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1532 [1532]

K. Edward. 6. Letters directed by K. Edward for reformation of Religion.

MarginaliaAn. 1549.tellers and sedicious bearers of false newes of the kinges Maiestie, or of hys Counsaile, or such as will preach without licence, be immediately by you represt and punished.

And if there should chaunce any lewde or light fellowes to make any routes or riots, or vnlawful assemblies any seditious meetinges, vprores, or vprisinges in any place, by the seditious and deuilishe motion of some priuie Traitors, MarginaliaProuision agaynst priuie conspiracie and rebellion.that you and they appease them at the first, and apprehend the first authors and causers therof, and certifie vs wyth speede. The lightnes of the rude and ignoraunt people must be represt and ordered by your grauitie and wisedome. And here you may not (if any such thing chaunce) dissemble wyth those such lewde men, and hide your selues, for it shal be required of you if such mysorder be, and surely wythout your ayde and helpe, or your dissembling, such misorder can not be. Nor we doe not say þt we feare any such thing, or that there is any such thyng likely to chaunce: but we geue you warning before, lest it should chaunce.

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We haue to much experience in this Realme, what inconuenience commeth of such matters. And though some lyght persons in their rage do not consider it, yet we doe not doubt but you way it and know it well enough. And if it should chaūce our enemies (who are maintayned by other foreine power, and the Bishop of Rome) should sodainly arriue in some place of Englād, either dryuen by tempest, or of purpose to do hurt, MarginaliaProuision agaynst foreine power.ye should see such order kept by firing of their Becons, as hath already beene wrytten vnto you by our letters to repulse the same, in so good aray as you can, as we do not doubt but you wyll for the safegard of your countrey, so that the enemy shall haue litle joy of hys comming: and for that purpose you shall see diligently that men haue horse, harnesse, and other furniture of weapon ready, according to the Statutes and good orders of the Realme, and the kinges Maiesties commaundementes. And so for this tyme ye may depart.

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MarginaliaThe singular zeale of Kyng Edward and hys Vncle, in reforming religion.What zealous care was in this yong King, and in the Lrod Protector his Vncle concerning reformation of Christes Church and sincere Religion, by these Iniunctions, letters, precepts and exhortations, as well to the Byshops, as to the Iustices of the Realme aboue premised, it may right well appeare. Wherby we haue to note, not so much the carefull diligence of the Kyng and his learned Counsayl: MarginaliaThe slacknes of Popish Curates in furthering the kinges procedinges.as the lingering slackenes and drawing backe on the other syde of diuers the sayd Iustices and Lawyers, but especially of Bishops and old Popish Curates, by whose cloked contempt, wilfull winking, and stubburne disobedience the booke of cōmon prayer was long after the publishing therof, eyther not knowen at all, or els very irreuerently vsed throughout many places of this realme. Which when the king by the complaint of diuers, perfectly vnderstoode, being not a litle agreeued to see the godly agreement of the learned, the willing consent of the Parlament, & his graces own zealous desire to take so smale effect among hys subiectes: decreed presently, with the aduise of his whole Counsayl, agayne to wryte vnto all the Bishops of his Realme for speedy and diligent redresse therein: willing and commaunding them thereby, that aswell they them selues should thence forth haue a more speciall regarde to the due execution of the premisses, as also that all others wythin their seuerall precinctes and iurisdiction should by their good instructions and willing example, be the more oftener & with better deuotion, moued to vse and frequent the same: As farther appeareth by the contentes of hys letter here ensuing.

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¶ An other Letter directed by the King and his Coūsaile to Boner B. of London, partly rebuking him of negligence, partly charging hym to see to the better setting out of the seruice booke within his dioces 
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Cattley/Pratt, V, 844: 'This letter from the king and his council to Bonner is at folio 219 of Bonner's Register.

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MarginaliaAn other letter to Boner Byshop of London.RIght reuerend father in God, right trusty and welbeloued, we great you well: and wheras after great and serious debating and long conference of the Byshops, and other graue and well learned men in the holy Scriptures, one vniforme order for common prayers and administration of the Sacramentes hath ben and is most godly set forth, not onely by the common agreemēt and full assent of the nobilitie and Commons of the late Session of our late Parlament, but also by the like assent of the Bishops in the same Parlament, and of all others the learned men of thys our realme in theyr Synodes & conuocations prouinciall, like as it was much to our cōfort to vnderstand the godly trauaile then diligently and willingly taken for the true opening of thinges mencioned in the sayd booke, whereby the true seruice and honour of almighty God, & the right ministratiō of the sacramentes being well and sincerely set foorth according to the Scriptures and vse of the primatiue church, much idolatry, vayne superstition, and great and sclaunderous abuses be taken away: so it is no small occasion of sorrow vnto vs, to vnderstand by the complayntes of many, MarginaliaThe kings booke neglected.that our sayd booke so much trauailed for, and also sincerely set forth (as is aforesayd) remayneth in many places of this our realme, either not knowen at al, or not vsed, or at the least if it be vsed, very seldome, and that in such light and irreuerent sort, as the people in many places either haue heard nothing, of if they heare, they neyther vnderstād, nor haue that spirituall delectatiō in the same, that to good Christians appertayneth. The fault wherof, like as we must of reason impute to you & other of your vocation, called by God through our appointment to haue due respecte to this and such like matters: so considering that by these and such like occasions, our louing subiectes remayne yet styll in their olde blyndnes, and superstitious errours, and in some places in an irreligious forgetfulnes of God, whereby hys wrath may be prouoked vppon vs and them: and remembring withall, that amongest other cures committed to our princely charge, wee thynke thys the greatest, to see the glory and true seruice of hym mayntayned and extolled, by whose clemency wee knowledge our selues to haue all that we haue, we could not, but by aduice and consent of our dearest Vncle Edward Duke of Somerset, gouernour of our parson, and Protector of our realme, dominions, and subiectes, and the rest of our priuye Counsayl, admonish you of the premyses. Wherein, as it had beene your office to haue vsed an earnest diligence, and to haue preferred the same in all places wythin your diocese, as the case required: MarginaliaBoners negligence noted.so haue we thought good, to pray and requyre you, and neuertheles straightly to charge and commaund you, that from henceforth ye haue an earnest and speciall regard to the reduce of these thinges, so as the Curates may do their duties more often, and in more reuerent sorte, and the people be occasioned by the good aduises and examples of your selfe, your Chauncelour, Archdeacons, and other inferiour Ministers, to come wyth oftner and more deuotion to theyr sayd common prayers, to geue thankes to God, and to bee partakers of the most holy Communion. Wherein shewing your selfe diligent, and geuyng good example in your owne parson, you shall both discharge your duety to the great Pastor, to whom we all haue to accompt, and also do vs good seruice: and on the other syde, if we shall hereafter (these our letters and cōmaundement notwithstanding) haue eftsones complaynt, and fynde the like faultes in your dioces, wee shall haue iust cause to impute the fault thereof, and of all that ensue thereof vnto you, and consequently be occasioned therby to see otherwyse to the redresse of these thinges: whereof we would be sory. And therefore we do eftsones charge and commaunde you, vpon your allegiaunce, to looke well vpon your duty herein, as ye tender our pleasure. Geuē vnder our signet at our Manor of Richmond, the xxiij. of Iuly the thyrd yeare of our raygne. 1549. 

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The outbreak on 12 July of a rebellion in Norfolk led by Robert Kett supplies the immediate context for this letter of 23 July from Edward VI to Edmund Bonner, which reproves him for negligence in assuring conformity to the Book of Common Prayer within the diocese of London.

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The Bishop of London amongest the rest of the bishops receauing these letters, did (as alwayes tofore) in outward shew willingly accept the same: and therefore immediately (with the sayd letters) directed thys his precept vnto the Deane and Chapter of his Cathedrall church of Paules, commaunding them to looke to the due accomplishing thereof accordingly.

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