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The Book of Common Prayer




THE definite history of the compilation of the First Prayer Book is wrapped in considerable obscurity. In the previous chapter an account has been given of various steps which led up to it, but when the attempt is made to ascertain accurately the names of those who compiled it and the history of their work, little evidence is forthcoming. The authors of the Order of Communion lie hidden behind the vague phrases of the Proclamation of March 8, 1547-8, under which it was issued. Other phrases similarly vague occur in connexion with the First Prayer Book in the Act of Uniformity which authorized it. There is no direct evidence of any formal commission issued for the purpose, and indirectly all the details that can be ascertained are the following. In September, 1548, a number of bishops and divines were assembled at Chertsey and also (probably during the King’s stay on September 22 and 23) at Windsor; for the settlement of liturgical questions and ‘a uniform order of prayer.’1

Previous chapter


The First Prayer Book of Edward VI.

Its authors.


The names of these can only be ascertained by conjecture,2 but since it is known that five bishops and four divines took part at Chertsey in Ferrar’s consecration to the see of S. David’s on September 9, it is natural to suppose that they were of the number. They were the following: Archbishop Cranmer, Bishops Ridley of Rochester, Holbeach of Lincoln, Thirlby of Westminster, and Goodrich of Ely: Drs. May, Dean of St Paul’s, Haynes, Dean of Exeter, Robertson, afterwards Dean of Durham, and Redman, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. It is noticeable as a piece of confirmatory evidence that at the service the consecration of the Eucharist, as well as the administration, was then performed in English.3 Further signs of the work that was going on are traceable in the Protector’s letter to the Vice-Chancellor &c. of Cambridge University dated September 4, wherein he orders the Colleges to follow the example of the royal chapel in divine worship ‘until such time as an order be taken and prescribed by his Highness to be universally kept throughout the whole realm ‘2: and also in the ‘Proclamation for the inhibition of all preachers,’ issued on September 23, which speaks of his Highness wish to see very shortly one uniform order throughout this his realm,’4 and of ‘certain bishops and notable learned men’ gathered together at this time for that very purpose by his Highness’ commandment.5 It is quite possible that others beside the above nine persons were concerned in the work. Fuller, in his Church History, adds the names of Bishops Skip of Hereford and Day of Chichester with Drs. Cox and Taylor, but evidence for these is not forthcoming.6 It is clear however, that this body of divines, sometimes called the Windsor Commission, was a representative body drawn from both the conservative and the reforming side, and that, whatever other points of difference there may have been between them, they were at any rate all agreed in desiring a form of service in English which all could understand.7






Forecasts of the Book.

No further light is cast upon the obscure workings of the divines till the meeting of Parliament, when the experimental stage was over and definite proposals were brought forward. It is clear that, in the meantime, the compilers of the Prayer Book had finished their work. The: ecclesiastical business began on Saturday, December 15, with a public three-days’ debate in the House of Lords concerning the Eucharist,8 founded upon a ‘boke whiche was redde touching the doctrine of the Supper.’ The Protector claimed this as representing the ‘agreements’ of the bishops except in so far as Day, Bishop of Chichester, had dissented upon three points. But Bishop Thirlby, of Westminster, tried to minimize the agreement of the bishops, and when challenged, began to explain away his own subscription to the book. There can be little doubt that the Protector was right, and that there had been a consultation of the bishops with a definite acceptance and subscription of a formal document.

It is evident from the Debate that the ‘book’ contained a summary of the doctrinal points involved,9 not only with regard to the Eucharist, but also to Confirmation and perhaps other things, and that it contained the new ‘Prayer of the Communion’ in English; no doubt that which had been prepared for the First Prayer Book. It seems to have undergone some modification between the time, when the consultation of the bishops and its subscription by them took place, and the day when it was read in the House of Lords; at least Thirlby seems to suggest this;10 but in any case it was confessedly incomplete and left other things ‘to be treated on afterwarde.’

After this short sparring as to the nature of the agreement and subscription of the bishops, i.e. as to the amount of authority to be justly ascribed to the ‘boke,’ the debate plunged into the general subject, and it was clear that some of the bishops, though they may have been willing, like Thirlby, to subscribe to ‘the boke’ when presented to them for the sake of ‘unitie at home in this Realme,’ yet were not at all satisfied by it, and in particular found its omissions hard to reconcile with the doctrine which they held. Further experience of it somewhat modified their attitude, and Gardiner, for example, afterwards admitted with regard to the First Prayer Book, that ‘there was never more spoken for the Sacrament than in that book,’ though ‘he would not have made it after that form.’11

The legislation.



The Debate on the Eucharist.

On the day following the close of the Debate, ‘the book for the Service in the Church’ was read in the Commons, and from that time the first Act of Uniformity began to make its way through Parliament, and was finally carried through both Houses by January 21, 1549, a week before the end of the second year of Edward’s reign.12

The Debate had revealed the cleavage of opinion among the bishops,13 and the same is evident from the voting. Ten voted for the Bill and eight against it, while of the four proxies two must be reckoned in its favour, one against it, and one as neutral.14

The Act of Uniformity.

It is a disputed and doubtful question whether the Prayer Book was submitted to Convocation or not; the records of that body were burnt in the Great Fire of London, 1666, so the question cannot easily be settled; but it seems clear that no record bearing witness to such a course was known to those living at that date, such as Heylyn, the historian, who had every opportunity of knowing and every inducement to call attention to such a record if he knew of it.15

On the other hand, if is also clear that the Convocation records of this reign were incomplete. Heylyn, the keeper of the archives, did not know of the records of the earlier Convocation of 1547, but they have now been found among the Parker papers,16 It is therefore quite possible that the same was true of the records of the Convocation of 1548-49.

Action of Convocation doubtful.

No official record extant.

For want of official records, recourse must be had to other sources. Certainly it seems very unlikely in view of the Debate it the House of Lords, and of the full discussion and vote of the bishops there, that the question came before them again in the Upper House of the two Convocations.

On the other hand, there is clear and distinct evidence that the Book had the approval of Convocation.

The King wrote to Bonner on July 23, 1549, asserting that the Book is ‘set forth not only by the common agreement and full assent of the nobility and commons of the late session, of the late Parliament but also by the like assent of the bishops in the same Parliament and of all other the learned men of this realm in their synods and convocations provincial.’17

In a further letter to the Lady Mary he speaks of ‘one full and whole consent both of our clergy in their several synods and convocations, and also of the noblemen and commons in the late session of our parliament.’18

Other evidence.
It is hardly possible to have better evidence than two such letters as these written by the King, and to persons who had every opportunity of denying the accuracy of the statement if it could be denied.19 Such further evidence as is forthcoming adds nothing to the strength of these.20 It is true that the Edwardian Government was not scrupulous of the rights of the Church, and further was not over scrupulous of truth in defending its own policy; but the former objection cannot be raised as against a definite statement that the Convocations were consulted, nor the latter against letters written, not to bodies of disaffected subjects or others who could be deceived, but to the Princess Mary, who was very closely concerned, and to Bishop Banner, who was a leading actor in the whole concern. The most natural conclusion is that the letter to Bonner was strictly accurate in its phrases, that is, that the Prayer Book was held to have the assent of the bishops by their votes in the House of Lords, and was further submitted to the Lower Houses of Convocation, and won the assent of the clergy generally through their representatives there. Such a course of proceeding was not without precedent, for it was that adopted in the Convocation of 1547 in the parallel matter of Communion in both kinds,21 and possibly also with regard to clerical marriage.

It’s value.








The objects of the compilers of this first English Book of Common Prayer are stated in ‘the Preface’ :— that ‘all the whole realm should have but one Use in Divine Service’; that the rubrical directions, “the Number and hardness of the rules called the Pie22 and the manifold changings of the service,” should be simplified; that the Psalms should be all repeated in their order, instead of a few being ‘daily said, and the rest utterly omitted’ ; that the Lessons should include “the whole Bible, or the greatest part thereof,” in a continuous course, and the reading of the chapters should not be interrupted by “Anthems; Responds, and Invitatories”; that nothing , should be read but “the very pure Word of God, the holy Scriptures, or that which is evidently grounded upon the same”; and that all should be “in the English tongue.”
Objects of the reform.
The principal differences between the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. and that now in use are as follows:— Mattins and Evensong began with the Lord’s Prayer, and ended with the third Collect: the Litany was placed after the Communion Office; in some early editions it was added as a separate sheet at the end of the volume;1 and the rubric after the Communion Office which directs its use was quite general, and referred both for the form and use of the Litany to Royal Injunctions; the address to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which had been retained in Henry’s Litany, was omitted, together with the similar invocations of the angels and patriarchs. The Communion Service began with an Introit, not in the old form, but in the form of a Psalm sung as the celebrant was proceeding to the altar; the Commandments were not read, but the nine Kyries were sung unbroken; the prayers differed from our present form, but chiefly in their arrangement; the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary was especially mentioned, in the praise offered for the saints; explicit prayer for the dead was retained; the long Canon or central prayer comprised all that subsequently was divided to form three prayers — the Church Militant prayer, the Consecration prayer, and the prayer of oblation: and in it the Invocation of the Holy Spirit, with the sign of the cross twice made over the elements, preceded the recital of the Institution of the Sacrament: at the Offertory water was mixed with the wine; the words used in communicating the people were those, adapted from the ancient words, which form the first clause of those now used. The sign of the cross was retained, not only twice, in the consecration prayer and (not in its present position) in Baptism, but also in Confirmation, in the Blessings at Matrimony, and in the Visitation of the Sick if the sick person desired to be anointed: a form of exorcism, and anointing and the trine immersion were still used in Baptism; the water in the font was ordered to be changed, and consecrated, once a month at least: in the Burial Service explicit prayer was offered for the deceased person; and an Introit, Collect, Epistle and Gospel were appointed for a Communion at a Burial. The Ordinal was not yet annexed to the book.
Wherein differing from the present Prayer Book.
The First reformed, Prayer Book, though bearing some traces of foreign influence, was, in fact, a revision of the old Service-books of the English Church. Simplicity was gained by the omission of numberless ancient features of the mediæval offices; the doctrinal reform necessitated the removal, not simply of objectionable features in the old services which were few, but still more of innocent things,23 which were misunderstood and perverted to support the false conceptions which were current, such as the theory of transubstantiation, and other still more gross popular misconceptions of Eucharistic doctrine. In this process many a rite, such as the Communion Office or the Office of Baptism, was very much changed, and many a beautiful and valuable feature was sacrificed. But the First English Book of Common Prayer was formed, not by a composition of new materials, but by a reverent, and on the whole conservative, handling of the earlier services, of which large portions were simply translated and retained.24
General principles.
A book which thus combined old and new might hope to meet with general acceptance, both from the Conservatives and Reformers, both from the Old and New Learning, though without satisfying the more pronounced section of either party: but, at the same time, it could hardly expect to be so fortunate as not to meet with some violent opposition; The Act of Uniformity itself contemplated this; and, indeed, the whole expedient now for the first time adopted, of enforcing a Service-book by a penal statute speaks eloquently in the same sense.
Acceptance of the Book.
The party who welcomed the change were anxious to make it at the earliest opportunity. The date fixed by the Act was June 9, Whitsunday, or, if the book might be had earlier, then three weeks after a copy had been procured. But as early as the beginning of Lent ‘Poules choir, with divers parishes in London and other places in England begane the use after the said booke.’25 This example must have been widely followed, for at least four, editions were published before Whitsunday, two of them early in March and two of them in May, and in several cases there must have been more than one impression of the same edition.26
Eagerness of one party.
Nor were the Conservative party slow in making their disapproval felt; and under the miserable government of the Protector and Council, there was a fire of discontent smouldering up and down the country, which hardly needed such a cause as this to cause it to break out into flame.
Opposition of the other.
The month of June saw the Government set in great danger from insurrections all around, and forced to secure its safety by foreign mercenaries, But in most of these risings the question of religion played little or no part: they were agrarian and social in their origin, and generally did not even annex to themselves the odium theologicum.27 It was far otherwise, however, with the most conspicuous of them all, the rising in the West; which began with the religious, grievances, and, though not uninfluenced by other considerations, remained in the clearest way a revolt against the new changes in religion. It began upon Whit-Monday, June 10, and in spite of the strenuous efforts of the Government, spurred by fears of a French invasion, it was not subdued until after two months had passed.28 The insurgents formulated their complaints in several sets of Articles:29 they demanded the observance of the General Councils, the revival of Henry’s Law of the Six Articles, the restoration of the Mass in Latin without any to communicate, and of the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament: Communion in one kind, and only at Easter: greater facilities for Baptism: the restoration of the old ceremonies-Holy-bread and Holy-water, Images, Palms, and Ashes. ‘We will not receive the new service, because it is but like a Christmas game; but we will have our old service of Mattins, Mass, Evensong and procession in Latin, not in English.’ They demanded the restoration of the custom of praying by name for the souls in purgatory, and the recall of the English Bible as tending to encourage heresy; they proposed that impropriators should have to give up half the abbey lands and chantry lands in their possession for the foundation of new religious houses.
Risings, especially in the West.

Demands of the Insurgents.



These demands were certainly thorough, and they were backed by a sturdy force of arms: it was easy to send a reply to the Articles in gentle tones, as was the King’s answer,30 or contemptuous and-menacing, as was that of the Archbishop,31 but not so easy to quell the rebellion, or reduce the West country to quietness. Yet the character of the Articles shows how the whole movement was due to the stiffest conservatism of men who did not wish even their least justifiable usages to be disturbed.

Before the suppression of the revolt, an answer was given to the King’s reply which suggests that as the movement proceeded it came into, the hands of wiser men, for the questions were handled with far greater power and skill. Some of their points scarcely admitted of denial or refutation, as, for example, when they speak of the King’s reply as not being his own, but written for him by those who had long abused his name for the ruin of the country and the oppression of the poor. Again, when they assert that their governors had passed all limits, performing duties reserved to bishops, they accurately describe the course of ecclesiastical affairs as regulated by a despotic Privy Council, from which for the time all bishops but Cranmer had disappeared. Again, in urging the doctrine of the Real Presence, and claiming that great doctrinal matters can only be settled by the consent of the whole of Christendom, they were taking up very solid ground.32

By the end of August the rising was suppressed, and it only remained for Lord Russell and his foreign mercenaries to stamp out all the traces of it, to distribute rewards, pardons, punishments, and, by the special direction of the Council, to pull-down the bells out of the steeples in Devonshire and Cornwall, leaving only one, ‘the least of the ryng that now is in the same,’ to prevent their being used again in the cause of sedition.33

This incident, marred though it was by the touch of sordid meanness which everywhere disfigured the Council’s tyrannical rule, acted, no doubt, as a clear object-lesson to the rest of England. But, nevertheless, it was necessary to take elaborate steps to enforce the adoption of the new book.

and a counter-reply.
Public disputations were held both at Oxford and Cambridge, where the Universities were already undergoing the troubles and indignities of a Royal Visitation, with a view to popularising the doctrines of the New Learning. The Princess Mary was attacked, and long negotiations followed in a futile attempt to force her to accept the Prayer Book and give up her Latin Mass. Ultimately she was allowed a dispensation for herself and her chaplains to keep to the Latin Mass in private.34

Enforcement of the Act of Uniformity.

The Lady Mary.

The divided sympathies of the country were graphically mirrored at S. Paul’s, where the Dean (May) was eager in favour of the reforms, and the Bishop (Bonner) was steadfast against them; and, consequently, innovations were rapidly made, but old customs lingered on longer than the reform-party approved. The Bishop seldom or never performed the new service in the Cathedral, and countenanced the retention of the old Votive Masses — e. g. the Apostles’ Mass and Our Lady’s Mass — in the chapels, and not in the quire, under the form of the Apostles’ Communion and Our Lady’s Communion.35 To counteract this bad example, the Archbishop made a point of going to the Cathedral to officiate, and the Council ordered the suppression of the several Masses in the chapels, and confined the Communion to the high altar. These were only the beginnings of Bonner’s troubles, for, after a further rebuke from the Council, he was required first to celebrate in the Cathedral and then later to preach; and after his sermon he was formally denounced, tried by a special Commission, imprisoned in the Marshalsea, and finally deprived oh October 1.36
St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Meanwhile other events, designed to enforce the new book, were, in fact, showing how unstable it was as a basis for a new and lasting régime. A new Royal Visitation was projected, with a draft series of Articles, which went far beyond the earlier Visitation of 1547. It appears to have been designed to enforce the Prayer Book, to suppress sundry ceremonies which had escaped the ravages of previous Visitations, and to prevent the perpetuation of others in connexion with the new English Mass; but, in fact, the Visitation Articles went beyond, and were in some cases contrary to, the provisions of the Service-book. They expressly forbade some, things which the book had only omitted, such as the altar lights, and the shifting of the book from one place to another:37 but they also attacked ‘oil, chrism and altars,’ which the book had retained; and, with an echo of the Council’s letter to Bonner, but with greater stringency than was there shown, forbade more than one Communion upon any day except Christmas Day and Easter Day, when provision was made for two in the book.

It is uncertain how far the Visitation ever took place; the Articles are now only known from a draft copy, and that is not now extant; but they must have been known at the time, since Ridley and Hooper based upon them their Visitation Articles of 1550.38

It might naturally be expected that some who clung to the old forms would watch for some turn of affairs in the political world which should restore the old books of service to their place in the churches. The fall of the Duke of Somerset was thought to be such an event;39 and upon his being sent to the Tower in the autumn of this year (1549), it was rumored that the Latin service and the old ceremonies would be restored, ‘as though the setting forth of the Book of Common Prayer had been the only act of the said Duke.’ Therefore, to prevent the possibility of a return to the old service, a King’s Letter40 was issued (December 25), to call in, and burn, or deface and destroy, all the old church-books.41 ‘the keping wherof shold be a let to the usage of the said Boke of Commenne Prayers’. This Order of Council was afterwards confirmed and extended by an Act of Parliament,42 to call in the books, and to take away images out of the churches.

Royal Visitation.
By another Act of this Pariiament43 (January 31, 1550), the King was empowered to appoint six prelates and six other men of this realm, learned in God’s law, to complete the liturgical reform by the preparation of a new Ordinal; and whatever should be ‘devised for that purpose by the most number of them, and set forth under the Great Seal of England before the 1st day of April, should be lawfully exercised and used, and none other.’
The Act for the Ordinal.
The Bill was carried only after some opposition, nine bishops voting in its favour and five against it. On February 2 an order of the Council was made appointing the commissioners, but there is no list of names recorded in the Council Book.44 It seems probable that the work of preparation was already done: it is even possible that the new form had been experimentally used at an ordination held by Cranmer and Ridley at S. Paul’s before the end of 1549.45 In any case, within a week of the appointment complaint was made at the Council Board (February 8) that Heath, Bishop of Worcester, ‘wolde not assent to the boke made by the reste of the bishops and clergy.’ At the end of the month he was still obdurate, and on March 4 he was sent to prison by the Council. He persisted in his refusal for eighteen months, and was finally deprived of his see on October 10, 1551.46 At the beginning of March the book appeared.47 and, in spite of some criticisms, was generally accepted.48



The preparation of the Book.

It represented a great change from the old services of the Pontifical. The Act provided for a ‘form and manner of making and consecrating of archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons, and other ministers of the Church’; but the book made no provision for the ‘other ministers,’ and thus at one blow the English Church gave up the subdiaconate as well as the minor orders, and restricted itself to the three orders which have survived of those mentioned in the Bible.

The simplification of the old rite was somewhat ruthlessly carried out, and little of the old was retained. Considerable use was made of a scheme of Bucer,49 but his doctrinal innovations were rejected, The Ordinal50 was not annexed to the Prayer Book for the present, but continued a separate book until, after a further reduction of its ceremonial, it was annexed to the Second Prayer Book.

Its character.
The Church of Ireland, which as yet had no Convocation, followed in ecclesiastical reforms the orders which were sent across from England. Edward’s Act of Parliament,51 ‘which commanded the Communion to be given ‘under both the kinds,’ applied to ‘the people within the Church of England and Ireland’; and the Proclamation prefixed to ‘The Order of the Communion’ (1548) made no distinction between the two countries. Only one attempt was made to urge the Order upon the people, and this caused such an outburst of feeling against the perpetrator of it — Staples, Bishop of Meath — that both he and others thereafter took refuge in silence.52

It was not until February 6, 1551, that a Royal letter was sent to the Viceroy to recount how the King has ‘caused the Liturgy and prayers of the Church to be translated into our mother tongue of this realm of England,’53 and to express the Royal pleasure that Ireland should have the same benefit. On receipt of it, Sir Anthony St. Leger summoned an ecclesiastical assembly of the bishops and clergy of the various provinces, to whom he submitted the order. It was violently resisted by the Primate Dowdal, Archbishop of Armagh, and, after an altercation, he left the assembly, followed by the greater part of the bishops. Only Browne, Archbishop of Dublin, remained with Staples and three others, who made a most servile submission to the Royal command, and the Prayer Book was first used in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on Easter Sunday (March 29, 1551).54 Its progress was very slow. In the greater part of the country English was a tongue less understood than Latin. The larger body of bishops — with the exception of Dowdal, who fled the country — though they made no resistance, were both unwilling and incapable. A year later the Lord Deputy found great negligence, and the old ceremonies yet remaining in many places; and this experience of his probably refers only to the small anglicised portion of Ireland.55 The book was published for Ireland in the same year, and remained in use till the end of the reign, for no authorisation was ever given to the Second Prayer Book in Ireland, though no doubt it was used in English circles there.56 The Book was unpopular everywhere; and though the conservative priests, as in England, made the best of it for the moment by retaining the old ceremonial, they made no delay to restore the Latin Mass on the first news of the death of Edward.57


The Prayer Book in Ireland.

1 Greyfriars Chronicle, 56. Journal of Edward VI. in Burnet, v. 7 (Pt. II. i, p. 6.)

2 No names are given by Cranmer in his letter to Queen Mary of September, 1555, (Remains, p. 450), nor by Ridley in his demonstrative letter as to Hooper’s attitude towards vestments. Bradford’s Works, 11. 387.

3 The Acts of Consecration have been printed from Cranmer’s Register, f. 327v, by Courayer, Défense, II. ii. Appendix, p. xxxvii.; and by Estcourt, Anglican Ordinations, Appendix, VIII.

4 See above, p. 40.

5 See the proclamation, Doc. Ann. XIII. and compare Wriothesley’s Chronicle, ii, p. 6, and Greyfriars Chronicle, p. 56: both of these ascribe the proclamation to September 28, but the earlier date coincides with Edward’s visit to Windsor, and his interview with the Divines’ there. This proclamation is more explicit than the earlier one of April 24, Doc. Ann. no. x.*

6 Later writers, such as Burnet, give other lists which are less well attested. See for the whole question Casquet and Bishop, chapter ix.

7 Cranmer’s letter to Queen Mary, September, 1555 (Remains, p. 450). ‘But when a good number of the best learned men reputed within this realm some favouring the old, some the new learning as they term — where indeed that which they call the old is the new, and that which they call the new is indeed the old — but when a great number of such learned men of both sorts were gathered together at Windsor for the reformation of the service of the church, it was agreed by both, without controversy (not one saying contrary), that the service of the church ought to be in the mother tongue.’ Compare Somerset’s letter to Pole, enclosing a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, June 4, 1549. ‘The Conclusion, and that that ye make the extreme peril and danger, may peradventure be known to you at Rome, of a dissension amongst our bishops upon the chiefest points of religion. We here do know no such thing: but on the contrary, by a common agreement of all the chief learned men in the realm the thing of long time and maturely debated among them which had most opinion of learning in the Scriptures of God and were likeliest to give least to affection, as well bishops as other, equally and indifferently chosen of judgment, not connected with superior authority, nor otherwise invited but of a common agreement among themselves — there was first agreement on points, and then the same coming to the judgment of the parliament, finally concluded and approved; and so a form and rite of service, a creed and doctrine of religion by that authority and after that sort allowed, set forth and established by act and statute, and so published and divulged to so great a quiet as ever was in England and as gladly received of all partes.’ See Troubles connected with B. C. P. p. x, The Protector’s opinion as to the unanimous acceptance of the First Prayer Book is, to say the least, an optimistic one. See below on this point, p. 54.

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8 A full account of this from a contemporary MS. is printed as an appendix by Gasquet and Bishop, p. 395 ff. but not well handled by them in chap. xi. Mr. Tomlinson in his edition (The Great Parliamentary Debate) corrects some of their mistakes, but errs on the other side.

9 It is called ‘this book of the doctrine,’ fol, 7a, (cp. 5a), quoted above: in both cases Gasquet and Bishop obscure this by inserting a comma.

10 fo, 6h. ‘Also there was in the booke: Oblation, whiche is lefte oute nowe.’

11 See the negotiations with him in 1551, printed in full by Foxe, VI. 114 : cp. 169.

12 Dixon, III. 1. The Act of Uniformity is in Gee and Hardy, Documents, No. LXIX. Some qualifications were appended to the Act for the benefit of scholars: that persons understanding Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Or other strange tongue, might say privately the prayers of Mattins and Evensong in such tongue as they understood: and, for the further encouraging of learning in the tongues in the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, that those Universities might use and exercise in their common and open prayer in their chapels, being no parish-churches, the Mattins, Evensong, Litany, and all other prayers (the Holy Communion, commonly called the Mass, excepted) prescribed in the said book in Greek, Latin, or Hebrew. For such versions of the Prayer-Book see below, p. 116.

13 Cp. Traheron’s Letter to Bullinger, Dec. 31: ‘Habita est Londini decimo nono Calendas Januarii, ni fallor, disputatio περι ευχαριστιας in consessu omnium pene procerum totius Angliæ. Decertatum est acriter inter episcopos. Cantuariensis præter omnium exspectationem sententiam vestram de hoc negotio apertissime, constantissime doctissimeque defendit . . . Nunquam splendidiorem victoriam veritas apud nos reportavit. Video plane actum de Lutheranismo, cum, qui prius habiti sunt summi ac pene soli illius fautores, nostri toti facti sunt.’ Orig. Lett. CLII. (Parker Soc.) King Edward calls it in his journal, ‘a notable disputation of the Sacrament in the Parliament-house.’ Burnet, V. 7 (Pt. II. i. 6,)

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14 Gasquet and Bishop, pp, 170-172.

15 Gasquet and Bishop, pp. 150, 151.

16 At Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, See Gasquet and Bishop, Appendix VII.

17 Foxe v, 726. Compare the Draft of the King’s Memorial to the Sheriffs, which speaks of it as , th’ act of all our hole realm, and the common agreement of both our spiritualtie and temporaltie there gathered together,’ Troubles, &c. p. 5. Compare p. 127. Compare also the King’s Message to the Devonshire Rebels. Foxe, v. 734.

18 State Papers, Dom. Edw. VI. vol. VIII. p. 51, quoted in full in Dixon, III. 148.

19 The Princess was inclined to raise objections to the book, as having merely parliamentary authority, but was told in reply that the law was ‘by long study, free disputation and uniform determination of the whole clergy consulted, debated and concluded.’ Foxe, VI. 8.

20 For example, Udall’s Answer to the Commoners of Devonshire and Cornwall, in Troubles, &c. pp. 169, 171, or Cheke’s reply to them, quoted in Gasquet and Bishop, p. 155.

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21 Gasquet and Bishop, 73 ff.

22 See p. 257.

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23 The Canon of the Mass is a case in point: nothing was more bitterly attacked by the Reformers, and a new Canon was written to take its place in the Prayer Book: but in fact, though the old Canon is obscure and unsatisfactory as compared with Greek liturgies, it cannot be said to encourage false doctrine, but .rather to be an argument against transubstantiation. See the, Archbishops’ letter Sæpius officio (1897), p. 17, and below, pp. 446 and ff.

24 So the Message to the Devonshire rebels states :— ‘It seemeth to you a new service, and indeed is none other but the old; the self-same words in English, which were in Latin, saving a few things taken out . . .’ Foxe, v, p. 734.

25 Wriothesley’s Chronicle, II. 9. Ash.Wednesday was March 6, but the earliest dated copies extant are, those of March 7. Parker, Introduction to the Revision, xxiii.

26 Ibid., pp. xxiv.-xxvii.

27 The Rebellion in Norfolk was however full of reformation zeal.

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28 For the history, see Dixon, III. 43 and ff.

29 See Fifteen articles in Strype’s Cranmer, Appendix XL. or Troubles, &c., p. 145 and ff. Also a set of Nine articles printed from Holinshed, p. 1009, in Dixon III. 57n, and in Foxe, V. 731. The latter differ from those summarised in. the text above, e.g. in dealing with Confirmation, The Celibacy of the Clergy, and Eucharistic doctrine.

30 Foxe, V. 732.

31 Works, Miscellaneous (Parker Soc.) pp. 163 and ff. or in Strype’s Cranmer, Appendix, XL.

32 See the analysis which Pocock gives of their answer (known only through a French translation) in Troubles, &c., p. xviii.

33 Troubles, &c., p. 73.

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34 Dixon, History, III. 148.

35 Votive Masses were additional masses said not in connexion with the ordinary liturgical course, but in commemoration of some particular saint or mystery as here, or in view of some special intention, e.g. against plague or on behalf of the dead. Sarum Missal (Burntisland) p. 735* and ff.

36 Dixon, III. 128. Gasquet and Bishop, 240 and ff.

37 Cardwell, Doc. Ann. xv. § 2. ‘Item, For an uniformity, that no minister do counterfeit the popish mass, as to kiss the Lord’s table; washing his fingers at every time in the Communion; blessing his eyes with the paten, or sudary; or crossing his head with the paten; shifting of the book from one place to another; laying down and licking the chalice of the Communion; holding up his fingers, hands, or thumbs, joined towards his temples; breathing upon the bread or chalice; showing the sacrament openly before the distribution of the Communion; ringing of sacrying bells; or setting any light upon the Lord’s board at any time; and finally to use no other ceremonies than are appointed in the king’s book of common prayers, or kneeling, otherwise than is in the said book.’

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38 Ridley’s Articles and Injunctions are in Doc. Ann. XXI. or his Works, p. 319. Hooper’s in his Later Writings, p. 118 and ff.

39 Hooper’s Letter to Bullinger, Dec. 27, 1549: ‘Magnus ceperat nos timer, magnus metus mentes piorum invaserat, qualem successum Christi religio adhuc herbescens in Anglia esset acceptura post lapsum ducis Somersetiæ . . .’ Original Letters, XXXVI.

40 Doc. Annals, xx.

41 See the list quoted above, p. 23.

42 Statute 3 and 4 Edw, VI. c. 10. See Dixon, III. 160.

43 Statute 3 and 4 Edw, VI. c. 12.

44 Acts of the Privy Council, II. 379; or Troubles. &c. p. 137.

45 Strype’s Cranmer, 191 [Bk, II. cap. XI.].

46 Dixon, III. 322; Acts, u. s., II, 388, 403, 405.)

47 ‘The form and manner of making and consecrating of Archbishops, Bishops, Priests and Deacons,’ 1549, (’= 1550); reprinted in Liturgies and Documents of the Reign of Edward VI. (Parker Soc.)

48 As early as March 5 Hooper, in a sermon in London, complained of the form of the Oath of Supremacy as especially objectionable: ‘So help me God, all Saints, and the holy Evangelist.’ (Hooper’s Early Works, p. 479; cp. Orig. Letters, p. 81.) This was altered upon his arguments, and all mention of swearing by the saints -was struck out by the King’s own hand, July 20, when Hooper accepted the bishopric of Gloucester, and took the oath as amended. Orig. Lett, CCLXIII. (Aug. 28). Micronius to Bullinger. Hooper’s own account of the matter is given in a Letter to Bullinger (June 29), Orig. Lett. XXXIX.

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49 De ordinatione legitima in his Scripta Angl. pp. 238-259. This must have been written in 1549, though not published till 1577.

50 It was accepted by such a shrewd contemporary observer as Daniele Barbaro, the Venetian Envoy, as being the equivalent of the old. In his full and interesting description of the First Prayer Book and of the Ordinal he speaks of the latter as ‘containing the form of conferring Holy Orders; nor do they differ’ (he adds) from those of the Roman Catholic religion, save that in England they take an oath to renounce the doctrine and authority of the Pope.’ State Paters, Venetian, V. 347-353.

51 See above p. 37.

52 Dixon, III. 404.

53 The letter is quoted in full in Dixon, III. 413, from Harl. Misc. V. 563.

54 Stephens, MS. Book of Common Prayer for Ireland (Eccl. Hist. Soc.), Introd. pp. iii. and ff. The title of the Book, which was printed at Dublin, 1551, is, ‘The Boke of the common praier and administracion of the Sacramentes, and other rites and ceremonies of the Churche: after the use of the Churche of England.’ Ibid. p. v.

55 Dixon, Ill. 422.

56 Bp. Bale insisted on its use when he was consecrated by Abp. Browne, but was unable to secure its use in his diocese. Dixon, III. 498.

57 ‘The Communion was altogether like a popish Mass, with the old apish tricks of Antichrist, bowings’ and beckings, kneelings and knockings.’ This is Bp. Bale’s account from his scurrilous description of his brief experiences in Ireland, The Vocation of John Bale to the Bishopric of Ossory; quoted in Dixon, III. 497 and ff.

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THE old Latin Services were each provided with their music, and the musical Service-books were just as much authoritative as the rest, When the First Prayer Book was published, the want of a similar musical counterpart soon would be felt.1 This was never officially satisfied: strong official opinions were expressed condemnatory of all music but the plainsong.2 and Cranmer, at least, desired a great simplification of the traditional melodies so that there should be one note only to a syllable. The tentative efforts made previously to the Prayer Book proceeded as we have seen3 upon that principle, but a more public and permanent result was achieved by the publication in 1550 of The Booke of Common Praier Noted, containing a full, though simple, musical directory for the Prayer Book upon the lines of the old Church music which had for a thousand years been in use4— that is to say, for Mattins, Evensong, Communion Service, and Burial of the Dead, with a special Mass for the funeral.5

At the end appeared the name. ‘John Merbecke,’ which recalled how, in 1543, in the Royal Chapel of Windsor itself, four singing men had been condemned for heresy under the Act of the Six Articles, and three had actually been burnt in front of the castle; while the fourth, whose worst offence seems to have been the construction of a concordance to the Bible in English, was pardoned, and survived to carry out this musical reform.6


1 As in the case of the Litany of 1544. See above, p. 32.

2 ‘Itaque vibratam illam et operosam musicam quæ figurata dicitur auferri placet, quæ sic in multitudinis auribus tumultuatur ut sæpe linguam non possit ipsam loquentium intelligere.’ Reformatio Legum. De div. off. cap. V.

3 See above, p. 35.

4 Preface. ‘In this booke is conteyned so muche of the Order of Common Prayer as is to be song in Churches.’ See Grafton’s original issue, or Whittingham’s reprint for Pickering (1844). It did not contain the Litany,nor any direction for reading the lessons, although even to the end of the reign it was said that ‘In Cathedrall Churches they utter their lessons in plaine songe.’ Brief discourse of the Troubles begun at Frankfort (Reprint of 1846), p. xxix.

6 As this does not include Gloria in excelsis, it is evident that it was not contemplated that this would be included in a Funeral Celebration; the rubric allowed such omission on weekdays.

6 Foxe, v. 464. Dixon, II. 328.



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