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Richard Smith
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Richard Smith

(1500 - 1563)

1st Regius Professor of Divinity (1535 - 1548, 1554 - 1556, 1559 - 1560) (DNB)

According to Foxe, Richard Smith forced Hooper to leave Oxford University because of his evangelical convictions (1563, p. 1049; 1570, p. 1674; 1576, p. 1429; 1583, p. 1502).

Foxe prints a letter of Smith's, written in Edward VI's reign, to Cranmer, in which Smith offered to write in defence of clerical marriage and declared that it would be against his conscience to write against Cranmer's treatise on the Eucharist and the Reformed doctrine of Edward VI (1570, p. 1606; 1576, p. 1370; 1583, p. 1441).

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Richard Smith was appointed as one of the official disputants in the Oxford Disputations of 1554 (1563, p. 932).

According to an account of the Oxford disputation of 1554, which was only printed in 1563, Anthony Smith was appointed to debate with Cranmer on Monday 16 April 1554 (1563, p. 933). Almost certainly Richard Smith was meant.

Cranmer, during his disputation on 16 April 1554, when pressed on alleged inaccuracies in his translations, countered that some translation had appeared in a work of Smith's. Queried about this by Weston, Smith refused to answer (1563, p. 951; 1570, p. 1602; 1576, p. 1367; 1583, p. 1437).

Smith is mentioned in a brief account of the Oxford Disputations, as disputing with Ridley (1563, p. 934; 1570, p. 1606; 1576, p. 1371; 1583, p. 1441).

Richard Smith was Ridley's main opponent during the Disputations; he also debated sporadically with Latimer and participated briefly in Cranmer's debate with John Harpsfield (1563, pp. 932-34, 958-59, 963-67, 974-75, 978, 981-85 and 988; 1570, pp. 1606, 1612-15, 1617, 1620-22, 1624-27 and 1629; 1576, pp. 1372, 1375-78, 1380, 1382-84 and 1386-88; 1583, pp. 1442-43, 1446-48, 1450-54, 1456-58 and 1461).

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He was one of those who examined Thomas Causton and Thomas Higbed on 18 February 1555 (1563, p. 1104). He volunteered to rebut the joint confession of Thomas Causton and Thomas Higbed, but Bonner would not let him speak, ordering John Harpsfield to answer them instead (1563, p. 1107; 1570, p. 1719; 1576, p. 1468; 1583, p. 1541).

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1461 [1437]

Queene Mary. Disputation of Doct. Cranmer archbishop of Canterbury at Oxford.

MarginaliaAnno 1554. Aprill. MarginaliaIf that vnion of the substance of flesh should be graunted vnto our bodies then should our bodies neuer dye nor see corruption.West. Marke and consider well this word [by faith] least any occasion of cauilling be geuen.

Tres. Let that worde [by faith] be omitted. Neither dyd I meane that Christ liueth by his father thorough faith. Yet the strength of the Argument remayneth in force. For els Hillary doth not confute þe Arrians, except there be a greater coniunction betwene vs & Christ, when he is eaten of vs, then only a spiritual coniunction. You do only graunt a vnion.

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As for a carnall or naturall vnion of the substance of flesh, by which we are ioyned more then spiritually, you do not grant. But our lord Iesus geue you a better mind, and shew you the light of his truth, that you may returne into the way of righteousnesse.

West. We came hether to dispute, and not to pray.

Tres. Is it not lawfull to pray for them that erre?

West. It is not lawfull yet. But proceed.

Tres. Agayne, I reason thus: MarginaliaThe same argument againe repeated.As Christ liueth by hys father, after the same maner do we lyue by the eating of hys flesh.

But Christ liueth not by his father onely in vnitie of will, but naturally:

Ergo, we do not lyue when we eate the flesh of Christ, only by faith and vnitie of will, but naturally.

Cran. MarginaliaAunswere.This is my faith, and it agreeth with the scripture: Christ liueth by his father naturally, & maketh vs to lyue by himselfe in deede: naturally, and that not onely in the sacrament of the Eucharist, but also in Baptisme. For Infants, when they are baptised, do eate the flesh of Christ.

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Weston. Aunswer eyther to the whole argument, or to the partes therof. For this argument is strong and cannot be dissolued.

Cran. This is the argument. MarginaliaThe Archb. repeateth the argument.As Christ liueth by his father, after the same maner do we lyue by his flesh, beyng eaten of vs:

But Christ liueth not by his father onely in vnitie of will, but naturally:

Ergo, we eating his flesh, do not lyue only by faith and loue, but naturally.

But the Maior is false: namely, that by the same maner we liue by Christ, as he liueth by his father.

West. Marginalia* Christ not after his manhod but after his diuine nature liueth naturally by his father, which diuine nature of his worketh also in his manhoode an immortality: So our spirite and soule receauing the naturall bodye of Christ in the misteries, by fayth do receaue also the nature of his body, that is, his purenes, iustificatiō, & lyfe, the operation wherof redounding likewise vnto our bodyes, doth make the same also capable of the same glory and immortality. And thus it is true, that as Christ liueth naturallye by his father, so we liue naturally by the bodye of Christ eaten in the misteryes, hauing respecte both to the manhood of him and of vs. For as the fleshe of Christ, in respecte of bare fleshe, liueth not naturally by the father, but for that it is ioyned to his diuinity: So our flesh liueth not naturally by Chistes body eaten in the Sacramēt (for then euery wicked man eating the Sacramēt should liue naturally by hym) but for that our flesh is ioyned to the spirite and soule, whiche truely eateth the bodye of Christe by fayth: and so onely the bodyes of the faythfull doe lyue by eating the bodye of Christe naturally, in particypatyng the naturall propertyes of the bodye of Christe.* Hillary sayth: after the same manner, vpon these words: he that eateth my flesh shal lyue by me. Ergo, Christ liueth by his father, and as he liueth by his father, after the same maner we shall lyue by his fleshe. Here you see, that Hillary saith, after the same maner.

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Cran. After the same manner, doth not sigifie lyke in all things, but in deed and eternally: for so do we liue by Christ, and Christ liueth by his father. For in other respects Christ liueth otherwise by his father, then wee lyue by Christ.

West. He liueth by his father naturally and eternally:

Ergo, we liue by Christ naturally, and eternally.

Cran. We do not liue naturally, but by grace if you take naturally for the manner of nature. As Christ hath eternall lyfe of hys Father, so haue we of hym.

West. I sticke to this word naturally.

Cran. MarginaliaNaturall expounded.I meane it touching the truth of nature. For Christ liueth otherwise by his Father, then we lyue by Christ.

West. Hillary in the 8. booke De Trinitate, denieth it when he sayth: he liueth therfore by his father, and as he liueth by his Father, after the same manner we shall lyue by his flesh.

Cran. We shall lyue after the same maner, as concerning the nature of the flesh of Christ: for as he hath of his father the nature of eternitie, so shall we haue of him.

West. Answer vnto the partes of the Argument.

MarginaliaThe argument the third tyme repeated.As Christ liueth by his father, after the same manner shall we lyue by his flesh:

But Christ doth not lyue by his father onely in vnitie of will, but naturally:

Ergo, we eating his flesh do not liue onely by faith and loue, but naturally.

Cran. I graunt (as I said) we liue by Christ naturally: but I neuer heard that Christ liueth with his Father in vnitie of will onely.

West. Because it semeth a meruaile vnto you, heare what Hillary sayth: These things are recited of vs to this ende: because the heretikes fayning an vnitie of wyll onely betweene the

father and the sonne, did vse the example of our vnity with god: as though that we beyng vnited to the sonne, and by the sonne to the father onely by obedience and wyll of religion, had no proprietie of the naturall communion by the sacrament of the body and bloud.

But answer to the argument. Christ lyueth by his father naturally and eternally: therfore do we liue by Christ naturally and eternally.

Cran. Cyrill and Hillary do say, that Christ is vnited to vs not onely by will, but also by nature: he doth communicate 

Commentary  *  Close

The entire passage by Cranmer: 'He doth communicate to us his own nature ... but that we should be also partakers of the nature of everlasting life' is not in the Rerum. It was introduced in the 1563 edition with a note saying 'Ex exempl. manu Cranmeri descripto' (1563, p. 950; 1570, p. 1602; 1576, pp. 1366-67; 1583, p. 1437). Clearly these passages were inserted into the account of the debate from a written statement by Cranmer which Foxe obtained between 1559 and 1563. It is possible that this was the copy of Cranmer's account which Grindal had obtained. It is also possible, however, that this was a statement Cranmer submitted to Weston, and was taken by Foxe from the Convocation records which he had asked Grindal to obtain for him.

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to vs hys owne nature, and so is Christ made one with vs carnally and corporally, because he tooke our nature of the Virgine Mary. MarginaliaEx exemplari manu Cranmeri descripto. And Hillary doth not onely say that Christ is naturally in vs, but that we also are naturally MarginaliaNaturally expounded, that is our bodyes to participate the nature & properties of Christes holy & immortall body. in him, and in the father: that is, we are partakers of their nature, which is eteruitie or euerlastingnes. For as the worde receiuing our nature, did ioyne it vnto himselfe in vnitie of person, and did cōmunicate vnto that our nature, the nature of his eternitie, that like as he being the euerlasting word of the Father, had euerlasting life of the Father: euen so he gaue the same nature to hys flesh. Likewise also did he communicate with vs the same nature of eternitie, which he and the father haue, and that we should be one with them, not onely in wil & loue, but that we should be also partakers of þe nature of euerlasting life.

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West. Hilary where he saith: Christ cōmunicated to vs his nature, he meaneth þt, not by his natiuity, but by þe sacrament.

Cranmer. He hath communicated to vs his flesh by hys natiuitie.

West. We haue communicated to him * Marginalia* Then had Christ a sinfull flesh. our flesh when he was borne.

Cran. Nay, he communicated to vs his flesh whē he was borne, and that I will shew you out of Cyrill vppon this place: Et homo factus est.

West. Ergo, Christ being borne gaue vs his flesh.

Cran. In his natiuity he made vs * Marginalia* That is, made vs partakers of the properties, life, innocencye, & resurrection of his body. partakers of his flesh.

West. Write Sirs. 

Commentary  *  Close

Weston's words 'write sirs' (1563, p. 950; 1570, p. 1602; 1576, p. 1367; 1583, p. 1437) was a command to the notaries which at least one of them transcribed. Its appearance in the Rerum, as the imperative 'scribite', is another sign that the Rerum version of the disputation came from a notary's account.

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Cran. Yea write.

Ched. MarginaliaD. Chadsey agayne disputeth.This place of Hilary is so dark, that you were compelled to falsifie it in your booke, because you coulde not draw it to confirme your purpose. MarginaliaHillar. 8. De Trinitate. 

Cattley Pratt  *  Close
Cattley/Pratt, VI, Appendix, ref. page 460, note 5

The Cambridge MS. puts this accusation into the mouth of Weston. As he pursued the matter, Dr. Jenkyns thinks it natural to suppose that he started it.

If Christ haue taken verily the flesh of our body, and the man that was verely borne of the Virgin Mary is Christ, and also wee receaue vnder the true mistery the fleshe of his body, by meanes wherof we shalbe one (for the father is in Christ, and Christ in vs) how shall that be called the vnitie of will, when the naturall propertie brought to passe by the Sacrament, is the Sacrament of vnitie? we must not speake in the sence of man, or of the worlde in matters concerning God: neither must wee peruersly wrast anye straunge or wicked sence out of the wholesome meaning of the holy scripture, through impudent and vile contentiō. Let vs read those thinges that are written, and let vs vnderstand those thinges that wee read, and then wee shall performe the duetie of perfect fayth. For as touching that naturall and true being of Christ in vs except wee learne of him, wee speake foolishly and vngodly that thing that we doe speake: For he sayth: My flesh is meate in deede, and my bloud is drinke in deede: He that eateth my fleshe, and drinketh my bloud, abideth in me and I in him. As touching the veritie of his fleshe and bloud, there is left no place of doubt: for now, both by the testimonie of the Lord, and also by our fayth, it is verily flesh, and verily bloud. MarginaliaThus farre was their talke in Englishe.

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Here you haue falsified Hillary, for you haue set verò sub mysterio, for verè sub mysterio, we receiue truly vnder a mystery. Hillary thrise reporteth verè sub mysterio, and you interprete it twise verè sub mysterio, but the third tyme you haue verò for verè. MarginaliaSeing M. Cranmer had twyse veré; & but once vero, they had no cause to be greeued, but that they were disposed to finde a knot in a rushe.

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Cran. Assuredly, I am not guilty of any deceite herein. It may be that the copy which I followed, had Sub vero mysterio, i. vnder a true mysterye: although touching þe sense it differeth little. God I call to witnesse, I haue alway hated falsifieng, and if you had laisure and lust to heare false citations, I could recite vnto you vj. hundred.

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West. Here shall be shewed you two copies of Hilary, 

Cattley Pratt  *  Close
Cattley, VI, 461, fn 2

There were Editions of Paris, 1510, and of Basle, 1523 and 1550, prefaced by Erasmus. The passage in debate occurs in the treatise "de Trinitate," lib. viii. ¶ 13. - ED.

the one printed at Basill, the other at Paris.

Cran. I suppose that D. Smiths bookes hath vero.

Weston. Here is Doctour Smith: let him aunswere for hymselfe.

M. Smith, M. Doctor: what say you for your selfe? speake if you know it.

¶ Here Doctor Smith, eyther for the truth in hys booke alledged, or els astonied with Doctor Westons hasty calling, stayd to answer. For he onely put of his cappe, and kept silence. 

Cattley Pratt  *  Close
Cattley/Pratt, VI, Appendix, ref. page 461, line 30

Dr. Smith had mistranslated this passage of Hilary in his Assertion of the Sacrament of the Altar; and had been exposed by Cranmer in his Defence and Answer to Gardiner. This, Dr. Jenkyns thinks, was the reason why Smith held his peace. See infra, vol. viii. pp. 708, 709, for an interesting anecdote in connexion with this dispute about the reading in Hilary.

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West. But your owne booke 

Cattley Pratt  *  Close
Cattley, VI, 461, fn 3

"The 'book' referred to must be Cranmer's Answer to Gardiner, printed by Wolf in 1551; in which the original passage from Hilary is cited with the true reading, 'vere.'" - Jenkyns. From a previous note of Mr. Jenkyns it appears that Cranmer had been led into the mistake "vero," by the pages, not of an impugner but a defender of the corporal presence; namely by Gardiner, in his Detection of the devil's Sophistry, 1546. - ED.

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printed by Wolfe your owne Printer, hath vero.

Cran. That Booke is taken from me, which easily myght

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