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1016 [1015]

K. Henry. 8 A Proclamation by the king agaynst the Gospellers.

[illegible text]office and duety in that behalfe, wylleth [illegible text] withall conuenient expedition, [illegible text] preserued from the sayd [illegible text] And for as much as hys hyghnes is credibly informed, that some of the sayde errours be already sowen and spread within this his realme, partly by the corruption of indiscrete preachers, partly by erroneous bookes, compiled, printed and written, as well in the English tongue, as in latine and other languages, repleat with most venemous heresies, blasphemies, and slaunders, intolerable to the cleane eares of any good christen man: hys highnesse therefore, lyke a most gracious and christian prince onely entending the sauegard of this hys realme, the preseruation of hys subiectes, and saluation of their soules, willeth to put now in execution, with all diligēce possible, all good lawes, statutes and ordinaunces concerning the premisses before this tyme prouided, made, and ordeyned by his most noble progenitours kynges of England, for that purpose and entent. Which lawes and statutes by our soueraigne Lorde, and hys most honorable counsayle, by long and deliberate aduise for the extirpation suppressyng and withstandyng of the sayd heresies, haue bene seene, examined, and by them in euery parte, thought good and necessary to be put in execution.

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Wherfore his hyghnesse chargeth and straightly commaundeth all and euery his Lordes spirituall and temporall, Iudges, Iustices of peace, Shiriffes, Mayors, Baylifs, Constables, and all other hys Officers, Ministers, and all hys true and louyng subiectes, that all fauour, affection, and partialitie layd apart, they effectually with all diligence and study, endeuour themselues substantially for the executyng of all and euery of the Articles hereafter ensuyng, without dissimulation, intermission, or excuse, as they will auoyde hys high indignation and displeasure.

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First, that no man within the kynges realme or other hys dominions, subiect to hys highnesse, hereafter presume to preach, teach, or informe any thyng openly or priuely, or cōpile and write any booke, or hold, exercise, or kepe any assembles or scholes, in any maner of wyse, contrary to the Catholike fayth, or determination of holy Church, nor that any person within this his sayd realm and dominions, do presume to preach openly or secretly, without they haue firste obtayned licence of the Bishop of the diocesse, where they entend to preach, curates in theyr parishes, persons priuileged, and other by the law of the churche only except.

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Also that no man wittinly hereafter fauour, supporte, or maintayne any person, which preacheth in forme aforesaid, or maketh any such or lyke conuenticles and assembles, holdeth or exerciseth any schooles, maketh, writeth, or publisheth any such booke, teacheth, infourmeth, or stirreth the people or any of them, in any maner of forme to the sayd errours. Moreouer, that all and euery person and persons hauyng any bookes or writinges of any such errours, erroneous doctrine and opinion, do deliuer or cause to be deliuered effectually and actually, all and euery such bookes and writyngs, to the Bishops of the dioces, or to the ordinary of the place, within 15. dayes after this proclamation pronounced. And in case any person or persons, of what estate, condition, or degree soeuer they be, doe or attempt any thing contrary to this Acte and proclamation, or do not deliuer or cause to be deliuered such bookes, within the tyme aforesayd, MarginaliaPenaltie. that euery bishop in hys dioces or Ordinary, shall cause that person or persons, and euery of them to be arrested in that behalfe diffamed or euidently suspected, and deteyne & kepe them vnder safe custody in their prisons, vntill such tyme, that the sayd persons and euery of them, either haue purged themselues of the sayd errours, or els do abiure their sayd erroneous sectes, preachings, doctrines, or opinions, as the law of holy church doth require.

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Furthermore, if any person by the law of holy Church be conuicted before the bishop of the dioces or hys Commissaries in any case aboue expressed, that the sayd Bishop may kepe in prison, the sayd person or persons so conuicted, as it shall seme best to hys discretion, after the greousnes or qualitie of the cryme, and further, may set a fine to be paid to the behoufe of the kyng, by the person or persons conuicted, as it shalbe thought conuenient to the sayd Byshop, hauyng respect to the greuousnes of the offence of the said person or persons: the sayd fine to be certified by the bishop, into the kings Eschequer, there to be leuied to the kinges vse, except in such cases in which by the lawes of holy church, the said persons conuict of heresies, ought totally to be left to the secular iurisdiction.

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Also, if any person within this hys realme of England or other hys dominions, be by sentence iudiciall conuicted of the sayd preachyng and doctrines prohibited, erroneous opinions, scholes and informations or any of them, and before the Bish. or his Cōmissary do abiure, accordyng to the forme of the lawes of holy church, MarginaliaExtrau. de hœret. Super eo. the foresaid erroneous sectes, doctrines, scholes or informatiōs, or els be pronoūced by the bishops or their Cōmissaries after theyr abiuratiō by them before made, to be relapsed, so that after the lawes of holy church, they ought to be relinquished to the iurisdictiō secular (wherin fayth is to be geuen to the bishop or his Cūmissaries in that behalf) MarginaliaShrieffes to be present at the sentence. then the Shiriffe of the Countie, Maior, Shrifes, or Mayor and Bayliffes of the same citie, towne, or borough, next vnto the sayde Bishop or Commissaries, shalbe personallie present in the sentence geuinge, by the sayd Byshop or Commissaries therunto required, and after the sayd sentence geuen, shall receyue the sayd persons and euery of them, and put them to further execution, accordyng to the lawes of this realme.

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Also, the Chauncellour, treasurer of England, the Iustice of the one Bench and the other, Iustices of peace, Shiriffes, Mayors, and Baylifs of cities and townes, and other Officers hauyng gouernāce of people, which now be, or for the time, hereafter shall be, shall make othe in takyng theyr charge and ministration, to put theyr whole power and diligence, to put away and to make vtterly to cease, and destroy all maner of heresies and errours, commonly called Lollardies, within the precinctes of theyr offices and administrations, from time to tyme with all theyr power.

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Also they shall assist the Bishops, and theyr Commissaries, and them shall fauour and maintayne as oftentymes as that to do, they or any of them, shall be required by the sayd Byshops or their Commissaries, so that the bishops or their Commissaries, shall beare and paye the reasonable costes of the sayde officers and ministers, when and as often as they shall trauayle or ryde to arrest heretickes and Lollardes, or to assist the sayd Byshops or Commissaries by vertue of the kyngs lawes and statutes.

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MarginaliaInquisition at Sessions. Moreouer, the Iustices of the kinges Bench, Iustices of peace, and Iustices of Assise shall inquire at theyr Sessions and sittings, of all those that hold any errours or heresies, & who be theyr mayntainers, receptors, fauourers and supporters, commō writers of bokes, as also of their sermēs, scholes, conuenticles, congregations, and confederacies.

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Furthermore, if any person be endicted of any of the pointes aboue sayd, the Iustices of the peace haue power to awarde agaynst them A capias, and the shriues be bounde to arrest such persons so endicted, as soone as they may be founde by themselues, or by their Officers. And forsomuch as cognisaunce of heresie, errours, and Lollardies, appertaineth to the Iudge of holy church, and not to the iudge secular, the persons so indicted to be deliuered to the bishops of [the places or theyr Commissaries, by indenture betwene them to bee made within x. dayes after their arrest, or sooner if it can be done, therof to be acquite or conuict by the lawes of holy Church, in case that those persons be not indited of other thynges, wherof the knowledge appeareth to the Iudges & Officers secular. In which case, after they be acquite and deliuered afore the Iustice secular, of those thinges pertaining to the iudge secular, that they be conueyed in safegard to the ordinaries or theyr Commissaries, and to thē to be deliuered by Indentures (as is abouesaid) there to be acquite or conuicted of the said heresies, errours and Lollardies (as is abouesaid) after the lawes of holy church. Prouided that the Inditements be not taken in euidence, but for an information afore the Iudges spirituall, against such indicts, but that the Ordinaries commence their proces against those indicts in the same maner as no inditement had bene, hauing no regard to such inditements.

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Moreouer, that no maner of person or persons, of what estate, degree, or condition he or they be, do from henceforth presume to bryng into this realme, or do sell, receiue, take or detayne any booke or worke printed or written, which is made, or hereafter shall be made against the fayth Catholike, or against the holy decrees, lawes and ordinaunces of holy Church, or in reproch, rebuke, or slaunder of the king, hys honorable counsayle, or hys Lordes spirituall or temporall. And in case they haue any such booke or worke, they shall incontinent, vpon the hauyng of them, bryng the sayd booke or worke to the bishop of the dioces, without concealement or fraude: or if they knowe any person hauing any of the sayd bookes, they shall detect them to the sayd bishop, all fauour or affection layd apart, and that they fayle not thus to do, as they will auoyd the kings high indignation and displeasure.

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The bookes whiche in this Proclamation generally are restrayned and forbidden, be afterwarde in the Register more specially named by the Byshops 

Commentary  *  Close

Some of the books on this list, reproduced in the 1576 and 1583 editions by Foxe, do not appear on the lists which had appeared previously. It appears to derive from the list of books mentioned in David Wilkins, Concilia Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae. 4 vols. (London, 1737), 3, pp.719-20 (also see BL. MS Cott.Cleop.F.ii. fol.54). The list includes obscure treatises which may be works or translations by Miles Coverdale. A treatise of 1529, entitled Of the olde God and the new has been attributed to him. Also included is a reference to William Barlow, De sepultura missae (The buryall of the masse) or sometimes called Rede Me and be nott Wrothe (1528). This poem is sometimes attributed to William Roye (see A Koszul, 'Was Bishop William Barlow Friar Jerome Barlow? A Propos of Rede Me and Be Not Wroth and Other Early Protestant Dialogues' in The Review of English Studies 4 [1928], pp.25-34. Then comes a reference to Simon Fish, Sum of the Holy Scripture (which is actually the translation from a Dutch original treatise which denied infant baptism), printed in England in 1529. A further work identified on the list is William Roye, An exposition in to the seventh chapter of the pistle to the Corinthians (1529). Then comes William Tyndale The Preface of Master William Tyndale, that he made before the Five Books of Moses, called Genesis (1530), his A Prologue into the Fifth Book of Moses called Deuteronomy (1530), and his (now lost) exposition on the sacrament of marriage, published c.1528. The English Psalter referred to next on the list is most likely George Joye's publication (in 1530) of the Psalms in English, later published as Davids Psalter (Antwerp, 1534). William Tyndale, The Practice of Prelates (1530) follows, and then George Joye's translation of a German text, published as Hortulus Animae (1530), a popular prayer book, first printed in 1498 at Strasbourg. The 'A.B.C.' against the clergy has been attributed to William Roye but is, in fact, a Lollard tract of the early fifteenth century, published in Marburg (1530), and sometimes known as Dialogus inter generosum et rusticum (for which, see Margaret Aston, Lollards and reformers [London, 1984], pp.220-4). The final work in this list is William Tyndale, The examination of Master William Thorpe, priest, of heresy, before Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1407 (1530). There is, in reality, a question mark over the existence of William Thorpe, a Lollard of the early fifteenth century, reputedly the author of The Testimony of William Thorpe in 1407. Foxe had already referred to him in the martyrology. See Maureen Jurkowski, 'The arrest of William Thorpe in Shrewsbury and the anti-Lollard statute of 1406', in Historical Research 75 (August 2002), pp.273-95.

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. Whereof the most part were in Latine, as are aboue recited, and some were in English, as these and other partly also aboue expressed.

A
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