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460 [436]

K. Richard 2. The history of I. Wickliffe. The Archbishops letter to the Chauncelor of Ox.

there is no saluation. We therfore considering, that so pernicious a mischiefe whych may creepe amongest many, wee ought not to suffer, and by dissimulation to passe ouer, which may with deadly contagion slea the soules of men, least their bloud be required at our hands: are willing so much as God wil permit vs to do, to extirpate the same. Wherefore, by the counsaile and consent of many of our brethrē and Suffraganes, we haue conuented diuers and sundry Doctours of Diuinitie, as also professours and other Clerkes of the Canon and Ciuill lawes, the best learned wythin the Realme, and of the most soundest opinion and iudgement in the Catholicke faith, to geue their opinions and iudgements cōcerning the foresayde conclusions. MarginaliaHad ye tryed them by the truth, you shuld haue found thē otherwise. But for as much as the sayde conclusions and assertions, being in the presence of vs, and our fellowe brethren and other conuocates, openly expounded, and diligently examined, and in the end found by common counsaile and consent, as wel of them as of vs, and so declared that some of those conclusions were heretical, and some of them erroneous & repugnant to the determination of the Church, as here vnder are described: Wee will and commaund your brotherhoode, and by vertue of holy obedience straightly enioyne, all and singular our brethren and Suffraganes of our body and Church of Canterbury, that with all speedye diligence you possible can, you likewise enioyne them (as we haue enioyned you) and euery of them. And that euery one of them in their Churches & other places of their Citie and Dioces, doe admonish and warne, and that you in your Church and other Churches of your Citie and Dioces, do admonish and warne, as we by the tenor of these presents, do admonish and warne the first time, the second time, and the third time: and yet more straightly doe warne, assigning for the first admonition one day, for the second admonition an other day, & for the third admonition canonicall and peremptorie, an other day: That no man from hence forth of what estate or cōdition soeuer, do hold, preach or defend the foresayd heresies and errors or any of them: nor that hee admitte to preach any one that is prohibited or not sent to preach, nor that he heare or hearken to the heresies or errours of him or any of them, or that he fauour or leane vnto hym either publiquely, or priuely: But that immediately he shonne hym as he would auoide a Serpent putting forth most pestiferous poison, vnder paine of the greater curse, MarginaliaBruta Fulmina.the which we commaund to be thundered against all and euery one which shalbe disobedient in this behalfe, and not regarding these our monitions, after that those 3. dayes be past which are assigned for the canonical monition, and that their delay, fault or offence, committed require the same: That then according to the tenour of these wrytings, wee commaund both by euery one of our felowe brethren & our Suffraganes in their Cities and Dioces, and by you in your City and Dioces (so much as belongeth both to you and them) that to the vttermost, both ye and they cause the same excommunications to be pronounced. MarginaliaHe that killeth you, shal thinke he doth God good seruice.And furthermore, wee will and commaunde our foresayd felowe brethren, and all & singular of you a part by your selues, to be admonished, and by the aspersion of the bloud of Iesus Christ we likewise admonish you: that according to the institution of the sacred Canons, euery one of them in their Cities & Dioces, bee a diligent inquisitour of this hereticall prauitie: and that euery one of you also in your Cities & Dioces, be the like inquisitor of the foresayd heretical prauitie: MarginaliaYea rather for the honour of your pope, and destruction of the Christian fayth.And that of such like presumptions they and you carefully and diligently inquire, and that both they and you (according to your dueties and office in this behalfe) wyth effect do procede against the same, to the honor and praise of his name that was crucified, and for the preseruation of the Christian faith and Religion.

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Here is not to be passed ouer, the great miracle of gods diuine admonition or warning: for when as the Archbyshop and suffraganes, with the other Doctours of diuinitie, and lawyers with a great company of babling Friers, & religious persons were gathered together to consult, as touching Iohn Wickleffes bookes, and that whole secte: When as they were gathered together at the Gray fryers in Lōdon, to begin their busines, vpon S. Dunstons day after dinner, about 2. of the clocke the very houre & instant þt they should go forward with their businesse: a wonderfull and terrible earthquake fell, through out al England: MarginaliaAn earthquake what time Wickliffe was examined. Ex chron. mon. Albanensis.whereupon, diuers of the suffraganes being feared, by the strange and wonderfull demonstration, doubting what it shuld meane, thought it good to leaue of from their determinate purpose. But the Archbyshop (as chiefe captaine of that army, more rash and bold then wise interpreating the chaunce which had happened, cleane contrary to an other meaning or purpose, did confirme & strengthen their harts and minds, which were almost daunted with feare, stoutly to proceede and go forward in theyr attempted enterprise. Who then discoursing Wickliffes articles, not according vnto the sacred Canons of the holy Scripture, but vnto theyr owne priuate affections and traditions, pronounced and gaue sentence, that some of them were simply and plainely hereticall, other some halfe erroneousother irreligious, some seditious, and not consonant to the Church of Rome.

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MarginaliaDetermination vpon the articles of Wickliffe. 

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This brief description of the examinations of Rygge and Brightwell is taken from Archbishop Courtenay's register (Lambeth Palace Library, Courtenay Register, fo. 26v).

Item, the 12. day of Iune, in the yeare aforesaid, in the chamber of the Friers preachers: the foresayd M. Robert Rigges Chauncelor of the vniuersitie of Oxford, & Thomas Brightwell professors of diuinitie, beyng appoynted the same day and place, by the foresayde reuerend father in God Archbyshop of Canterbury: appeared before hym, in the presence of the reuerend father in God, Lord William, by the grace of God Byshop of Winchester, and diuers others doctours and bachelers of Diuinitie and of the Canon and ciuill lawe, whose names are before recited. And first the sayd Chauncelor by the said Lord Archb. of Cant. being examined what his opinion was touching the foresayd articles: Publiquely affirmed and declared, that certaine of those conclusions were hereticall, and certaine erronious, as the other doctors and clerks afore mentioned had declared: And then immediately next after hym, the foresaid Thomas Brightwel was examined, which vpon some of the conclusions at first somewhat staggered, but in the end being by the sayd Archbishop, diligently examined vpon the same, did affirme and repute the same to be hereticall and erroneous, as the foresayd Chancelor had done. An other Bacheler of Diuinitie also there was named N. stammering also at some of those conclusions, but in the end affirmed that hys opinion therein was, as was the iudgement of the foresayd Chauncelour and Thomas as is aboue declared. Whereuppon, the sayde Lord Archb. of Cant. willing to let and hinder the perill of such heresies & errours: Deliuered vnto the foresayd Chauncelour there being publiquely read his letters patents, to be executed, the tenour whereof in these wordes doth folow.

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MarginaliaA letter of the Archb. of Cant. to the Chauncelour of Oxford. WIlliam by the grace of God Archb. of Cant 

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This letter is taken from Archbishop Courtenay's register (Lambeth Palace Library, Courtenay Register, fos. 26v-27r).

primate of all England, and Legate of the Apostolicall see: To our welbeloued sonne in Christ the Chancelor of the vniuersitie of Oxford, within the diocesse of Lincolne, greeting, grace and benediction. The prelates of the Church, about the Lordes flocke committed to their charge, ought so much to be more vigilāt as that they see the wolfe clothed in sheepes attire fraudulētly go about to worow and scatter the sheepe. Doubtles, the common fame & brute is come vnto our eares. &c. Vt in mandato præcedenti. We will therefore and commaunde, straightly enioyning you, that in the Church of our blessed Lady in Oxforde, vpon those dayes the which accustomably the Sermone is made, as also in the schooles of the sayde Vniuersitie vppon those dayes the Lectures be read, ye publish and cause by others to be published to the clergie and people, as well in their vulgare tounge, as in the Latine tounge, manifestly and plainly without any curious implication, the same hereticall and erronious conclusions, so repugnant to the determination of holy Church, as is aforesayd: to haue bene & be condemned, and which conclusions also we declare by these our letters to be vtterly condemned: And that farthermore you forbid, and canonically admonish, and cause to be admonished, as we by the tenour of these presents doe forbid and admonish you, once, twise, and thrise, and that peremptorily: that none hereafter hold, teach, preach, or defende the heresies and errours aboue sayde, or any of them eyther in schoole or out of schoole by an sophistical cauillation or otherwise: or that any admit to preache, heare, or hearken vnto Iohn Wyckliffe, Nicholas Hereford, Philip Reppindon Chanon reguler, or Iohn Ayshton, or Laurence Readman, 
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The man's name was Lawrence Bedeman; 'Readman' is a typographical error.

which be vehemently and notoriously suspected of heresie, or els any other whatsoeuer, so suspected or defamed: or that either priuely or publiquely, they either aide or fauoure them or any of them, but that incontinently they shunne and auoide the same as a Serpent which putteth foorth moste pestiferous poyson. And fathermore, we suspend the sayd suspected persons from al scholasticall acte, till such time as they shall purge themselues before vs in that behalfe, and that you denounce the same publiquely, by vs to haue bene and be suspended, and that yee diligently and faithfully inquire, of all their fautours and fauourers, and cause to be inquired throughout all the haules of the sayde vniuersitie. MarginaliaMake sure worke.And that when you shall haue intelligence of their names &persons, that yee compell all and euery of them to abiure their outragies by Ecclesiasticall Censures and other paines Canonicall whatsoeuer vnder paine of the greater curse, the whych against al and singular the rebellious in thys behalfe, and disobeying our monitions wee pronounce: so that their fault, deceit, and offence in thys behalfe, deserue the same (the sayde monition of ours being first sent) which in this behalfe we exteeme and allowe Canonicall, that then and agayne accordyng to the effect of these our letters. &c. The Absolution of all and singular such, whych shall incurre the sentence of thys instrument by vs sent foorth (whych God forbidde) Wee specially reserue vnto oure selues: exhortyng you the Chauncellour by the aspersion of the bloud of IESVS CHRIST, that to the vttermost of your power hereafter you doe your indeuoure, that the Clergie and people

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