henry received from convocation the submission of the clergy," surrendering its legislative power except on royal licence, and consenting to a revision of the canon law by commissioners to be appointed by the king. A bill for conditionally withholding the payment of annates, or first-fruits, to Rome was passed, and Henry took advantage of the fear of the Roman court lest it should lose these payments, to obtain without the usual fees bulls promoting Cranmer to the see of Canterbury in 1533, and thus was enabled to gain his divorce. Cranmer pronounced his marriage to Catherine null, and declared him lawfully married to Anne Boleyn. Clement VII. retorted by excommunicating the king, but for that Henry cared not. Appeals to Rome were forbidden by statute, and the council ordained that the pope should thenceforth only be spoken of as bishop of Rome, as not having authority in England. In 1534 the restraint of annates was confirmed by law, all payments to Rome were forbidden, and it was enacted that, on receiving royal licence to elect, cathedral chapters must elect bishops nominated by the king. The papal power was extirpated by statute, parliament at the same time declaring that neither the king nor kingdom would vary from the " Catholic faith of Christendom." The submission of the clergy was made law. Appeals from the archbishops' courts were to be to the king in chancery, and were to be heard by commissioners, whence arose the Court of Delegates as the court of final appeal in ecclesiastical cases. The first-fruits and tenths of benefices were given to the king, and his title as " Supreme Head in earth of the Church of England " was declared by parliament without the qualification added by convocation. Fisher, bishop of Rochester, and Sir Thomas More, lately chancellor, the two most eminent Englishmen, were beheaded in 1535 011 an accusation of attempting to deprive the king of this title, and some Carthusian monks suffered a more cruel martyrdom in the same cause. Meanwhile New Testaments were burnt, and heretics, or re-formers, forced to abjure or, remaining steadfast, were sent to the stake, for though the heresy law of Henry IV. was repealed, heresy was still punishable by death, and persecution was not abated. By breaking the bonds of Rome Henry did not give the church freedom; he substituted a single despotism for the dual authority which pope and king had previously exercised over it. In 1535 Cromwell, the king's vicar-general, began a visitation of the monasteries. The reports (comperla) of his commissioners having been delivered to the king and communicated to parliament in 1536, parliament declared the smaller monasteries corrupt, and granted the king all of less value than 200 a year. A rebellion in Lincolnshire and another in the north, the formidable Pilgrimage of Grace, followed. The suppression of the greater houses was effected gradually, surrenders were obtained by pressure, and three abbots who were reluctant to give up the possessions of their convents for confiscation were hanged. Monastic shrines and treasuries were sacked and the spoil sent to the king, to whom parliament granted all the houses, their lands and possessions. Of the enormous wealth thus gained Henry spent a part on national defence, a little on the foundation of the bishoprics of Westminster, dissolved in 155o, Bristol, Chester, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough, and gave the lands to men either useful to or favoured by himself, or sold them to rich purchasers. In 1536 he dictated the belief and ceremonial of the church by issuing Ten Articles which were subscribed by con-vocation. This first formulary of the English Church as separate from Rome did not contravene Catholic doctrine, though it showed the influence of Lutheran models. Another exposition of Anglican doctrine was made in the Institution of a Christian Man or " Bishops' book," in some respects more likely to satisfy those attached to the tenets of Rome, in others, as in the distinct repudiation of purgatory and the declaration that salvation depended solely on the merits of Christ, showing an advance. It was published in 1537 with Henry's sanction but not by authority. In that year licence was granted for the sale of a translation of the Bible, and in x 538 another version called Matthew's Bible, was ordered to be kept in all churches (see BIBL). Pilgrimages were suppressed and images used for worship destroyed. Denial of the king's supremacy, denial of the corporal presence in the Eucharist, and insults to Catholic rites were alike punished by cruel death. The publication abroad of the king's excommunication rendered an assertion of orthodoxy advisable for political reasons, and in 1539 came the Act of the Six Articles attaching extreme penalties to deviations from Catholic doctrines. The backward swing of the pendulum continued; Cromwell was beheaded and three reforming preachers were burnt in 1540. Prosecutions for heresy under the act were fitful: four gospellers were burnt in London in 1546, of whom the celebrated Anne Askew was one. Cranmer, how-ever, did not lose the king's favour. A fresh attempt to define doctrine was made in the Necessary Doctrine and Erudition of a Christian Man, the " King's Book," published by authority in 1543, which, while repudiating the pope, was a declaration of Catholic orthodoxy. A Primer, or private prayer-book, of which parts were in English, as the litany composed by Cranmer, and virtually the same as at present, was issued in 1546, and further liturgical change seemed probable when Henry died in 1547. Henry, while changing many things in the church, would not allow any deviation in essentials from the religion of Catholic Europe, which was not then so dogmatically defined as it was later by the council of Trent. Edward VI. was a child, and the Protector Somerset and the council favoured further changes, which were carried out with Cranmer's help. They issued a book of Homilies and a set of injunctions which were enforced by a royal visitation. Pictures and much painted glass were destroyed in churches, frescoed walls were whitewashed, and in 1548, the removal of all images was decreed. Parliament ordered that bishops should be appointed by letters patent and hold their courts in the king's name. An act of the last reign granting the king all chantries and gilds was enlarged and enforced with cruel injustice to the poor. On the petition of convocation parliament allowed the marriage of priests; and it further ordered that the laity should receive the cup in communion. A communion book was issued by the council in English, the Latin mass being retained for a time. Many German reformers came to England, were favoured by the council, and gained influence over Cranmer. The first Book of Common Prayer was authorized by an Act of Uniformity in 1549; it retained much from old service books, but the communion office is Lutheran in character. It excited discontent, and a serious insurrection broke out in the West, the insurgents demanding the revival of the Act of the Six Articles and the withdrawal of the new service as " like a Christmas game." After Somerset's fall the government rapidly pushed forward reformation. A new Ordinal issued with parliamentary approval in 1550 was significant of the change in sacramental doctrine, and the four minor orders disappeared. Altars were destroyed and tables substituted. Five bishops, Bonner of London, Gardiner of Winchester, and Heath of Worcester, then already in prison, and two others, were deprived; and the Lady Mary, who would not give up the mass, was harshly treated. The reformers were not tolerant; for a woman was burnt for Arianism in 1550 and a male Anabaptist in 1551. Under the influence of foreign reformers, who took a lower view of the Eucharist than the Lutheran divines, Cranmer soon advanced beyond the prayer-book of 1549• A second prayer-book, departing further from the old order, appeared in 1552, and without being accepted by convocation was enforced by another Act of Uniformity, and in 1553 a catechism and forty-two articles of religion were authorized by Edward for subscription by the clergy, though not laid before convocation. A revision of the canon law in accordance with the act for " submission of the clergy " was at last undertaken in 1551, but the only result was a document entitled Ref ormatio legum ecclesiasticarum, which never received authority. Edward died in 1553. Apart from matters of faith, the church had fared ill under a royal supremacy exercised by self-seeking nobles in the name of the boy-king. Convocation lost all authority and bishops were treated as state officials liable to deprivation for disobedience to the council. Means ofworship were diminished, and the poor were shamefully wronged by the suppression of chantries, gilds and holy days; even the few sheep of the poor brethren of a gild were seized to swell a sum which from 1550 was largely diverted from public purposes to private gain. Churches were despoiled of their plate; the old bishops were forced, the new more easily persuaded, to give up lands belonging to their sees, and rich men grew richer by robbing God. When Mary succeeded her brother, the deprived bishops were restored, some reforming bishops were imprisoned, and Cranmer, who was implicated in the plot on behalf of Lady Jane Grey, was attainted of treason. As regards doctrine, religious practices and papal supremacy, Mary was set on bringing back her realm to the position existing before her father's quarrel with Rome. Her first parliament repealed the ecclesiastical legislation of Edward's reign, and convocation formally accepted transubstantiation. Seven bishops were deprived in 1554, four of them as married, and about a fifth of the beneficed clergy, though some received other benefices after putting away their wives. Apparently Mary at first believed that her authority would be accepted in religious matters; but she met with opposition, partly provocative, for Wyat's rebellion consequent on her intended marriage to Philip of Spain was closely connected with religion, and more largely passive in the noble resolution of those who chose martyrdom rather than denial of their faith. To the nation at large, though not averse from the old doctrines and practices of the church, a return to the Roman obedience was distasteful. Nevertheless, Cardinal Pole was received as legate, and the title of Supreme Head of the Church having been dropped, a parliament carefully packed, and the fears of the rich appeased by the assurance that they would not have to surrender the monastic lands, he absolved the nation in parliament and reunited it to the Church of Rome on November 30, 1554, the clergy being absolved in convocation. Parliament repealed all acts against the Roman see since the twentieth year of Henry VIII. The heresy laws were revived, and a horrible persecution of those who refused to disown the doctrines of the prayer-book began in 1555, and lasted during the remainder of the reign. Nearly 300 persons were burned to death as heretics in these four years, among them being five bishops: Hooper of Gloucester, Ferrar of St David's, Ridley of London, and Latimer (until 1539) of Worcester in 1555, and Archbishop Cranmer in 1556. The chief responsibility for these horrors rests with the queen; the bishops who examined the accused were less zealous than she desired. The most prominent among them in persecution was Bonner of London. The exiles for religion were received at Frankfort, Strassburg and Zurich. At Frankfort a party among them objected to the ceremonies retained in the prayer-book, and, encouraged by Calvin and by Knox, who came to them from Geneva, quarrelled with those who desired to keep the book unchanged. Mary died in 1558. Her reign arrested the rapid spoliation of the church and possibly prevented the adoption of doctrines which would have destroyed its apostolic character; the persecution by which it was disgraced strengthened the hold of the reformed religion on the people and made another acceptance of Roman supremacy for ever impossible. Elizabeth's accession was hailed with pleasure; she was known to dislike her sister's ecclesiastical policy, and a change was expected. An Act of Supremacy restored to the Eliza_ crown the authority over the church held by Henry bethan whence came the court of High Commission nominated went. by the crown, as a high ecclesiastical court; but Elizabeth rejected the title of Supreme Head, and used that of Supreme Governor, as "over all persons and in all cases within her dominions supreme." An Act of Uniformity prescribed the use of the prayer-book of 1552 in a revised form which raised the level of its doctrine, and injunctions enforced by a royal visitation re-established the reformed order. All the Marian bishops save two refused the oath of supremacy and were deprived, and eight were imprisoned. Of the clergy generally few refused it; for only some zoo were deprived for religion during the first six years of the reign. Bishops for the vacant sees were nominated by the crown and elected by their chapters as in Henry's reign; Matthew Parker was canonically consecrated archbishop of Canterbury. The orthodoxy of the church was vindicated by Bishop Jewel's Apologia ecclesiae Anglicanae. Adherents to Rome vainly tried to obtain papal sanction for attending the church services, and were forced either to disobey the pope or become " recusants "; many were fined, and those who attended mass were imprisoned. Meanwhile a party, soon known as Puritans, rebelled against church order; the exiles who had come under Genevan influence objecting on their return to vestments and ceremonies enjoined by the prayer-book. There was much non-conformity in the church which the queen ordered the bishops to correct. Parker, though averse to violent measures, insisted on obedience to his " Advertisements " of 1566, which, though not formally authorized by the queen, expressed her will, and became held as authoritative, and some of the refractory were punished. A company engaged in irregular worship was discovered in London in 1567 and a few persons were imprisoned by the magistrate. Active opposition to the government was stirred up by Pius V., and in 1569 a rebellion in the north, where the old religion was strong, was aided by papal money and encouraged by hopes of Spanish intervention. In 1570 Pius published a bull excommunicating and deposing the queen. Thenceforward recusants had to choose between loyalty to the queen and loyalty to the pope. They lay under suspicion, and severe penal laws were enacted against Romish practices. About 1579 many seminary priests and Jesuits came over to England as missionaries; some actively engaged in treason, all were legally traitors. The country was threatened with foreign invasion, plots against the government were detected; and the queen's life was held to be endangered. The council hunted down these priests and their abettors, and many were executed, martyrs to the doctrine of the pope's power of deposition. The number put to death in this reign under the penal laws was 187. The papal policy defeated itself; a large number of the old religion while retaining their faith chose to be loyal to the queen rather than lend themselves to the designs of her enemies. From 1571 recusants can no longer be reckoned as nonconforming members of the English Church: the law recognized them as separate from it. The church's doctrine was defined in the catechism of 1570, and in the revised articles of religion which appeared as the XXXIX. Articles in 1571, and its law by a body of canons published with authority in 1576, the attempt at codification made in the Reformatio legum having been laid aside. From 1574 the Protestant Nonconformists strove to introduce Presbyterianism. Cause for grievance existed in the state of the church which had suffered from the late violent The changes. Elizabeth plundered it, and laymen who fo°rnm`i ts, owned the rectories formerly held by monasteries followed her example; bishoprics were impoverished by the queen and parish cures by her subjects, and the reform of abuses was checked by self-interest. As bishops, along with some able men, Elizabeth chose others of an inferior stamp who consented to the plunder of their sees and whom she could use to report on recusants and harry nonconformists. Separation, or Independency, began about 1578 with the followers of Robert Browne, who repudiated the queen's ecclesiastical authority; two Brownists were executed in 1583. The nonconformists remained in the church and continued their efforts to subvert its episcopal system. Elizabeth, though personally little influenced by religion, understood the political value of the church, and would allow no slackness in enforcing conformity. Archbishop Grindal was sequestrated for defending " prophesyings," or meetings of the Puritan clergy for religious exercises. The House of Commons, in which there was a Puritan element, repeatedly attempted to discuss church questions and was sharply silenced by the queen, who would not allow any interference in ecclesiastical matters. Whitgift, who succeeded Grindal in 1583, though kind-hearted, was strict in his administration of the law. Violent Ix. 15attacks were made upon the bishops in the Martin Marprelate tracts printed by a secret press; their author is unknown, but some who were probably connected with them were executed for publishing seditious libels. Whitgift's firmness met with success. During the last years of the reign the movement towards Presbyterianism was checked and nonconformity was less prominent. The church regained a measure of orderliness and vigour; its claims on allegiance were advocated by eminent divines and expounded in the stately pages of Hooker. The queen, who had so vigorously ordered ecclesiastical affairs, died in 1603. On the accession of James I. the Puritans expressed their desire for ecclesiastical change in the Millenary Petition which purported to come from 'coo clergy; their requests were moderate, a sign of the success of Whitgift's The heitan policy, but some could not have been granted without rebellion. causing widespread dissatisfaction. At a conference between divines of the two parties at Hampton Court in 1604, James roughly decided against the Puritans. Some small alterations were made in the prayer-book, and a new version of the Bible was undertaken, which appeared in 1611 as the " authorized version." In 1604 convocation framed a' code of canons which received royal authorization. Refusal to obey them was punished with deprivation, and, according to S. R. Gardiner, about 300 clergy were deprived, though a 17th century writer (Peter Heylyn) puts the number at 49 only, which W. H. Frere (History of the English Church, '558-1625, p. 321) thinks more credible. Conformity could still be enforced, but before long the Puritan party grew in strength partly from religious and partly from political causes. They would not admit any authority in religion that was not based on the scriptures; their opponents maintained that the church had authority to ordain ceremonies not contrary to the scriptures. In doctrine the Puritans remained faithful to the Calvinism in which most Englishmen of the day had been brought up; they called the high churchmen Arminians, and asserted that they were inclined to Rome. The Commons became increasingly Puritan; they were strongly Protestant and demanded the enforcement of the laws against recusants, who suffered much, specially after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, though they were sometimes shielded by the king. The Commons regarded ecclesiastical jurisdiction with dislike, specially the Court of High Commission, which had developed from the ecclesiastical commissions of Elizabeth and was hated as a means of coercion based on prerogative. The bishops derived their support from the king, and the church in return supported the king's claim to absolutism and divine right. It suffered heavily from this alliance. As men saw the church on the side of absolutism, Puritanism grew strong both among the country gentry, who were largely represented in the Commons, and among the nation at large, and the church lost ground through the king's political errors. A restoration of order and decency in worship and the introduction of more ceremonial begun in James's reign were carried on by Laud (q.v.) under Charles I. Laud aimed at silencing disputes about doctrine and enforcing outward uniformity; the Puritans hated ceremonial and wished to make every one accept their doctrines. Many of the reforms introduced by Laud after he became archbishop in 1633 were needful, but they offended the Puritans and were enforced in a harsh and tyrannical manner, for he lacked wisdom and sympathy. Under his rule nonconforming clergy were deprived and sometimes imprisoned. The cruel punishments inflicted by the Court of Star Chamber of which he was a member, the unpopularity of the High Commission Court, his own harsh dealing, and the part which he took in politics as a confidential adviser of the king, combined to bring odium upon him and upon the ecclesiastical system which he represented. The church was weak, for the Laudian system was disliked by the nation. A storm of discontent with the course of affairs both in church and state gathered. In 1640 Charles, after dissolving parliament, prolonged the session of convocation, which issued canons magnifying the royal authority and imposing the so-called " et cetera oath " against innovations on all clergy, graduates 1I and others. The Long Parliament voted the canons illegal; Laud was imprisoned, and in 1642 the bishops were excluded from parliament. The civil war began in 1642; in 1643 a bill was passed for the taking away of episcopacy, in 1645 Laud was beheaded, and parliament abolished the prayer-book and accepted the Presbyterian directory, and from 1646 Presbyterian-ism was the legal form of church government. Many, perhaps 2000, clergy were deprived; some were imprisoned and otherwise maltreated, though a fifth of their former revenues was assigned to the dispossessed. The king, who was beheaded in 1649, might have extricated himself from his difficulties if he had consented to the overthrow of episcopacy, and may therefore be held a martyr to the church's cause. The victory of the army over the parliament secured England against the tyranny of Presbyterian-ism, but did not better the condition of the episcopal clergy; the toleration insisted on by the Independents did not extend to " prelacy." Churchmen, however, occasionally enjoyed the ministrations of their own clergy in private houses, and though their worship was sometimes disturbed they were not seriously persecuted for, engaging in it. Non-delinquent or non-sequestrated private patronage and the obligation of tithes were retained. Community of suffering and the execution of Charles I. brought the royalist country gentry into sympathy with the clergy, and at the Restoration the church had the hold upon the affection of the laity which it lacked under the Laudian rule. On the king's restoration the survivors of the ejected clergy quietly regained their benefices. The Presbyterians helped to The bring back the king and looked for a reward. Charles Restores- II. promised them a limited episcopacy and other don concessions, but his plan was rejected by the Commons. period. A conference at the Savoy between leading Presbyterians and churchmen in 1661 was ineffectual, and a revision of the prayer-book by convocation further discontented non-conformists. The parliament of 1661 was violently anti-Puritan, and in 1662 passed an Act of Uniformity providing that all ministers not episcopally ordained or refusing to conform should be deprived on St Bartholomew's day, the 14th of August following. About 2000 ministers are said to have been ejected, and in 1665 ejected ministers were forbidden to come within five miles of their former cures. Though some bishops and clergy showed kindness to the ejected, churchmen generally approved of this oppressive legislation; they could not forget the wrongs inflicted on their church by the once triumphant Puritans. Nonconformist worship was made punishable by fine and imprisonment, and on the third offence by transportation. In 1672 Charles, who had secretly promised the French king openly to profess Roman Catholicism, issued a Declaration of Indulgence which applied both to Romanists and Protestant Nonconformists, but parliament compelled him to withdraw it, and, in 1673, passed a Test Act making reception of the holy communion and a denial of transubstantiation necessary qualifications for public office. Later, when the dissenters found friends among the party in parliament opposed to the crown, the church supported the king, and the doctrine of passive obedience was generally accepted by the clergy. The church was popular, and among the great preachers and theologians who adorned it in the Caroline period were Jeremy Taylor, Pearson, Bull, Barrow, South and Stillingfleet. The lower clergy were mostly poor, and their social position was consequently often humble, but the pictures of clerical humiliation after 166o are generally overcoloured; the assertion that they commonly married servants or cast-off mistresses of their patrons has been disproved, and it is certain that men of good family entered holy orders. In accordance with an agreement between Archbishop Sheldon and Lord Chancellor Clarendon, the clergy ceased to tax themselves in convocation, and from 1665 have been taxed by parliament. James II., though a Romanist, promised to protect the church, and the clergy were on his side in the rebellion of the duke of Monmouth, who was supported by dissenters. The church and the nation, however, were strongly Protestant and were soon alarmed by his efforts to Romanize the country. James dispensed with the law by prerogative and appointed Romanists to offices in defiance of the Test Act. In 1688 he ordered that his declaration for liberty of conscience, issued in the interest of Romanism, should be read in all churches. His order was almost universally disobeyed. 'Arch-bishop Sancroft and six bishops who remonstrated against it were brought to trial, and were acquitted to the extreme delight of the nation. James's attack on the church cost him his crown. Sancroft and eight bishops would not belie their belief in the doctrines of divine right and passive obedience by swearing allegiance to William and Mary, and the archbishop, five bishops and over 400 clergy were deprived. period. Certain of these nonjuring bishops consecrated others and a schism ensued. The loss to the church was heavy; for among the nonjurors were many men of holy lives and eminent learning, and the fact that some suffered for conscience' sake seemed a reproach on the rest of the clergy. After 1715 the secession became unimportant. Protestantism was secured from further royal attack by the Bill of Rights; and in 1701 the Act of Succession provided that all future sovereigns should be members of the Church of England. • That the king's title rested on a parliamentary decision was destructive of the clerical theory of divine right, and encouraged Erastianism, then specially dangerous to the church; for William, a Dutch Presbyterian, gave bishoprics to men personally worthy, but more desirous of union with other Protestant bodies than jealous for the principles of their own church. A bill for union was rejected in the Commons, where the church party had a majority, though one for toleration of Protestant dissenters became law. William, anxious for concessions to dissenters, appointed a committee of convocation for altering the liturgy, canons and ecclesiastical courts, but the Tory party in the lower house of convocation was strong and the scheme was abortive. A long controversy began between the two houses: the bishops were mostly Whigs with latitudinarian tendencies, the lower clergy Tories and high churchmen. During most of the reign convocation was suspended and the church was governed by royal injunctions, a system injurious to its welfare. It had been the bulwark of the nation against Romanism under James II., and the affection of the nation enabled it to preserve its distinctive character amid dangers of an opposite kind under William III. Its religious life was active; associations for worship and the reformation of manners led to more frequent services, the establishment of schools for poor children, and the foundation of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (S.P.C.K.) and for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (S.P.G.). This activity and the discord between the two houses of convocation continued during Anne's reign. Anne was a strong church-woman, and under her the church reached its highest point of popularity and influence. Its supposed interests were used by the Tories for political ends. Hence the Occasional Conformity Act, to prevent evasion of the Test Act, and a tyrannical Schism Act, both repealed in 1718, belong rather to the history of parties than to that of the church. So, too, does the case of Dr Sacheverell, who was prosecuted for a violently Tory sermon. His trial, in 1710, caused much excitement; mobs shouted for " High Church and Dr Sacheverell," and the lightness of his sentence was hailed as a Tory victory. Queen Anne is gratefully remembered by the church for her "Bounty," which gave it the first-fruits and tenths (see ANNATES and QUEEN ANNE'S BOUNTY). With the accession of the Hanoverian line the church entered on a period of feeble life and inaction: many church fabrics were neglected; daily services were discontinued; The 18th holy days were disregarded; Holy Communion was century. infrequent; the poor were little cared for; and though the church remained popular, the clergy were lazy and held in contempt. In accepting the settlement of the crown the clergy generally sacrificed conviction to expediency, and their character suffered. Promotion largely depended on a profession of Whig principles: the church was regarded as subservient to the state; its historic position and claims were ignored, and it was treated by politicians as though its principal function was to support the government. This change was accelerated by the silencing of convocation. A sermon by Hoadly, bishop of Bangor, impugned the existence of a visible church, and the " Bangorian controversy" which ensued threatened to end in the condemnation of his opinions by convocation, or at least by the lower house. As this would have weakened the government, convocation was prorogued, letters of business were withheld, and from 1717 until 1852 convocation, the church's constitutional organ of reform, existed only in name. Walpole during his long ministry, from 1721 to 1942, discouraged activity in the church lest it should become troublesome to his government. Preferment was shamelessly sought after even by pious men, and was begged and bestowed on the ground of political services. In this the clergy, apart from the sacredness of clerical office, were neither better nor worse than the laity; in morality and decency they were better even at the lowest point of their decline, about the middle of the century. While the church was inactive in practical work, it showed vigour in the intellectual defence of Christianity. Controversies of earlier origin with assailants of the faith were ably maintained by, among others, Daniel Waterland, William Law, a nonjuror, Bishop Butler, whose Analogy appeared in 1736, and Bishop Berkeley. A revival of spirituality and energy at last set in. Its origin 'has been traced to Law's Serious Call, published in 1728. Law's teaching was actively carried out by John Wesley (q.v.), a clergyman who from 1739 devoted himself to evangelization. Though his preaching awoke much religious feeling, specially among the lower classes, the excitement which attended it led to a horror of religious enthusiasm, and his methods irritated the parochial clergy. Some of them seconded his efforts, but far more regarded them with violent and often unworthily expressed dislike. While he urged his followers to adhere to the church, he could not himself work in subordination to discipline; the Methodist organization which he founded was independent of the church's system and soon drifted into separation. Nevertheless, he did much to bring about a revival of life in the church. Several clergy became his allies, and some preached in Lady Huntingdon's chapels before her secession. These were among the fathers of the Evangelical party: they differed from the Methodists in not forming an organization, remaining in the church, working on the parochial system, and generally holding Calvinistic doctrine, being so far nearer to Whitfield than to Wesley, though Calvinism gradually ceased to be a mark of the party. The Evangelicals soon grew in number, and their influence for good was extensive. They laid stress on the depravity of human nature, and on the importance of conscious conversion, giving prominence to the necessity of personal salvation rather than of incorporation with, and abiding in, the church of the redeemed. Prominent among their early leaders after they became distinct from the Methodists were William Romaine, Henry Venn and John Newton. Bishop Porteus of London sympathized with them, Lord Dart-mouth was a liberal patron, and Cowper's poetry spread their doctrines in quarters where sermons might have failed to attract. Religion was also forwarded in the church by the example of George III. During his reign the progress of toleration, though slow and fitful, greatly advanced both as regards Roman Catholics and Protestant dissenters. The spirit of rationalism, which had been manifested earlier in attacks on revelation, appeared in a movement against subscription to the Articles demanded of the clergy and others which was defeated in parliament in 1772. The alarm consequent on the French Revolution checked the progress of toleration and was temporarily fatal to free-thinking; it strengthened the position of the church, which was regarded as a bulwark of society against the spread of revolutionary doctrines;, and this caused the Evangelicals to draw off more completely from the Methodists. The church was active: the Sunday-school movement, begun in 178o, flourished; the crusade against the slave-trade was vigorously supported by Evangelicals; and the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.), a distinctly Evangelical organization, was founded. Excellent as were the results of the revival generally, the Evangelicals had defects which tended to weaken the church. Some characteristics of their teaching were repellent to the young; they were deficient in theological learning, and often in learning of any kind; they took a low view of the church, regarding it as the offspring of the Protestant reformation; they expounded the Bible without reference to the church's teaching, and paid little heed to the church's directions. Dissent consequently grew stronger. By the Act of Union with Ireland the Churches of England and Ireland were united from the 1st of January 18os, and the continuance of the united church was declared an essential part of the union. No provision, however, was made giving the Irish clergy a place in convocation, which was evidently held unlikely to revive. The union of the churches was dissolved in 1871 by an act of 1869 for disestablishing the Irish Church. Apart from the Evangelical revival, religion was advanced in the church. In 1811 the education of the poor was provided for on church principles by the National Society; the Church Building Society was founded in 1818; and the Moe Oxford Movement. colonial episcopate was started by the establishment of bishoprics in Calcutta in 1814, and in Jamaica and Barbados in 1824. Yet reforms were urgently needed. In 1813, out of about 1o,800 benefices, 6311 are said to have been without resident incumbents (The Black Book, p. 34); the value of some great offices was enormous, while many of the parochial clergy were wretchedly poor. The repeal of the Test Act, long practically inoperative, in 1828, and Catholic emancipation in 1829, mark a change in the relations of church and state; and the Reform Bill of 1832 transferred political power from a class which generally supported the church to classes in which dissent was strong. The national zeal for reform was directed towards the church, not always in a friendly spirit. Yet wholesome changes were effected by legislation: dioceses were rearranged and two new bishoprics founded at Manchester and Ripon, the bishopric of Bristol, however, being suppressed; plurality and non-residence were abolished; tithes were commuted, and the Ecclesiastical Commission, which has effected reforms in respect of endowments, was permanently established in 1836. Some changes and proposals alarmed churchmen, specially as legislation for the church proceeaed from parliament, while convocation remained silenced. Latitudinarian opinions revived, and the church was regarded merely as a human institution. Among the clergy generally ritual observance was neglected and rubrical directions disobeyed. A few churchmen, including Keble and Newman, set themselves to revive church feeling, and Oxford became the centre of a new movement. The publication of Keble's Christian Year prepared its way, and its aims were declared in his assize sermon at Oxford on " National Apostasy " in 1833. Its promoters urged their views in Tracts for the Times, and were strengthened by the adhesion of Pusey. Hence they were nicknamed Tractarians or Puseyites. Their cardinal doctrine was that the Church of England was a part of the visible Holy Catholic Church and had unbroken connexion with the primitive church; they inculcated high views of the sacraments, and emphasized points of agreement with those branches of the Catholic Church which claim apostolic succession. Their party grew in spite of the opposition of low and broad churchmen, who, specially on the publication of Tract XC. by Newman in 1841, declared that its teaching was Romanizing. In 1845 Newman and several others seceded' to Rome. Newman's apostasy was a severe blow to the church, though permanent injury was averted by the steadfastness of Pusey. The Oxford movement was wrecked, but its effect survived both in the new high church party and in the church at large. As a body the clergy rated more highly the responsibilities and dignity of their profession, and became more zealous in the performance of its duties and more ecclesiastically minded. High churchmen carried out rubrical directions, and after a while began to introduce changes into the performance of divine service which had not been adopted by the early leaders of tr party, were deprecated by many bishops, and excited opposition. In 1833 the supreme jurisdiction of the Court of Delegate. was transferred to the judicial committee of the privy council. Before this court came an appeal by a clerk named Gorham, whom the bishop of Exeter refused to. institute to a benefice because he denied unconditional regeneration in baptism, and in The 185o the court decided in the appellant's favour. The church decision was followed by some secessions to. Rune, "tithe and high churchmen were dissatisfied that spiritual law courts. questions should be decided by a secular court. The papal aggression " of that year, by which Pius IX. appeared to claim authority in England, roused violent popular indignation which was used against the high church party. However, it afforded an argument for the revival of convocation, and, chiefly owing to the exertions of Bishop Wilberforce of Oxford, convocation again met in 1852 (see CONVOCATION). Meanwhile broad church opinions were gaining ground to some extent owing to a reaction from the Oxford movement. Among the clergy the broad church party was comparatively small, but it included some men of mark. In 186o appeared Essays and Reviews, a volume of essays by seven authors, of whom six were in orders. The book as a whole had a rationalistic tendency and was condemned by convocation: two of the essayists were suspended by the Court of Arches, but its judgment was reversed by the judicial committee. Crude attacks on the authority of the Scriptures and the position of the English Church with respect to it having been published by Colenso, bishop of Natal, he was deposed by his metropolitan, Bishop Gray of Cape Town, in 1863, but the judicial committee decided that the bishop of Cape Town had no coercive jurisdiction over Natal. Convocation declared Colenso's books erroneous, abstaining in face of this judgment ' from acknowledging as valid the excommunication which Bishop Gray pronounced against him, It followed from the decision of the council that the English Church in a self-governing colony is a voluntary association. Opposition to the dogmatic principle in the church was maintained. Some practices introduced by clergy desirous of bringing the services of the church to a higher level came before the judicial committee in the case of Westerton v. Liddell in 1857, with a result encouraging to the ritualists, as they then began to be called. An increase in ritual usages, such as eucharistic vestments, altar lights and incense, followed. In 1859—186o disgraceful riots took place at St George's-in-the-East, London, where an advanced ritual was used. In 186o the English Church Union was formed mainly to uphold high church doctrine and ritual, and assist clergy prosecuted for either cause, and in 1865 the Church Association, mainly to put down such doctrine and ritual by prosecution. A royal commission appointed in 1867 recommended that facilities should be granted for enabling parishioners aggrieved by ritual to gain redress, and in 1870 that a revised lectionary and a shortened form of service should be provided. A new lectionary was approved by the two convocations and enacted, and convocation having received letters of business in 1872 and 1874 drew up a shortened form of prayer which was also enacted, but the commission had no further direct results. Between 1867 and 1871 two decisions of the judicial committee were adverse to the ritualists, and by exciting dislike to the court among high churchmen indirectly led to an increase in ritual usages. Among those who adopted them were many self-devoted men; their practices, which they believed to be incumbent on them, were condemned as illegal, yet they saw the rubrics daily disregarded with impunity by others who trod the easy path of neglect. In 1.873 a declaration against sacramental confession received the assent of the bishops, and in 1874 Archbishop Tait of Canterbury introduced a bill for enforcing the law on the ritualist clergy; it was transformed in committee, and was enacted as the Public Worship Regulation Act. It provided for the appointment of a new judge in place of the old ecclesiastical judges, the officials principal, of the two provinces. Litigation increased, the only check on prosecutions being the right of the bishop to veto proceedings, and in 1878—1881 four clergymen were imprisoned for disobedience to the orders of courts against whose jurisdiction they prote3ted. In consequence of the scandal raised by this mode of dealing with spiritual causes, a royal commission on ecclesiastical courts was appointed in 1881, butits report in 1883 led to no results, and the bishops strove to mend matters by exercising their veto. Advanced and illegal usages became more frequent. Proceedings in respect of illegal ritual having been instituted against Bishop King of Lincoln, the archbishop of Canterbury (Benson) personally 'heard and decided the case in 189o, and his judgment was upheld by the judicial committee (see LINCOLN JUDGMENT). The spiritual character of the tribunal and the authority of the judgment which sanctioned certain usages and condemned, others, had a quieting effect. Increase in ritualism, however, caused agitation in 1898, and in 1899 and 1900 the two archbishops, Temple of Canterbury and Maclagan of York, delivered opinions " condemning the use of incense and processional lights, and the reservation of the consecrated elements. Finding himself unable to put down illegal practices, Bishop Creighton of London adopted a policy of compromise which was followed by other bishops, and encouraged illegality. Disregard of law both in excess and defect of ritual being common, a royal commission on ecclesiastical discipline was appointed in 1904. The commissioners presented a unanimous report in 1906, its chief recommendations being, briefly, that practices significant of doctrines repugnant to those of the English Church should be extirpated; that the convocations should prepare a new orna• ments rubric, and frame modifications in the conduct of divine service; that the diocesan and provincial courts and the court of final appeal should be reformed in accordance with the recommendations of 1883, the last to consist of a permanent body of lay judges who on all doubtful questions touching the doctrine or use of the church should be bound by the. decision of an episcopal assembly; that the Public Worship Regulation Act should be repealed, and the bishops' power of veto abolished. Since the Oxford movement the church has developed wonderful energy. Yet it is beset with difficulties and dangers both from within and without. Within, besides difficulties as regards ritual, it has to contend against Present fife. rationalism, which has been stimulated by scientific discoveries and speculations, and far more by Biblical criticism. While this criticism has been used by many as a means to a fuller comprehension of divine revelation, much of it is simply destructive, and has led to ill-considered expressions of opinion adverse to the doctrine of the church. From without, the church has been threatened with disestablishment both wholly and as regards the dioceses within the Welsh counties; and the education of the poor, which from early days depended on its care, has largely been taken out of its hands (see EDUCATION). The amount contributed by the church to elementary education, including the maintenance of Sunday schools, in 1907—8 was £576,oI2. During the last sixty years the church has strengthened its hold on the loyalty of the nation by its increased efficiency. Its bishops are laborious and active. Since 1876 the home episcopate has been increased by the creation of the dioceses of Truro, St Albans, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southwell, Wakefield, Bristol, Southwark and Birmingham, so that there are now (191o) thirty-seven diocesan bishops, aided by twenty-eight suffragan and eight assistant bishops, and a further subdivision of dioceses is contemplated. At no other time probably have the clergy been so industrious. As a rule they are far better instructed in theology than forty years ago, but they have not advanced in secular learning. Changes in the university system have contributed to draw off able young men to other professions which offer greater worldly advantages. The poverty of many of the clergy stands in strong contrast to the wealth around them. Of 14,242 benefices 4704 are said to be below £200 a year net value. The value of £loo tithe rent charge has sunk (1909) to £69 : 18 54, the average value since the Commutation Act of 1836 being £94 : 3 : 24. The number of assistant clergy is (191o) about 7500, in spite of the hardships often attending clerical life, the supply of men being kept up. The Queen Victoria Clergy Fund and other voluntary associations and various educational institutions have been founded to relieve clerical distress. In the church at home there is much energy in numberless directions: cathedral churches have become centres of religious activity, and in parish churches the administration of the Holy Communion and week-day services are frequent. Many of the laity co-operate in church work and liberally support it. During the years 1898–1907 598 churches were built or rebuilt, and during twenty-four years, 1884–1907, the voluntary offerings for church building were £27,612,709, and for endowments and parsonages £6,116,592, yet church extension fails to keep pace with the increase of the population. Evangelistic efforts, the relief of the sick and poor, and the inculcation of temperance are zealously carried on. Good work is done by twenty-six sisterhoods and several institutions of deaconesses, and one or two communities of celibate clergy. In the British colonies and India the episcopate consists (1909) of seven archbishops with two coadjutors; there are also seventy diocesan bishops, and in other parts of the world thirty missionary bishops. The S.P. G. has 847 ordained ministers, including thirty chaplains in Europe, besides many female missionaries; the C.M.S. has 793 ordained ministers, and many other missionaries of both sexes; the Zenana Missionary Society has a staff of 1288; other church societies for foreign missions are vigorous, and the S.P.C.K. in addition to its work at home spends large sums in furthering the church abroad. The benefits arising from conference have increasingly been valued since the revival of convocation. Appreciation of the importance of lay support and counsel has led to the institution of two voluntary elective assemblies called Houses of Laymen, one for each province, and in 1905 an association of the four houses of convocation and the two lay assemblies was formed with the name of the Representative Church Council. During the last forty years diocesan conferences, in which the laity are represented, have become universal, while ruridecanal and other meetings of a like kind are general. An annual church congress, established in 1861, held its forty-ninth meeting in 1909. Of wider importance are the Lambeth conferences, held since 1878 at intervals of ten years, to which the bishops of the English Church and the churches in communion with it are invited, and meet under the presidency of the arch-bishop of Canterbury. The first of these conferences, which illustrate the dignity of the see founded by St Augustine and now the head of a vast quasi-patriarchate, was held under the presidency of Archbishop Longley in 1867 (see LAMBETH CON-
End of Article: THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
[back]
ENGLAND AND
[next]
SIR FRANCIS ENGLEFIELD (c. 1520-1596)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.