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1389 [1389]

K. Hen. 8. Lorde Cromwell defended for suppreßing of Abbayes.

MarginaliaMonkes diuers frō other men in trade of lyfe.tie, the Monkes yet keeping theyr names, and growing in superstitiō, would not ioyne with other Christians, but keepe still their brotherhoodes, diuiding them selues from other Christians and professing a kynde of lyfe straunge and diuers from the common trade. MarginaliaMonkes diuers frō other in apparell.Vpō this diuersitie of life and profession, folowed also like diuersitie of garmētes and attyre differyng from their other brethren. After this moreouer came in the rule of S. Benedicte, inioynyng to them a prescribed forme of goyng, of wearyng, of watchyng, sleepyng, rising, praying, of silence, sole lyfe and diet, and all thynges almost differyng from the vulgare sorte of common Christiās. Whereby men seyng their austeritie, began to haue them in great admiratiō. MarginaliaMonkes of lay men, made Clergy men.And thus growyng vp in opinion of holynes, of lay men and labourers they came at length to be Clergie men, and greatest doers of all other in Christes Religion: In somuch, that at last there was none reputed almost for a religious mā or perfect Christian, vnlesse he were a Monke: neither almost was any aduaunced to any dignitie of the Church, but either hee was a monke, or afterwarde hee put on a Monkes weede: Accordyng as in the stories of this Realme is to be sene, how in the tyme of Dunstane Archbyshop of Cāterbury, of Æthelwold Byshop of Worcester, & of Oswald Bishop of Winchester, MarginaliaPope Iohn 13. wrote to K. Edgar, that none should be made Byshops but Monkes.Pope Iohn 13. writyng to kyng Edgar willed hym in hys letters, to see in his Cathedral Churches none to be promoted to be Byshops, but such as were of the Monasticall Religion, and willed him moreouer to exclude the secular prebendaries at Winchester, and to place in Monkes, and that none of the secular Clarkes there should bee chosen Byshop, but either taken out of the same Couent of that Churche, or out of some other Abbay. MarginaliaSecular Priestes put out, and Monkes intruded into Churches.So was also kyng Henry 2. cōmaunded to do in the house of Walthā, where the secular Chanons were remoued out, & regular Chanons intruded. The same did Oswald Byshop with the Churche of Worceter, likewise in their Seas did Dūstane Archb. of Cant. Osketellus Archbyshop of Yorke, Ethelwold Byshop of Worcester (who in story is reported to be multorum fundator Monasteriorum) Leswinus also B. of Dorcester, with other Byshops moe about the tyme and reigne of kyng Edgar. Odo Archbyshop of Canterbury before Dunstan an. 934. after his election refused to take that dignitie vpon him, before he had receaued the habite of a Monke in the Abbay of Florēce in Fraūce: because, as the story telleth (if it be true) Nullus ad id tempus nisi monochali schemate indutus, Archiepiscopus fuisset. &c. MarginaliaEx Guliel. Malmesb. in vita Odonis.That is, Because al the Archbishops of Cāterbury, before hym had ben Mōkes. &c. In like maner Baldwinus also an. 1184. after he was elected Archbyshop of Canterbury, tooke vpō him þe habite and profession of Mereton Abbay 

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Archbishop Baldwin became a monk at Ford, not Merton, abbey.

. MarginaliaEx Henburgens. Lib. 4. cap. 33.And so dyd Reginaldus his next successor after hym. &c.

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MarginaliaMonkes first laye men, then made regulares & votaries, at length made Churchmen by Pope Boniface.
Read before pag. 204.
As concernyng therefore the origine of Monkes, ye haue heard how first they began of lay men onely, leadyng a strayter lyfe from the societie of other persons, who then folowing þe rule of S. Benet, were called regulars & votaries, & yet al this while had nothing to do with any Ecclesiastical ministery, till the tyme of Pope Bonifacius 4. an. 606. who then made a Decree, MarginaliaDifference betwene Monkes and Priestes.that Monkes might vse the office of preachyng, of Christenyng, of hearyng confessions, & assoylyng men of theyr sinnes, differing from Priestes onely in this, that they were called regulares, and Priestes were called seculares: the Mōkes were votaries, the Priestes had free libertie to haue wyues till the tyme of Lanfranke and Anselme, as is aforesayd. Albeit Athanasius in his Epistle, ad Dracontium, witnesseth also, that hee knewe Monkes in the old tyme and Byshops, whiche were maryed and had children. Furthermore as iguoraunce and superstition with tyme increased: so the number and swarme of Monkes still more and more multiplied in such sort, as not onely they thrust out secular Priests from their houses, but also out of them were made Popes, Cardinals, Archbyshops, and Byshops, to gouerne Churches. Of whiche number began Austen the first Archbyshop of the Sea of Canterbury, and the most parte of all other Archbyshops after hym, vntill the tyme of the Conquest, and after.

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MarginaliaThe comming in of the fryers.
Read afore pag. 339.
All this while the Friers were not yet come, neither the discipline of S. Dominicke, nor the Testament of S. Frances, nor the order of the Austen brothers nor of the Carmelites was yet heard of. Whiche last of all came in with their pagians, and playd their part lykewise, an. 1220. beyng much more full of hypocrisie, blyndnes, idolatrie, and superstition, then were the Monkes: So that what with Monkes of the one side, and with the Friers of the other side, while all thinges were ruled by the rules of S. Benet, by the Canons of the Pope, by the doctrine of S. Dominicke, and by the Testament of S. Frances, Christes Testament was trode vnder foote, the rule of Gods worde neglected, true Christen Religiō defaced, fayth forgottn, the right way of saluation abolished, sounde doctrine oppressed, Christes seruaūtes persecuted, and the peoples soules vncomforted: yea and the true Churche of Christ almost cleane extirped, had not almighty God (who cā not forget his promise) prouided remedy in tyme, in raysing vp this Cromwell his seruaunt, and other lyke champions, to cut vp from þe roote the houses of them, whiche otherwise would vtterly haue rooted vp the house of the Lord, and had subuerted a great parte already.

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MarginaliaThe doctrine of Monkes & Fryers, to be expended.Wherefore who soeuer findeth hym selfe agreued with Cromwels doyng in suppressyng these Monasteries of Monkes and Friers, let hym wisely consider with hym selfe, first the doctrine, lawes, and traditions of these men, whiche he shall finde rebellyng to the Religion of Christ, pernitious to our saluation, derogatorie to Christes glory, full of much blasphemie and damnable idolatrie. MarginaliaThe life of Monkes & Fryers considered.Secondly, let him lykewise well aduise the horrible and execrable lyues of these cloysterers, or at the least, searche out the Rolles & Registers of matters found out by inquisition in kyng Henry the viij. hys dayes, agaynst them: whiche here is not to be spoken of, vnlesse we will speake as Mathew Paris speaketh of the Courte of Rome: cuius fætor vsq; ad nubes fumum teterrimum exhalabat. That is: Whose filthy stinche (saith he) dyd breath vp a most pestiferous fume, euen vnto the cloudes of heauen. &c.

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MarginaliaThe Lord Cromwell defended in suppressing Abbayes.All whiche thynges well considered, what maruell is it then, if God of hys iust iudgement dyd set vp the foresayd Lorde Cromwell to destroye these sinfull houses, whom their own corruptions could suffer no longer to stand? MarginaliaDissipati& of Abbay landes in England expedient.And as touchyng the dissipation of their landes and possessions to the handes of such as they were bestowed vppon: if it so pleased the kyng in bestowyng those Abbay landes vpō hys nobles & gentlemē, either to restore thē agayne vnto thē frō whence they came, or els to gratifie his Nobilitie by that meanes of policie not to mislike hys doings, what is that to Cromwell? But they might (say you) haue ben much better employed to other more fruitefull vses. Briefly to aunswere thereunto, what may be done presently in a common wealth, is not enoughe to say: but what may also folowe must be considered. If this throwing downe of Abbayes had happened in such free and reformed Cities or countreys, as are amongest the Germaines, where the state gouerned and directed by lawes, rather then by rulers, remaineth alwayes alike and vnmutable, who doubteth but such houses there standyng still, the possessions might well be transposed to such vses abouesaid, without any feare or peril? But in such Realmes and kyngdomes as this, where lawes and Parlamentes be not alwayes one, but are subiecte to the disposition of the Prince: neither is it certeine alwayes what Princes may come: the surest way therefore to send Monkery and Popery packyng out of the

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