Front Page Titles (by Subject) ELIZABETHAN GLEANINGS 1 - The Collected Papers of Frederic William Maitland, vol. 3
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ELIZABETHAN GLEANINGS 1 - Frederic William Maitland, The Collected Papers of Frederic William Maitland, vol. 3 
The Collected Papers of Frederic William Maitland, ed. H.A.L. Fisher (Cambridge University Press, 1911). 3 Vols. Vol. 3.
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I. “Defender of the Faith, and so forth.”
For nearly two hundred and fifty years the solemn style and title of the king or queen of this country ended with the words “and so forth,” or in Latin et caetera. On the first day of the nineteenth century a change was made. Queen Victoria’s grandfather became king of a “United Kingdom” of Great Britain and Ireland. He ceased to be king of France. he also ceased to be “and so forth.”
Had this phrase always been meaningless? I venture to suggest that it had its origin in a happy thought, a stroke of genius.
If we look at the book to which we naturally turn when we would study the styles and titles of our English kings, if we look at Sir Thomas Hardy’s Introduction to the Charter Rolls, we shall observe that the first sovereign who bears an “&c.” is Queen Elizabeth. Now let us for a moment place ourselves in the first days of her reign. Shall we not be eager to know what this new queen will call herself, for will not her style be a presage of her policy? No doubt she is by the Grace of God of England, France, and Ireland Queen. No doubt she is Defender of the Faith, though we cannot be sure what faith she will defend. But is that all? Is she or is she not Supreme Head upon earth of the Church of England and Ireland?
The full difficulty of the question which this young lady had to face so soon as she was safely queen may not be justly appreciated by our modern minds. We say, perhaps, that acts of parliament had bestowed a certain title, and had since been repealed by other acts of parliament. But to this bald statement we must make two additions. In the first place, one at least of the Henrician statutes had declared that the headship of the church was annexed to the kingship by a bond stronger and holier than any act of parliament: to wit, by the very word of God1 . In the second place, one of the Marian statutes had rushed to the opposite limit. It had in effect declared that Henry’s ecclesiastical supremacy had all along been a nullity. It had indeed excused Queen Mary’s temporary assumption of a title that was not rightfully hers, and documents in which the obnoxious phrase occurred were not for that reason to be invalid; but it applauded Mary for having seen the error of her ways, and having of her own motion rejected a title which no parliament could lawfully confer2 .
It was a difficult problem. On both sides there were men with extreme opinions, who, however, agreed in holding that the solution of the question was not to be found in any earthly statute book. That question had been answered for good and all in one sense or the other by the ius divinum, by the word of God. We know that Elizabeth was urged to treat the Marian statutes as void or voidable, because passed by a parliament whose being was unlawful, since it was summoned by a queen who had unlawfully abdicated her God-given headship of the church3 . This, if in our British and Calvinian way we make too free with the Greek version of Thomas Luber’s name, we may call the opinion of the immoderate Erastians:—what God has joined together man attempts to put asunder “under pain of nullity.” At the opposite pole stood a more composite body, for those who would talk of the vanity of all attempts to rob Christ’s vicar of his vicariate were being reinforced by strange allies from Geneva, where Calvin had spoken ill of Henricianism. Then between these extremes there was room for many shades of doctrine, and in particular for that which would preach the omnicompetence of parliament.
Then a happy thought occurs. Let her highness etceterate herself. This will leave her hands free, and then afterwards she can explain the etceteration as occasion shall require. Suppose that sooner or later she must submit to the pope, she can still say that she has done no wrong. She can plead that, at least in some of his documents, King Philip, the catholic king, etceterates himself. There are always, so it might be said, some odds and ends that might conveniently be packed up in “and so forth.” What of the Channel Islands, for example? They are not parts of England, and they are hardly parts of France. Besides, even Paul IV would be insaner than we think him, if, when securing so grand a prize as England, he boggled over an &c. And then, on the other hand, if her grace finds it advisable, as perhaps it will be, to declare that the Marian statutes are null, she cannot be reproached with having been as bad as her sister, for we shall say that no reasonable man, considering all that has happened, can have doubted that the “&c.” signified that portion of King Henry’s title and King Edward’s title which, for the sake of brevity, was not written in full. Lastly, suppose that the parliament which is now to be summoned is willing to go great lengths in an Erastian and protestant direction, no harm will have been done. Indeed, hereafter the queen’s highness in her exercise of her ecclesiastical supremacy may find it advisable to assert that this supremacy was in being before any parliament recognised its existence, and therefore is not to be controlled even by the estates of the realm. Therefore let her be “defender of the faith, and so forth.” He who knows what faith is “the” faith will be able to make a good guess touching the import of “and so forth.”
And now it must be allowed that, though, so far as I am aware, Elizabeth is the first sovereign of this country who is solemnly etceterated, there may seem to be evidence to the contrary. It had been usual in certain classes of records to abbreviate the king’s style. A king whose full style was Henry, by the Grace of God King of England. Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, might well become upon a roll H. d. g. Rex Angl. &c. What I believe to be new in Elizabeth’s reign is the addition of “&c.” to an unabbreviated style. When she has called herself Queen of England, France, and Ireland, and Defender of the Faith, she has given herself all the titles that were borne by her father and brother, save one only, and in the place of that one she puts “&c.” The change is the more remarkable because of all people who have ever reigned in England her immediate predecessors had the best excuse for an etceteration. But no: whatever King Philip’s Spanish chancery may have done, King Philip and Queen Mary are not etceterated in solemn English documents. The whole wearisome story must be told: Jerusalem must not be forgotten, nor Tyrol. Even the town-clerk at Cambridge, when he is writing out the borough accounts, will write of Flanders and Milan. Then comes Elizabeth with her conveniently short title, with no duchies, archduchies, and counties to be enumerated; and yet she must be &c.
Now let us discover, if we can, the moment of time at which the etceteration began. So to do is the more important because I am not in a position to contend that this addition to the royal style is to be found in every place in which, if my theory be true, it ought to occur. In particular, any one who relied only on the officially printed volumes of statutes might infer that the change took place before the parliament of 1563, but after the parliament of 1559. On the other hand, we may see the little syllable in a writ of 21 Jan. 1559 which prorogued parliament from the 23rd to the 25th of that month. Occasionally a clerk will make a slip, an omissive slip: especially by leaving unmodified an old formula which he ought to modify. So let us look at the very first document in which Queen Elizabeth announced her royal will and pleasure. In Humfrey Dyson’s collection at the British Museum lies the proclamation, “imprynted at London by Richard Jugge,” which tells us how it hath pleased Almighty God to call to his mercy out of this mortal life, to our great grief, “our deerest suster of noble memory,” and how the kingdoms of England, France, and Ireland, “with all manner titles and rights thereunto in any wise apperteyning,” have come to Us, “Elizabeth, by the grace of God Queene of Englande Fraunce and Ireland defendour of the fayth. &c.1 “
A little later Mary’s body was borne to the grave, and there was heraldic display, of which an apparently official account is extant2 . Heralds are bound to be careful of titles. The late queen had a lengthy title, but it must be recited at full length. Then, when the dirge has been chanted and the crowd is questioning whether many more dirges will be chanted in England, comes the demand for a loyal shout for a new queen, whose title is brief, but who is something that her sister was not: for she is &c.
Then we know that parliament had hardly assembled (25 Jan.) before the commons appointed (30 Jan.) a committee to consider the validity of the summons which had called them together, and of the writs by virtue whereof some of Mary’s last parliaments were holden. The committee reported (3 Feb.) that the omission of the words Supremum Caput was no cause of nullity. I should suppose that Elizabeth’s ministers had by this time decided—and surely it was a wise decision—that whatever ecclesiastical changes were to be made should be made in a straightforward manner by repeal, and should not be attempted by means of a theory which Roman Catholics and Calvinists would accuse of blasphemy and the plain man would charge with chicane. It may be, therefore, that they never had to rely on their “&c.”; but some of us would gladly have been present at the deliberations of that committee.
Some years later certain English members of the Roman church were consulting some high authority—not the pope himself, but some high authority—touching the course of conduct that they ought to pursue towards a queen whom Pius V had denounced as ex-communicate and deposed. Their questions and the answers that were given thereto were published by Dr Creighton in this Review1 . These scrupulous persons desire to know whether Elizabeth may be called Queen of England, and, if so, whether the “&c.” may be added. Question and answer run as follows:—
Cum Elizabetha in forma titulorum adiungat in fine “et caetera,” quo intelligitur esse ecclesiae supremum caput, quoniam eo excepto omnes alii tituli expresse nominantur, an catholici hoc intelligentes possunt salva fidei professione etiam illam particulam “et caetera” adiungere?
Licet haeretici per illam vocem “et caetera” intelligant caput ecclesiae Anglicanae, non coguntur tamen catholici ita eam intelligere: ea enim vox indifferens est ad alia multa: immo vox est quae ut plurimum apponi solet in titulis aliorum regum.
If, then, we see significance in this “&c.,” we are only seeing what was seen by some at least of Elizabeth’s subjects, and the brain to which illa particula occurred seems to deserve credit for its ingenuity. Catholic and Calvinist can say that this is a vox indifferens common in regal styles. On the other hand the champions of a divinely instituted caesaro-papalism will observe that all Elizabeth’s possible titles, except one, have been expressly named.
For all this we might fear that we were making much ado about nothing, and discovering deep policy in some clerk’s flourish, were it not for a piece of evidence that remains to be mentioned. At the Record Office is preserved a paper on which Cecil has scribbled memoranda1 . It is ascribed to 18 Nov. 1558, the second day of Elizabeth’s reign. Apparently the secretary is taking his mistress’s pleasure about a great variety of matters, and, as he does so, he jots down notes which will aid his memory. Ambassadors must be sent to foreign princes; a new great seal must be engraved; a preacher must be selected to fill the pulpit at Paul’s Cross next Sunday. Then, among these notes—which should be photographed, for no print could represent them—we find the following:—
A commission to make out wryttes for ye parlement touchyng &c. in ye style of wryttes.
This seems to me proof positive that “&c. in the style of writs” was the outcome, not of chance but of deliberation that took place at the first moment of the reign in the highest of high quarters.
So we might expand the symbol thus:—
&c. = and (if future events shall so decide, but not further or otherwise) of the Church of England and also of Ireland upon earth the Supreme Head.
II. Queen Elizabeth and Paul IV.
A well-known story about Elizabeth and Paul IV was told by Sarpi1 , endorsed by Pallavicino2 , and believed by Ranke3 . Lingard4 , after accepting, saw cause to reject it, and his example has been very generally followed by English historians, though often they manifest their disbelief rather by silence than by contradiction. Still the tale is not quite dead, and I do not know that the evidence which disproves it has ever been fully stated, albeit that evidence lies in obvious places. It is concerned with an important matter—namely, the immediate causes of those ecclesiastical changes which were heralded by the death of Mary Tudor.
It runs thus in Sarpi’s history. Elizabeth began her reign with hesitation. She was hurried into decisive measures by the insensate arrogance of the pope. Sir Edward Carne was residing at Rome as Mary’s ambassador. The new queen sent him letters of credence, and bade him announce to the pope her accession to the throne. Thereupon Paul broke into reproach and menace. She was a bastard, England was a papal fief, and her assumption of the crown was insolent usurpation. Nevertheless, if she would submit herself to his discretion, he would do in her favour all that was compatible with the dignity of the holy see. Many people, says Sarpi, thought that this rude reception of Elizabeth’s advances was due not only to Paul’s imperious temper, but also to the solicitations of the French, who were concerned to prevent a marriage between the queen of England and the king of Spain. Then, having suffered this rebuff, Elizabeth decided to have no more to do with Rome, and allowed the English protestants to have their way.
Pallavicino accepted Sarpi’s facts, but defended the pope’s conduct. Rude Paul might have been, and tactless; but Elizabeth was a hypocrite, and substantially the pope was in the right. Lingard at one time apologetically told his readers that “it was the misfortune of Paul, who had passed his eightieth year, that he adopted opinions with the credulity and maintained them with the pertinacity of old age.” Afterwards the catholic doctor found reason to withdraw his well-turned sentence.
Now this was a lifelike story. Had it not been lifelike, Sarpi would not have told, Pallavicino would not have endorsed, Ranke would not have believed it. There was a real danger that Pope Paul would do just what he is said to have done. This danger was evident to Feria in England. A week after Elizabeth’s accession he wrote thus to his master, King Philip:—
I am very much afraid that if the queen do not send her obedience to the pope, or delay doing so, or if he should take it into his head to recall matters concerning the divorce of King Henry, there may be a defect in the queen’s title, which, more than anything else, will upset the present state of affairs in this country1 .
Paul was imprudent enough for anything. Even if Elizabeth did all that a catholic sovereign should do, it was quite possible that the hot-headed old man would fling her bastardy in her face, and declare that England was a fief moving from St Peter. At the moment he was asserting that, without his sanction, Charles V’s abdication of the empire was a nullity, and he was doing all that mortal pope could do to drive the patient Ferdinand into Lutheranism.
Perhaps it was just this that prevented some such explosion as that which Sarpi has recorded. Paul had one great quarrel on his hands, and even he—for he was human—could hardly afford another. As a matter of fact during the months that will concern us he was showing some desire to stand well with the Spanish while he denounced the Austrian Hapsburg, and a declaration in favour of Mary Stuart’s claim to the English crown would have been very much like a declaration of war against Philip. Little good had come to Pope Paul of his alliance with France; and the ascendency of his nephew Carlo Caraffa, whom we shall see as the French advocate, was almost at an end.
Be all this as it may, Sarpi’s story cannot be true.
Let us remember that Elizabeth became queen on 17 Nov. 1558. Now it is apparent in notes written by Cecil during the first hours of the new reign that no sooner was Mary dead than he was thinking of the embassies that must be sent to foreign potentates. Not only was the pope included in his list, but, having mentioned the emperor before the pope, the exact minister was at pains to correct his mistake and to give the accustomed precedence to the holy father1 . These notes may have been written before Cecil had met his young mistress. Then it is apparent from other notes that this project was abandoned or suspended2 . Envoys were to go to Ferdinand and Philip and some other friendly powers; but seemingly there was to be no mission to Rome.
To the first weeks of the new reign we must attribute the remarkable paper of advice tendered by Richard Goodrich3 . Some part of the counsel that he gave was rejected. It was extremely cautious counsel. He did not believe that the parliament which was being summoned could be induced to abolish the papal and restore the royal supremacy over the church. What the estates of the realm actually did a few months afterwards was, in his eyes, something too good to be expected. This estimate of affairs, made by an able man who lived in their midst, should be weighed by those, if such there be, who think that Elizabeth’s revolt from Rome was an inevitable concession to an irresistible demand. But one part of Goodrich’s advice seems to have been taken, that, namely, which is given in the following words:—
I would also...have letters sent to the agent there [i.e. at Rome] to continue his residence, and to advertise as occasion shall be given without desire of any audience, and, if he should be sent for, that he should signify that he understood from hence that there was a great embassy either despatched or ready to be despatched for the affairs, whose despatch I would should be published with the persons’ names, and yet treated so as it should pass for the most part of next summer, and in the meantime to have good consultation what is to be done at home, and do it, and thereafter send.
1 Dec. 1558.—A letter is sent to Carne at Rome, telling him that, “as he was theretofore placed there as a public person by reason of his ambassade,” he is not to act as solicitor in a certain matrimonial suit that is depending before the curia1 .
17 or 18 Dec.—Carne has just heard of Elizabeth’s accession, and writes to congratulate her1 .
20 Dec.—Probably a letter is sent to Carne in the sense advised by Goodrich—namely, to the effect that, if asked about this matter, he may say that a grand embassy is being prepared. The contents of this letter, which does not seem to be forthcoming, we learn in a manner that will be explained hereafter2 .
25 Dec. Carne to Elizabeth.—He sends some Italian news, and also informs her that the pope intends to depose the three Lutheran electors and give their dominions to catholic princes3 .
25 Dec.—Elizabeth refuses to witness the elevation of the host, and thus chooses a great festival of the church for an act which must, at this moment, be regarded as a display of unequivocal protestantism.
25 Dec. The Bishop of Angoulême to the King of France.—With great difficulty the bishop has obtained an audience of the pope. Paul cannot believe that Elizabeth will wish to marry Philip, but will not promise to refuse a dispensation4 . It seems quite clear from this interesting letter that Paul had not pronounced, and was not prepared to pronounce, against Elizabeth’s title to the throne. The French ambassador did not, according to his own account, say a word about bastardy or about the hereditary right of the dauphiness. He contented himself with the endeavour to prevent a marriage between Elizabeth and her brother-in-law, and even in this modest enterprise was not very successful, for the pope would make no definite promise. Also it seems clear that at this moment Paul did not suspect—and indeed he had little reason for suspecting—that the English queen was joining the number of the schismatical and heretical princes. He talked kindly of her, and could not believe that she was foolish enough to marry a Spaniard.
31 Dec. Carne to Elizabeth.—A mutilated letter which was thus summarised in England:—
Sir Edward Carne (ambassador resident at Rome from Queen Mary, and after by a letter from her majesty continued) writeth unto her that the ambassador of France laboureth the Pope to declare the queen illegitimate. Cardinal Caraffa is their instrument. The French likewise labour to withdraw the king of Spain, if they can, from affecting the queen of England1 .
31 Dec. Carne to Cecil.—He offers his services to the queen, though he would like to be recalled. He desires to know the queen’s pleasure, as his old commission has expired. [He has not as yet received the letter of 20 Dec.2 ]
25 Jan. 1559.—The English parliament meets, and by this time it is abundantly plain in England that the queen means to abolish the papal supremacy. Any further dissimulation at Rome would be useless.
15 Feb. Bull “Cum ex Apostolatus, “declaring that heretical princes are deposed by the mere fact of heresy1 .
16 Feb. Carne to the Queen.—He had written on the 11th. The French here can obtain nothing from the pope against her; “he [Paul] has such respect to herself and her realm that he will attempt nothing against either unless occasion be given therehence [i.e. from England].” The pope means to send a nuncio, but waits until an ambassador shall come from Elizabeth2 .
An abstract of the last-mentioned letter runs thus: “A nuncio intended for England, but stayeth until the queen first sendeth to the pope, according to the message he [Carne] had delivered by the queen’s directions by her letters of 20 Dec.3 “It is thus that we learn of the letter of 20 Dec. and of the attempt to keep the pope quiet by talk of a coming embassy.
10 March.—Carne receives the letter of 4 Feb. which recalls him. He then tries to obtain from the pope licence to leave Rome, giving various excuses—for example, that he wants to see his wife and children and will soon return. He learns, however, from Cardinal Trani that Paul knows of the recall.
21 March.—Trani tells Carne that the pope is “sore moved” and will not hear of Carne’s departure.
27 March.—Trani tells Carne that the pope forbids his departure, since Elizabeth and her realm have revolted from obedience to the Roman see.
1 April. Carne to Elizabeth.—He tells of his detention. From this letter are derived the facts stated in our last three paragraphs. That Carne reports them accurately must not be assumed1 .
3 April. Carne to Elizabeth.—Again he tells how he is detained and is compelled by the pope to take charge of the English hospital at Rome. “He perceives the French have obtained somewhat of their purpose the month before, but in what particular he cannot learn2 .”
24 April. Philip to Feria.—As Elizabeth has refused the title of “supreme head” when it was offered to her, there may still be some hope. Seeing this, and seeing how damaging it would be if the pope were to declare her a bastard, which he might decide to do, “since I am not to marry her,” I have endeavoured to stay his hand by assuring him that there are hopes of her amendment3 .
30 May. Throckmorton to Cecil.—He has heard from the Venetian ambassador at the court of France that Carne was a willing prisoner at Rome, and thankfully accepted the charge of the hospital4 .
Now from all this it seems plain enough that Sarpi’s story is radically untrue, and Pallavicino’s defence unnecessary. Whether Paul ever made any attack against Elizabeth on the score of her base birth is very doubtful. That he never made any public and solemn attack against her on that score, or even on the score of heresy and schism, is fairly certain: many would have preserved copies of a bull that denounced her, whether as heretic or as usurper. But at least it should be indubitable that she was not driven into protestantism by his insults. Apparently he did and said nothing against her until he learnt that she was withdrawing her minister from his court, and that her talk of sending an embassy had been deceitful.
Whether she was one of the people who were in his mind when the bull that is dated on 15 February was being prepared would be a delicate question. Primarily he was thinking of the three protestant electors who had dared to take part in the choice of an emperor. In the background may have stood Maximilian, who was leaning towards Luther, and Anthony, who was leaning towards Calvin. We should suppose that by the middle of February Paul had heard of a scene enacted in a royal chapel on Christmas Day by a young actress, who planned her scenes with admirable art. Still even at the date of the bull Carne was saying that the pope was Elizabeth’s friend, and to find a reason why the ambassador should lie about this matter would not be easy. Not until later would the pope have serious cause to doubt the truth of Philip’s repeated assurances that all would go well in England, and already the miserable man had on his hands his own scandalous nephews, besides a wrongfully elected emperor. But even if it were in some sort true that “Cum ex Apostolatus” was aimed at Elizabeth as well as some other people, still no names were named in it, and if, according to canonical reckoning, her reign ends in the spring of 1559, that is not because King John held England of Pope Innocent, nor because King Henry and Queen Anne were adulterers, but because Elizabeth, as she had frankly admitted, was a heretic: porque era erege1 . Sometimes truth speaks through truthless lips.
When did Elizabeth’s reign end? I do not know. English historians, so far as I have observed, say nothing of Paul’s bull, and I gather from the Bullarium that it may not have been “published” in the technical sense of that term2 . At a later date the English catholics were told that the question whether an heretical prince was privatus lata sententia or merely privandus sententia ferenda was a somewhat doubtful question, and therefore it was somewhat doubtful whether Elizabeth was queen until Pius V denounced her. According to a “probable opinion” his denunciation merely declared to the world an effect which her heresies had produced without the aid of any sentence; but the contrary was said to be “the commoner opinion3 .” Be that as it may (and with such subtleties we had better not meddle), we have little reason for accusing Paul V of striking Elizabeth before, or even after, he was stricken.
Who started the story that Sarpi told? There were times when Elizabeth explained to the right people—to Spanish ambassadors and the like—that in the early days of her reign she had been forced to seem less catholic, more protestant, than really she was. Whatever else she may have been, she was a great storyteller, and I am not sure that this lifelike legend of a reasonable young woman and an impracticable old pope would have been unworthy of her genius.
By way of appendix to a paper which perhaps has repeated too much that is generally known, I will add an account of Elizabeth’s Christmas escapade which is lying among the “Roman Transcripts” at the Record Office. At this moment I am not able to describe the source whence this extract was taken, but apparently we learn that the news of Elizabeth’s unfinished mass and of her almost contemporary edict touching epistle and gospel soon reached Rome. As we should expect, the story was improved by transmission; but to me it seems that very fairly might the as yet uncrowned queen be charged at Rome with having openly declared herself a heretic (or in the Italian of the time a Lutheran) if, rather than witness the elevation of the host, she ostentatiously quitted her chapel1 .
Corsini 38 F 6. Diario Pontificum. 1327-1561. 1559.
La Regina d’ Inghilterra finalmente di questo mese (Gennaro) si dichiara Luterana, e fece un decreto che non se douesse predicar altro che l’ Evangelio e l’ Epistola di San Paolo, et essendo alla messa non uolse stare a ueder consecrare, anzi uolse impedire il uescouo che non consecrasse, e permise a ciascuno di uiuere a suo modo sin tanto che ella dichiaraua per decreto il [sic] Parlamento che si hauesse da uiuere nella uera e pura fede, qual intendeua, secondo che dicono i Luterani.
Il Re Filippo fece intendere alla detta regina, che poi ch’ ella non uoleua uiuere catolicamente, ch’ egli le protestaua, che non uoleua hauerla piu per confederata, ne tener conto delle cose di quel regno d’ Inghilterra.
Le cose della religione in Inghilterra andauano di male in peggio, et haueuano fatti Inquisition contra Papistam [sic] che cosi si chiamauano questi heretici.
III. Pius IV and the English Church Service.
It has long been known that Pope Pius IV did something in the way of prohibiting those Englishmen who were likely to attend to papal commands from participating in the worship of the English church. I am not aware, however, that the document in which he spoke his mind has been printed, though a copy of it is lying very close to our hands among the transcripts which Froude brought from Simancas1 . My attention was drawn to this copy by a short note contained in Major Hume’s Calendar of Spanish Papers, who apparently thought that its subject-matter was of too little interest to deserve any but the briefest notice. Yet I think that the following “Case and Opinion” are none too well known even among professed students of ecclesiastical history1 .
On 7 Aug. 1562, Alvaro de Quadra, the Spanish ambassador in England, wrote to Francesco de Vargas, the Spanish ambassador at Rome, to the following effect:—
The enclosed paper has been given to me on behalf of the catholics of this realm. They desired that it should be sent to Trent, but I think that you had better lay it before his holiness, for he is more perfectly informed about the circumstances of the case than those at Trent are likely to be. The case is novel and unusual; it is very different from an ordinary case of communicating with excommunicates. The question Si est metus aut coactio? cannot be seriously raised; the coercion is absolute, for capital punishment is imposed on every one who will not live as a heretic. Also in this instance we have only to do with presence at what are called “common prayers,” and these contain no impiety or false doctrine, for they consist of Scripture and prayers taken from the catholic church, though what concerns the merits and intercession of saints has been omitted. Moreover we have not to deal with the communion, which is celebrated only at Easter and other great festivals. The question is solely as to presence at these “common prayers.”
The writer adds that he has been chary of giving advice to those who have consulted him, since he wished neither to condemn the feeble nor to damp the ardour of the strong. As I understand him, he doubts whether any general rule will adequately meet all possible cases1 .
The question that was submitted to the pope and the answer that he gave to it—the answer seems to have been dated on 2 Oct.—run in the following words:—
Quidam principatus lege et statutis prohibuit sub poena capitali ne aliquis sit catholicus, sed omnes vitam hereticam agant, et intersint psalmis eorum more lingua vulgari decantandis, et lectionibus ex Bibliis lingua item populari depromptis, nec non concionibus quae ad eorum dogmata aprobanda apud populum frequentius habentur, commemorantur et fiant.
An subditi fideles et catholici sine periculo damnationis aeternae animae suae supradictis interesse possint.
Ad casum respondemus quod neque vitam catholicam relinquere, nec hereticam ducere, neque eorum psalmis, lectionibus et concionibus interesse licet: cum in casu proposito non esset cum hereticis comunicare et cum eis participare sed vitam et errores illorum protestari, cum non velint aliam ob causam interesse nisi ut tanquam heretici reputati poenas catholicis impositas effugiant; et scriptum est Obedire oportet Deo dicenti Qui me erubuerit et meos sermones2 , quanquam hominibus vitam et ritus Deo et ecclesiae contrarios precipientibus, et eo magis cum nobiles et magnates non sine pusillorum scandalo supradictis interesse possint.
It seems pretty clear that those who “settled this case for opinion” desired an answer very different from that which they received. We can hardly acquit them of grossly exaggerating their woes. To listen to them one would think that non-attendance at church was a capital crime, instead of being cause for a twelvepenny fine. Quadra is guilty of a similar misrepresentation when he says siendo prohibido aqui por ley el ser catolico y puestas penas capitales a quien no viviere como herege, unless indeed every one is living as a heretic if he refrains from actively proclaiming the papal supremacy. At any rate we must allow that the very utmost that could be done to induce a soft answer was done by those who thus brought capital punishment into contact with absence from church. Moreover they do not ask for any counsel of perfection. All that they want to know is whether church-going is deadly sin. And, again, Quadra makes it quite plain that there is no talk of any participation in the Lord’s Supper—the devilish supper, as even moderate English catholics could call it1 —and in favour of “the common prayers” he seems to say all that could fairly be said by a prelate who was in communion with Rome. But no, Pius, the conciliatory Pius, will have none of it. If the choice lies between church and gallows the gallows must be chosen.
IV. Thomas Sackville’s Message from Rome.
Pius IV, though he had serious thoughts of denouncing Elizabeth as an excommunicate heretic and deposed queen, made at least four attempts to secure her conversion. A good deal is generally known about the mission of Vincent Parpaglia in 1560 and the mission of Martinengo in 1561. Something also is easily discoverable about the efforts made by the cardinal of Ferrara in 1562, and they were sanctioned by Pius, though by this time he was no longer hopeful1 . Then we may learn a little of an episode in which Thomas Sackville was the principal actor. He is the Thomas Sackville who wrote poetry that is admired, and became Lord Buckhurst and earl of Dorset.
In the winter of 1563-4 he was in Rome and was arrested as a spy; but he was soon liberated, and held converse with some illustrious people. In January Cecil was anxious about his fate; Cecil’s Italian “intelligencers” were to find out what had happened. Then from a letter written in February we may gather that Cecil did not know whether Sackville had or had not a commission from the queen2 . Then in November Guzman de Silva, the Spanish ambassador in England, had something to tell King Philip about Sackville’s proceedings. The pope, so the Spaniard said, had conversed with Sackville, and had assured him that if what was preventing Elizabeth from making dutiful submission was the fear that she would be deposed as illegitimate, or the fear that she would not be allowed to marry whom she pleased, she might set her mind at rest. The ambassador added that Sackville, having journeyed from Rome to Flanders, thence wrote to the queen, who wrote in reply without the knowledge of Cecil or Cecil’s friends. Despite this secrecy Silva did not believe that Elizabeth was in earnest. He suspected, and so may we, that she was endeavouring to keep the catholics quiet by the semblance of a confidential correspondence with his holiness1 .
Among the Roman transcripts at the Record Office are two which bear upon this story. The first is a curious document signed by Goldwell, bishop of St Asaph, and others of the English refugees at Rome. It is dated on 19 Jan. 1564 at the English hospital. In effect it is a certificate of respectability given by these refugees in Sackville’s favour. Richard Sackville is the queen’s cousin, one of her councillors, and a very wealthy man. Thomas is his son and heir apparent. Moreover Thomas is a man of good behaviour and of such pleasant discourse that many of the nobles take great delight in his conversation2 .
Then there is a paper dated at Rome on 3 May 1564. At its end the writer calls himself “Vincentius Parpaglia Abbas S. Solutoris Turini.” It sets forth what Thomas Sackville may report to Elizabeth as having been heard by him from the mouth of Pius IV on two different occasions when the pope gave him audience. In the final and attestatory clause Parpaglia states that he was present at these interviews, as well as at others which Sackville had with Cardinals Boromeo and Morone. To be brief, Sackville may say that the pope expressed surprise at Elizabeth’s refusal to admit into England the nuncios (first Parpaglia and then Martinengo) who had been sent to her. Pius, however, had been given to understand that two causes had weighed with Elizabeth—first the divorce of her parents, and secondly the alienation of church property.
Ad quae sua Sanctitas hunc in modum responsum dedit: se non velle ullo modo tantam rationem et curam rerum temporalium et humanarum haberi ut animarum salus impediatur: atque ideo si quando serenissima regina ad unionem ecclesiae et obedientiam huius sanctae sedis reverti voluerit, sua Sanctitas pollicetur se paterno affectu et quanto amore desiderari possit eam recepturam; et illis difficultatibus quas supradixi1 ea remedia adhibituram quae reginae maiestas, parlamentum generale et totius regni consensus indicaverit ad coronam stabiliendam et pacem atque quietem totius populi confirmandam esse aptissima, et in omni re quod iustum piumque iudicabitur confirmaturam.
Sackville was to beg Elizabeth to be merciful to the bishops and other catholics in her realm, and was to add that if she publicly or privately sent an envoy to Rome he would be honourably treated, and an endeavour would be made to satisfy all pious and honest demands that he might make.
It would hardly, I think, be too much to say that Elizabeth was once more told that if she would enter the catholic fold she might be as legitimate as the pope could make her, and that there would be no trouble about the spoils of the monasteries. On the other hand, no hint is given of any approval of her prayer book or any compromise in matters of faith or worship.
What seems to be an allusion to this episode occurs in the semi-official answer to Nicholas Sanders which was published in 1573, and is ascribed to the pen of Bartholomew Clerk. Seven years ago, he says, it happened that a noble Englishman was at the court of Rome and had converse with Pius IV. The pope professed his inability to understand how a wise and literate queen could fall away from the faith. He suspected, so he said, that Elizabeth’s defection was due to the holy see’s condemnation of her mother’s marriage, and added that were that so he was prepared to reverse the sentence if his primacy were recognised. Then Clerk, having told this tale, exclaims to Sanders, “If you doubt me there are extant among us the articles written by the hand of the abbot of S. Salute, and there are extant the letters of Cardinal Morone, in which he strenuously exhorts the nobleman in question earnestly to solicit our queen in this matter1 .”
It has been suggested that Clerk’s nobleman was the earl of Arundel. It has been suggested also that the boast about the existence of articles in Parpaglia’s handwriting was untrue2 . There can now—so I submit—be little doubt that Sackville was the man whom Clerk had in mind, and the document that has been described above looks as if it were the articles to which Sanders was rhetorically referred3 .
Parpaglia’s signature enables us to identify the abbey of which he was the titular head. Too long he has figured as abbot of San Saluto, San Salute, San Salvatore, Saint Sauveur, St Saviour’s, and so forth. Really the abbey was that of SS. Solutore, Avventore ed Ottavio de Sangano at Turin; it seems to have been suppressed in 1536, and in 1570 its revenues were given to the Jesuits1 .
V. Supremacy and Uniformity.
It may seem rash to suppose that about those two famous statutes of the first year of Elizabeth anything remains to be said. They have been approached by innumerable writers from almost every conceivable point. Still I am not sure that “diplomatic” has yet said its say about them, or, to use a less lofty and therefore a more becoming phrase, I am not sure that any one has had the curiosity to examine those acts in the hope of learning something from the external aspect of the parchment and the work that has been done thereon by pens and knives. But, whatever else an act of parliament may be, it is a piece of parchment. It is preserved in the palace at Westminster. It can be inspected by the public. It may tell tales, and such tales as an official editor of the statutes of the realm is not authorised to repeat. Having seen enough to persuade me that in this manner a few grains of information might be gleaned, I asked my friend Mr H. C. Barker to make a careful inspection of the acts in question, with an eye to all marks of erasure, cancellation, and interlineation. The results of his labours may, so I think, be of some interest to others besides myself. But before I state them two or three prefatory words should be said.
A bill, as we all know, had to pass through both houses of parliament. Before the first house (that is, the house in which it originated) had done with it, it was engrossed. From that time forward there was a piece of parchment which was the bill. If then we find that the text which was written on that piece of parchment shows signs of erasure, cancellation, and interlineation, we are entitled as a general rule to the inference that amendments were made either in the second house or else at a late stage in the transit of the measure through the first house1 . In a given case this inference may be wrong. It may happen that the engrossing clerk, while he is at his work, makes a mistake and then corrects it with knife and pen. The two acts of which we are speaking show a considerable number of instances in which two or three letters of a word seem to be written over an erasure, while the rest of the word stands on parchment that to all appearance has not felt the knife. We have, therefore, to exercise a little common sense in endeavouring to distinguish between corrected slips of the pen and amendments made in parliament after the text has been engrossed2 . For example, if we see that on many occasions the phrase “the last day of this session of parliament” is so written that the first part of it stands over an erasure and the second part of it is interlined, we shall hardly talk of clerical error, but we shall infer that an amendment was moved and carried. In the following remarks no notice will be taken of what clearly seem to be slips of the pen and the correction of such slips. For instance, we will not record that in the word “metropolitan” two or three of the middle letters seem to stand upon an erasure. All that may be significant we will mention.
What lies before me as I write is a copy of Dr Prothero’s Statutes and Constitutional Documents, annotated by Mr Barker. As that book is deservedly in common use and very handy, I will refer to its pages and lines, but will in every instance give words enough to enable a reader to find in any other collection of statutes the passage which is the subject of remark. Dr Prothero spells words in modern fashion, and in this we will follow him. Words that are written over an erasure will be printed in italics. Words that are interlined will be printed within square brackets. An erasure over which nothing has been written will be indicated by three asterisks. As to the length of such an erasure, a word will be said in a footnote. The number of words in a line of the manuscript is a varying number; but when it is said that a line is erased this will mean that some twenty words have disappeared. It will be understood that when we speak of erasure we speak of the work done by a knife. If words are struck through by a pen, we shall say that they are, not erased, but cancelled1 .
1. The Act of Supremacy (1 Eliz. c. 1).
The roll consists of three skins, fastened end to end, and affixed to the last are four small “schedules” or “followers.” These are fastened to the left-hand side of the roll by a narrow strip of parchment. The words which express the royal assent are easily legible. The top right-hand corner of the roll is soiled and creased, and this makes the direction for delivery to the second house difficult to read. A crease has run along the line of words which express the assent of the second house and has defaced the inscription. Perhaps, were there any lack of other evidence, we could just discern that in this instance the second house was the house of lords. We should also see that the bill went to the second house with two provisos annexed and received that house’s assent with four provisos annexed.
We may now proceed to the work of annotation.
Sec. i. (Prothero, p. 2, ll. 24-5): “may from the last day [of this session of parliament] by authority...” Of this and similar indications of a change affecting the commencement of the act we shall speak below.
Sec. ii. (p. 3, ll. 1-5): “and one other act ∗∗∗2 made in the twenty-fifth [year of the said late king, concerning restraint of payment of annates and firstfruits of archbishoprics and bishoprics to the see of Rome and one other act in the said twenty-fifth] year...” This may be the correction of a clerk’s blunder occasioned by the recurrence of “twenty-fifth year”; or the draftsman may have forgotten that there were two acts about annates which required mention.
Sec. ii. (p. 3, ll. 23-4): “all times after the last day of this [session of parliament] shall be revived...”
Sec. iv. (p. 4, ll. 14-20): “all other laws and statutes and the branches and clauses of any act or statute repealed and made void by the said act of repeal made in the time of the said late King Philip and Queen Mary ***1 and not in this present act especially mentioned and revived, shall stand, remain, and be repealed and void in such like manner and form as they were before the making of this act...” Here we find an extensive alteration made at an important point; but we can hardly guess the cause. This section prevents the revival of certain Henrician statutes by the repeal of Mary’s repealing act. The erased words may have been of the exceptive sort, and may have been struck out by the conservatives in the house of lords. To speculate about this matter would, however, be dangerous.
Sec. v. (p. 4, ll. 25-8): “an act against such persons as shall unreverendly speak against the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, commonly ***2 called the sacrament of the altar, and for receiving thereof under both kinds...” It seems possible that there was some hesitation between “under” and “in.” In the body of the Edwardian act that was being revived we see “under both kinds,” while the title of that act on the chancery roll has “in both kinds3 .”
Sec. v. (p. 4, ll. 30-1): “from the last day [of this session of parliament] be revived, and from thenceforth...”
Sec. vi. (p. 5, ll. 8-9): “from the last day of this [session of parliament] deemed...”
Sec. vii. (p. 5, ll. 18-9): “any time after the last day [of this session of parliament] use...”
Sec. vii. (p. 5, ll. 23-4): “but from thenceforth the same shall...”
Sec. ix. (p. 7, ll. 9-10): “as well in all spiritual [or ecclesiastical] things or causes as temporal...” This occurs in the oath of supremacy. If the interpolated words are an amendment we have at first sight some little difficulty in imagining the motives of those who desired it; but perhaps they thought that “or ecclesiastical” would so explain “spiritual” that any claim to jurisdiction in foro conscientiae would be excluded.
Sec. x. (p. 7, l. 24): “archbishop, bishop, or other ecclesiastical officer or minister.” Possibly “officer” took the place of “person1 .”
Sec. xi. (p. 8, ll. 24-6): “shall presently be judged disabled in the law to receive, take, or have the same promotion spiritual or ecclesiastical, the same ***2 temporal office, ministry, or service...” An amendment narrowing the scope of a disabling clause seems a possible cause of these altertions.
Sec. xiii. (p. 9, ll. 22-3): “the said refusal, and shall and may use and exercise the said office in such manner and form3 ...”
Sec. xiv. (p. 9, l. 27), “and for the more [sure] observation of this act...”
Sec. xiv. (p. 10, l. 3): “of your highness, or ***4 shall advisedly...”
Sec. xiv. (p. 10, ll. 30-1): “or do the said offences or any of them [in manner and form aforesaid] and be thereof duly convicted...”
Sec. xiv. (p. 11, ll. 1-2): “or any of them [in manner and form aforesaid] and be thereof duly convicted...” This and the last amendment seem to come from those who would have the definitions of the offences strictly construed.
Sec. xv. In this section the phrase “one half-year next” occurs twice. On the second, but not on the first, occurrence, the “half” is interlined. The context seems to show that this is only the correction of a blunder.
Sec. xv. At the end of this section occur seven lines of writing that are cancelled by a pen. Of them we shall speak below.
Sec. xviii. (p. 12, II. 5-6): “for any offence that is revived [or made premunire or] treason by this act...”
Sec. xviii. At the end of this section occur six and a half lines of writing which are cancelled by a pen. Of them we shall speak below.
Here the roll ends. We pass to the schedules.
The first schedule is marked with a direction for delivery to the lords. It therefore originates in the commons. It contains the proviso which is printed as sec. xix. It is a curious proviso, coming apparently from the reforming side, to the effect that nothing done by this present parliament shall hereafter be judged heresy or schism. Not a very useful proviso, one would think, if ever the conservative party returned to power.
The second schedule contains three provisos which are printed as sections xx., xxi., xxii. These originated in the house of lords, for on the schedule stand the order for delivery to the commons, and a note that the commons have assented.
Sec. xx. This section says that the persons, whom for the sake of brevity we may call the high commissioners, “shall not in any wise have authority or power to order, determine, or adjudge any matter or cause to be heresy, but only such as heretofore have been determined, ordered, or adjudged to be heresy [by the authority of the canonical Scriptures or by the first four general councils or any of them, or by any other general council wherein the same was declared heresy by the express and plain words of the said canonical Scriptures]1 , or such as hereafter shall be ordered, judged, or determined to be heresy by the high court of parliament of this realm with the assent of the clergy in their convocation; anything in this act contained to the contrary notwithstanding.”
The two portions of this section seem to proceed from different parties, and, whether we have here a clause added by the lords and amended by the commons, or a clause proposed in the upper house (perhaps by the committees) and altered in that house, we have reason to infer the occurrence of an interesting episode. It strikes the conservatives in the upper, house that, unless something be said to the contrary, these royal commissioners may soon be adjudging heretical many of the old beliefs—for example, a belief in transubstantiation. So a limit must be set, and it takes a very conservative form: only what has been adjudged heresy in the past is to be adjudged heresy in the future, unless convocation, which has lately shown its conservatism, consents to a change. But this adoption of the old standard, though only in a one-sided fashion, would hardly suit the reforming party. A clause is inserted which expresses a certain theory about ecclesiastical history, and even if we cannot call that theory definitely protestant it is opposed to traditional teaching. It draws a line among the general councils of the church. The result makes for toleration. To put the matter briefly and roughly, none of the old beliefs, nor any of those new beliefs that are held by decent people, are to be heretical; but we may think it lucky for the reformers that this section was not administered by the conservatives, for have not councils which called themselves general seen a good deal that protestants cannot see “in the express and plain words of the said canonical Scriptures?” At any rate, however, we have warrant for saying that the lords materially modified the bill in a conservative and also a tolerant sense.
Sec. xxi. This proviso is substituted for a clause which stood at the end of sec. xv. and which has been cancelled. They both aim at the requirement of two witnesses if any one is to be convicted for an offence against the act, but the cancelled words were singularly clumsy. The house of lords seems to have desired to make perfectly clear a rule favourable to accused conservatives.
Sec. xxii. This proviso is substituted for a clause which stood at the end of sec. xviii. In this instance it may be well to print the text in such wise that the action of the lords in protecting the accused may be plainly seen.
At this point I may be allowed to say that I am by no means so willing as some commentators are to apply to the historical interpretation of an act of 1559 the well-known rule about the “relation” of statutes to the first day of the session. We know that rule well, because it stands in the Fourth Institute; but in 1559 Edward Coke was yet a little boy. I have never minutely explored the history of the rule, but I fancy that at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign the amount of written authority at its back consisted of a single dictum of a certain clerk of parliament which is found in the Year Book of 14551 . From the nature of the case it was a rule that could only come into play on extremely rare occasions, and I much doubt whether we ought to construct lofty edifices on the assumption that this canon of interpretation was generally known to laymen or even to lawyers before it found a place in the works of our great dogmatist. And so (to revert to our starting point) the substitution of a reference to the end of the session for some such word as “henceforth” may be regarded rather as the removal of an ambiguity than as anything of greater significance.
We may now consider how the information that we have obtained by the contemplation of this parchment accords with what we may learn from other sources.
Apparently the long session of 1559 saw three attempts to deal with the question of ecclesiastical supremacy. Bill No. 1 was introduced into the lower house, read a first time on 9 Feb., read a second time on the 13th, debated on the 14th, committed on the 15th, and then to all appearance withdrawn or abandoned. Bill No. 21 was read a first time on the 21st, read a second time and ordered to be engrossed on the 22nd, read a third time on the 25th, with two provisos relating respectively to Richard Chetwood and Robert Harecourt. It was sent up to the lords on the 27th, read a first time on the 28th, and read a second time (after a fortnight’s interval) on 13 March, and then committed to the Duke of Norfolk, the bishops of Exeter and Carlisle, and Lords Winchester, Westmoreland, Shrewsbury, Rutland, Sussex, Pembroke, Montagu, Clinton, Morley, Rich, Willoughby, and North. It was read a third time, with certain provisos added by the lords and sundry other amendments on 18 March. On that day it was carried to the commons, who read it (or the new matter in it) a first time on the 20th, a second time on the 21st, and a third time on the 22nd. Then it, with a new proviso annexed by the commons, was read thrice in the upper house on the 22nd. To that bill the royal assent was not given. The Easter recess and the Colloquy of Westminster here intervene.
Bill No. 3 was read a first time in the commons on 10 April. It was read a second time and ordered to be engrossed on the 12th, and it was read a third time on the 13th. Therefore I take it that the now existing engrossment was made between the session of the 12th and the session of the 13th. Then it was delivered to the lords on the 14th, and a note upon it tells that two schedules went with it. These will be the third and fourth concerning Chetwood and Harecourt, and they are represented in modern editions by secs. xxiii., xxiv.1 The bill was read a first time in the lords on the 15th2 . On the 17th it was read a second time and committed to the bishops of Ely and Carlisle, the Duke of Norfolk, Lords Arundel, Shrewsbury, Worcester, Rutland, Sussex, Bedford, Montagu, Clinton, Howard of Effingham, Rich, Hastings, and St John. On the 25th3 a proviso to be annexed to the bill was read thrice and ordered to be engrossed. This I take to be the second schedule, containing secs. xx., xxi., xxii. Then the bill was read a third time and returned to the commons on the 26th. On the 27th it was returned with a new proviso to the lords, who seem to have read that proviso thrice on the 29th. This proviso I take to be the first scheduled, or in other words sec. xix.
On the whole, then, as fairly certain conclusions, we may hold (1) that the commons send up a measure consisting of secs. i-xviii., xxii., and xxiv.; (2) that the lords add sec. xx. (restriction of the scope of heresy), sec. xxi. (requirement of two witnesses), and sec. xxii. (aiding and comforting offenders), and at the same time cancel certain parts of secs. xv. and xviii., which the new clauses have made unnecessary; and (3) that the commons at the last moment add sec. xix., declaring that no act in this present parliament shall be adjudged to be “any error, heresy, schism, or schismatical opinion.”
Other inferences must be much less certain. In particular we cannot tell how those interesting words about the first four councils forced their way into a section which as originally drawn seems to have been meant merely to protect the adherents of the old learning. Unfortunately erasure was permitted where we would rather have seen cancellation. However, in a given context a free use of the knife may not be insignificant.
Without making this paper too long I may be suffered to refer to the interesting question why that supremacy bill—"No. 2,” as I call it—which had with great difficulty been forced through all its stages before Easter, was abandoned, so that a new bill had to be introduced. It seems to me that Froude, having access to Feria’s letters, really solved a problem which had perplexed his predecessors; but, having a soul above parliamentary detail, he hardly made his solution sufficiently plain. There can, I think, be little doubt that Bill No. 2 declared that Elizabeth was supreme head of the church of England, though perhaps in its ultimate form, when the lords had amended it, she was given an embarrassing option of saying whether she was supreme head or not. And further there can, I think, be little doubt that at the last moment, and when the bill, having passed both houses, was no longer amendable, she decided (or for the first time published her decision) that she would not assume the irritating title.
Thus we obtain an explanation of a speech delivered by Archbishop Heath which, as many observers have seen, was a foolish, irrelevant speech if the bill that he was opposing did not profess to bestow or to acknowledge a supreme headship1 . Then we have Feria’s despatches. On 19 March2 he relates how he has recently (since the 6th) had an interview with Sir Thomas Parry, who came, with Elizabeth’s knowledge, to speak with him in private, and at the outset gave a promise that she would not take the title “head of the church.” The ambassador further says that since then Elizabeth had by her own mouth made him the same promise. On the 15th, so Feria adds, “these heretics” had moderated their original proposal and were providing that the queen might take the title if she pleased. (On the 13th, we may observe, the bill was before the lords and had been sent to a committee on which conservatives and waverers were well represented.) Then on the 24th1 Feria tells how he had by letter begged Elizabeth not to confirm what parliament had been doing until she had seen him after the Easter recess. He then states that Elizabeth sent for him, that he saw her at nine o’clock in the morning of the 24th (Good Friday), that she had resolved to go to parliament that day at one o’clock after dinner for the purpose of giving her assent to what had been done, but that she had postponed her going until Monday, 3 April, and that the heretics were downcast. On 11 April2 Feria takes credit to himself for this change in the queen’s intentions: on Good Friday she was resolved to confirm what parliament had done, but almost miraculously the blow had been averted. He proceeds to say that the queen has declared in parliament (this might be by a minister) that she does not wish to be called head of the church, also that on the 10th (the day on which Bill No. 3 makes its first appearance in the journals) Cecil went to the lower house and explained that, though the queen was grateful for the offered title, she, out of humility, would not assume it, but desired that some other form of words concerning supremacy or primacy might be devised. Thereupon, so the Spaniard asserts, Cecil was told that what he was doing was contrary to the word of God, and that honourable members were surprised at his coming every day to the house with some new scheme. Then on the 15th Feria can inform his master that cabeza is changed into gobernadora.
This tale seems consistent with itself and with what we read in the journals of the two houses. Moreover it seems to let in light upon a very puzzling episode. Bill No. 2 passed its last stage on 22 March (Wednesday in Holy Week), and, if it ever became law, it would revive the Edwardian act touching the reception of the communion in both kinds. Now by a proclamation dated the 22nd1 the queen says that in “the present last session” of parliament she, with the assent of lords and commons, “made” a statute reviving this act of her brother’s reign, which statute, however, cannot be printed and published abroad in time for the Easter festival, being of great length; and that therefore the queen, by the advice of sundry of her nobility and commons “lately” assembled in parliament, declares to all her subjects that the Edwardian act is revived and in force. With some confidence we may infer that the man who drafted this proclamation believed that before it was issued the supremacy bill would have received the royal assent, and seemingly he also believed that parliament would have been dissolved or prorogued; and then Feria explains to us that almost by a miracle the queen determined at the very last moment to withhold her approbation1 .
And then Elizabeth reaped her reward. She rarely acted without consideration; and by “consideration” we mean what the lawyers mean. On 24 April Philip tells Feria that, as she has refused the supreme headship when it was offered to her, he has told the pope that there are hopes of her amendment and has endeavoured to prevent the issue of any decree concerning her bastardy1 . What King Philip and the count of Feria were too orthodox and too haughty to know was that the amendment in Elizabeth’s conduct, which they ascribed to the fear of Spain and of Rome, was ascribed by despicable heretics to the persuasive words of the godly Mr Lever. She was an economical woman and thought one stone enough for two birds2 .
But Romanists and Calvinists were not the only people to be considered. What of the Cæsaro-papalists: of the people who were for holding that the Marian statutes were void, because Mary had abandoned her divine office3 : the people who talked about the word of God when Cecil came after Easter and explained that there must be a new bill? Perhaps these men saw in the new bill something that was sufficiently satisfactory. At any rate we ought to notice a fact too little noticed in recent books, namely, that Elizabeth’s parliament certainly did not make it clear that the king of England is not supreme head of the church of England. It expressly revived what must have seemed both to catholics and Calvinists, if they looked into the matter, the most offensive of all King Henry’s statutes, that concerning the doctors of the civil law (37 Hen. VIII, c. 17). That act states that Henry’s “most royal majesty is and hath always been, by the word of God, supreme head in earth of the church of England, and hath full power and authority to correct, punish, and repress all manner of heresies...and to exercise all other manner of jurisdiction commonly called ecclesiastical jurisdiction.” It also states that his majesty “is the only and undoubted supreme head of the church of England, and also of Ireland, to whom by Holy Scripture all authority and power is wholly given to hear and determine all manner of causes ecclesiastical.” These words were revived in 1559, and, as I understand, remained on our statute book until 1863, when they were repealed by one of the Statute Law Revision Acts, which said, however, that the repeal was not to affect “any principle or rule of law1 .” This declaration, which we well might call the Unam sanctam of the royal supremacy, since it bases that supremacy upon the very Word of God, was statute law in the reign of Elizabeth, and, unless repealed by implication, was statute law in the reign of Victoria. But we must return to our parchments.
2. The Act of Uniformity (I Eliz. c. 2).
The roll, which consists of two skins without any schedules, shows an order for delivery to the lords, the assent of the lords, and the assent of the queen.
Sec. i. (p. 14, l. 9): “the feast of the Nativity [of St John Baptist] next coming...”
Sec. i. (p. 14, ll. 13-4): “the said feast of the Nativity [of St John Baptist] in full force...” This at first sight would seem to point to a change in, and probably to a postponement of, the date fixed for the commencement of the act. But “the feast of the Nativity of St John Baptist” occurs twice in sec. ii., twice in sec. iii., once in sec. iv., and twice in sec. vii., and in none of these instances are there signs of interpolation. It does not seem likely that the different sections were to take effect at different times. The alteration in the text of the first two sections may be traceable to some general change of dates which was made in the bill while it was in the lower house, and to a change that was insufficiently obvious on the paper document that lay before the engrossing clerk.
Sec. ii. (p. 14, ll. 28-32): “with one alteration or addition of certain lessons to be used on every Sunday in the year [and the form of the litany altered and corrected,] and two sentences only added in the delivery of the sacrament to the communicants, and none other or otherwise...” This is an interesting interpolation. It looks like a lords’ amendment. We may well imagine that there were some temporal peers who, though willing to vote for the Prayer Book as a whole, yet scrupled to use hard words of the bishop of Rome. However, there seems to be a little evidence that the offensive phrase had already disappeared out of “the Letanye used in the Quenes Maiesties Chappel, according to the tenor of the Proclamation1 .” Also those who are versed in re diplomatica will notice the recurrent “and” as a possible source of mischief. On the other side we may note that if there is not a change of hand there certainly seems to be a change of ink.
Sec. ii. (p. 14, ll. 33-4): “and that if any manner of parson, vicar or other whatsoever...”
Sec. ii. (p. 15, ll. 2-10): “or shall wilfully or obstinately (standing in the same) use ***2 any other rite, ceremony, order, form or manner of celebrating of the Lord’s Supper openly or privily, or Matins, Evensong, administration of the sacraments, or other open prayers than is mentioned and set forth in the said book (1open prayer in and throughout this act is meant that prayer which is for other [to come unto or hear] either in common churches or private chapels or oratories, commonly called the service of the church), or shall preach, declare...” Here the change is extensive, but possibly represents what we should call a draftsman’s amendment. Even as it is we find an “interpretation clause” let into the middle of the enactment, and perhaps the original text was yet clumsier.
Sec. ii. (p. 15, ll. 27-30): “it shall be lawful to all patrons or donors of all and singular the same spiritual promotions or of any of them to present or collate to the same as though the persons so offending were dead; and that if ...”
Sec. ii. (p. 15, ll. 33-5): “the person so offending and convicted the third time [shall be deprived ipso facto of all his spiritual promotions, and also] shall suffer imprisonment during his life...” The repetition of “shall” may have caused a careless omission. If this be not so a penalty is increased. It is not, perhaps, uncharitable to suppose that some wavering noblemen may have been reconciled to the bill by thoughts of patronage. Nothing, it will be remembered, is being said that will deprive of his rights a patron who adheres to the old creed. That is a remarkable feature in the settlement; there is no test for patrons.
Sec. xiii. (p. 20, ll. 12-5): “such ornaments of the church and of the ministers thereof shall be retained and be in use as was2 in this3 church of England...” Unless some one thought fit deliberately to substitute “as was” for the “as were” which we nowadays expect, we seem to have here only the correction of some slip of the pen. In the many commentaries that have been written on this famous clause has it ever been noticed that the term “the metropolitan of this realm” is very curious? There never was any such person. If Archbishop Heath had been a kindly critic of the bill he would not have protested against a phrase which in the eyes of the uninstructed might seem to give an undue preeminence to Canterbury. In the face of this trace of hasty draftsmanship we can hardly make the common assumption that the words “by the authority of parliament in the second year of the reign of King Edward VI” must have had some one precise meaning for all the then members of parliament. Few indeed are the critics of documents who have made allowance enough for mere carelessness and forgetfulness.
If there is anything significant in the somewhat unusual form of the enacting clause in this act—"be it enacted by the queen’s highness with the assent of the lords and commons in this present parliament"—we can say with some certainty that this form had been chosen before the bill had left the house of commons, for the parchment shows no alteration at this point. It is possible that the bishops’ dissent was discounted by the framers of the original bill; but it is not impossible that the omission of “spiritual and temporal” was an accident1 . The Act of Supremacy has the usual words, and on the face of that act “the lords spiritual and temporal” are party to the abolition of the papal jurisdiction and the repeal of the Marian statutes. Also the general heading of the chancery roll for the session proclaims the assent omnium dominorum tam spiritualium quam temporalium to, among other acts, this Act of Uniformity2 .
What we see upon the parchment agrees with what we read elsewhere. The bill was introduced in the lower house, had its three readings on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of April, and when read the second time was ordered to be engrossed. It was brought in before the lords on the 25th, and had its three readings on the 26th, 27th, and 28th. Apparently it was not again sent to the commons; but from this fact we are not, I believe, entitled to infer that the lords made no amendments. The theory of the time seems to have required a return of the bill to the first house if the second house amended it in such a way that it would do more than the first house originally intended, but no return was necessary if the amendment made by the second house was of such a kind that it reduced the amount of work that the bill would do—for example, if the second house struck out one of a series of clauses which aimed at the creation of new offences. This is a matter about which further information is desirable. Some day we ought to have of these and some others of our acts of parliament a “diplomatic” edition such as Frenchmen or Germans would have made long ago.
It is well known that the Journal of the House of Lords becomes suddenly silent at the most exciting moment of this momentous session. It leaps from Saturday, 22 April, to Monday, 1 May: in other words, it leaps over the days on which the Supremacy Bill (No. 3) and the Uniformity Bill were receiving the assent of the house of lords. Is this due to accident or is it due to fraud? This question springs to our lips, for we have every reason to believe that the journal ought to have recorded the fact that not one lord spiritual voted for these bills and that every prelate who was present voted against them. This fact might indeed be notorious; but notoriety is not evidence, and in the then state of constitutional doctrine the queen’s ministers may have wished to deprive their adversaries of the means of “averring by matter of record” that the first estate of the realm was no party to the religious settlement. With some slight hope that the handwriting might be more eloquent than print I obtained permission to see the original journal. It made no disclosure. In the first place, the work is so neat and regular that it looks, not like a journal kept day by day, but like a fair text made at the end of the session from notes that had been taken as the session proceeded. In the second place, the practice was to devote one page—or rather one side of a page—to every day, whether there was much or little to record. The session of Saturday, 22 April, is described on the back of a page and ends with an adjournment to the next Tuesday; the session of Monday, 1 May, is described on the front of the next page. Even if the book were unbound it would, I fear, reveal no more; for, as we apparently have to deal with a clean text made at the end of the session, any inference that we might be disposed to draw from the distribution of quires and sheets would be highly precarious, and “This may or may not have been an accident” would have to be our last word. There is, I may add, another omission which has not attracted so much attention. There is no record of the house having sat on 14 and 15 April. That it did sit on these days we know. The third Supremacy Bill was brought to it on the 14th, and read a first time on the 15th. Whether or not this increases the probability that the more serious omission was the result of mere carelessness is not very plain. We are dealing with a problem in which one of the quantities—the coefficient of negligence, we might call it—is very much unknown.
English Historical Review, 1900.
Stat. 37 Hen. VIII, c. 17.
Stat. 1 & 2 P. et M. c. 8, secs. 42, 43.
See the oration of John Hales in Fox, Acts and Monuments, ann. 1558.
Brit. Mus., Grenville 6463. I refer to this precious volume because, as I understand, what is there to be seen is one of the very papers that came from Jugge’s office.
State Papers, Domestic, vol. 1. no. 32 (MS.); see Foreign Calendar for 1559-60, p. cxxviii.
English Historical Review, VII. 81.
State Papers, Domestic, vol. I. no. 3.
Hist. Conc. Trid. ed. 1620, p. 333; transl. Le Courayer, 11. 53.
Vera Conc. Trid. Hist. II. 532.
Englische Geschichte, I. 301.
Hist. Engl. ed. 1823, V. 146; ed. 1854, VI. 3.
Spanish Cal. 1558-67, p. 6; Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, I. 309.
Domestic, vol. 1. no. 2 (MS.).
Nothing of the pope in the paper ascribed to 18 Nov.: Domestic, vol. 1. no. 3 (MS.).
Domestic, vol. 1. no. 68 (MS.). Froude made good use of this discourse, but has not referred to the portion that will concern us.
Foreign, 1558-9, no. 56.
Foreign, 1558-9, nos. 123, 162.
See below under 16 Feb.
Foreign, 1558-9, no. 123.
Ribier, Mémoires, II. 776.
Foreign, 1558-9, nos. 160, 161.
Ibid. no. 162.
Ibid. no. 299.
Ibid. no. 474.
Magnum Bullarium (Luxemb. 1727), I. 846.
Foreign, 1558-9, no. 331.
Ibid. no. 333.
Foreign, no. 474.
Ibid. no. 492.
Spanish Cal. 1558-67, p. 60; Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, I. 508.
Foreign, 1558-9, no. 789.
Spanish Cal. 1558-67, p. 37; Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, I. 475.
It was confirmed in 1566 by a bull of Pius V—Inter multiplices (Bullarium, II. 214; Hinschius, Kirchenrecht, v. 682).
Eng. Hist. Rev. VII. 87 (Answer to Question 14).
The evidence is good. See Feria’s letter, Spanish Cal. 1558-67, p. 17; Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, I. 365; Il Schifanoya’s letter, Venetian, 1558-80, p. 2; Letter of Sir W. Fitzwilliam, Ellis, Orig. Letters, sec. ser. II. 262; extracts printed in Bridgett and Knox, Queen Elizabeth and the Catholic Hierarchy, p. 65.
Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 26,056, pp. 182, 185.
Spanish Calendar, 1558-67, p. 258. “Sends an address from the English catholics asking for an authoritative decision as to the legality of their attending the reformed services. Sets forth the arguments in favour of their being allowed to do so.”
This covering letter is in Spanish. The “Case and Opinion” are, I think, in Froude’s own handwriting. I will give them as they stand; some small emendations will occur to the reader.
Here, I suppose, an etc. should mark the end of an unfinished text.
See English Historical Review, VII. 85.
Among the Roman transcripts are two letters of 3 Jan. and 15 March 1562 about this negotiation.
Foreign Calendar, 1564-5, nos. 109, 113, 159.
Spanish Calendar, p. 390.
This document is printed in Brady, Episcopal Succession, I. 87.
Parpaglia is speaking.
Fidelis Servi Subdito Infideli Responsio, Lond., Jo. Daye, 1573, sig. k, II.
Estcourt, Question of Anglican Orders, pp. 361, 366.
In 1573 nine, rather than seven, years would have elapsed since the Sackville episode.
Döllinger, Beiträge zur Geschichte der sechs letzten Jahrhunderte, II. 238.
Smith, Commonwealth, ed. 1635, p. 89. A bill may be committed and amended before it is engrossed, “yea, and some time after.”
Such amendments were said to be “made at the table.” I take it that the actual erasing and so forth was done in the view of the assembled members.
It will be remembered that on the roll the sections are not numbered and that the numeration is not authoritative; also that the text in the official edition was taken, not from the original act, but from the clean transcript enrolled in the chancery.
An erasure of the length of three or four letters.
An erasure of just two lines, equal to the space between “all” and “Mary.”
An erasure of one or two letters.
Statutes of the Realm, IV. 1-3.
See § ix.
An erasure of the length of “the same.”
The parchment seems to have been scraped, but it is not clear that any writing was erased.
An erasure of 14 to 16 letters.
Interlined in very small letters.
Y. B. 33 Hen. VI f. 17 (Pasch. pl. 8). The rule, however, passed into Broke’s Abridgement, “Exposicion de certein parolx,” pl. 33. Broke died in 1558; the Abridgement was published in 1568. In the medieval period the Statute Roll shows no date except that of the first day of the parliament, so interpreters would hardly have any choice.
Expressly marked as nova in the Commons’ Journal.
We have seen that similar or perhaps the very same schedules were annexed to Bill No. 2.
The existing journal records no sitting between the 13th and the 17th.
Here we become dependent on Dewes and the material that he had before him.
Dixon, History of the Church of England, V. 67, note: “A great part of Heath’s speech is fired against “supreme head,’ but ’supreme head’ was not in the bill. Hence nearly half of Heath’s speech was thrown away.” If Canon Dixon had attended to Froude he would not have said so confidently that “supreme head” was not in the bill. Dr Gee (The Elizabethan Prayer Book, p. 100) has come to another conclusion. Froude’s only mistake, so it seems to me, is that he speaks as if after Easter “a variation of phrase was all that was necessary,” and as if the bill was at once “conclusively passed.” Really a new bill was necessary, was opposed in the house of lords, amended and reamended, before it became law.
Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, I. p. 475.
Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, I. p. 481.
Ibid., p. 493.
Gee, Elizabethan Prayer Book, p. 255, from Dyson’s Proclamations.
Since the above sentences were in type I have seen the article in the Dublin Review (January 1903) in which Father J. H. Pollen has forestalled what I had to say of Bill No. 2 and the proclamation of 22 March. It was with great pleasure that I read what he had written. I thought of suppressing this part of my note, but will leave it standing, as he and I have approached the matter from different points. His surmise that the proclamation, of which we have an apparently unique copy, may never have been issued seems by no means improbable. He also remarks that Supremacy Bill No. 2 seems to have contained clauses concerning public worship, so that had the royal assent been given to it no Act of Uniformity would have been necessary and parliament might have been dissolved before Easter. When Mr Alfred Harrison was courteously showing to me the original of the lords’ journal, he pointed out to me that already the clerk who wrote it had been confused by the plurality of Supremacy Bills. At the end of the session there is a list of the acts that have been passed. The twenty-fourth item in it is “An Act for restoring the Supremacy of the Imperial Crown of this Realm and repealing divers Acts of Parliament made to the contrary.” The thirty-second item is (or was, for it has been cancelled) “An Act restoring to the Crown the ancient Jurisdiction over the State Ecclesiastical and Spiritual and abolishing all Foreign Power repugnant to the same.” Then one of these two items having to be cancelled, the clerk struck his pen through the wrong one—namely, that which accurately gives the title of our Act of Uniformity. In the printed journal (vol. 1. p. 579) the cancelled passage is simply omitted. Editors should know that cancelled passages sometimes tell interesting tales.
Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, I. p. 508.
Sandys to Parker, 30 April 1559, Parker’s Correspondence, p. 66: “The bill of supreme government, of both the temporality and clergy, passeth with a proviso that nothing shall be judged heresy which is not condemned by the canonical Scriptures and four general councils. Mr Lever wisely put such a scruple in the queen’s head that she would not take the title of supreme head.” Sandys would hardly be telling Parker this at the end of April if all along it had been clear that Elizabeth was only to be supreme governor.
See Engl. Hist. Rev. XV. 121-3.
Stat. 26-27 Vict. c. 125.
Clay, Liturgies set forth in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth (Parker Soc.), pp. x-xii, 12.
Erasure of three letters.
Dr Prothero, for the convenience of modern readers, inserts “[by].”
The writing just fills the erasure.
So the act. The official edition gives “the.”
See Pike, Const. Hist. of the House of Lords, p. viii.
Statutes of the Realm, IV. 9.