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330 [330]

Actes and Monumentes Of the Church
¶ The copy of the Epistle of the Archbyshop of Cauntorbury, wrytten vnto the bishop of Londō, wherin is conteined, the whole processe and condemnation of the most noble Lord Cobham.

TO the reuerēt father in christ & lord, the lord Robert by the grace of god bishop of Herford, Richard by the permission of god, bishop of Lon. health & continuall increase of sincere loue. We haue of late receued the letters of the reuerend father in Christ and Lord, the lord Thomas by the grace of God Archbishop of Can. primate of al Englande, and legate of the Apostolike sea to this effect. Thomas by the permissyon of God, Archbyshop of Cauntorburye, primate of all Englande, and Legate of the Apostolike sea, vnto our reuerend brother, the Lord Richard bishop of London, health and brotherly loue in the Lord. It was lately concluded before vs in the conuocation of the Prelates and cleargy of oure prouince of Cauntorbury last celebrate in our church of S. Paul in treating amongst other things with the said Prelates & clergy vpon the vnion and reformation of the churche of England by vs & the said Prelates and cleargy that it was almost impossyble to amend the hole of oure Lordes cote, which was without seame, but that fyrst of al certain nobles of the realme, whiche are autors fauourers, protectors, defēdors and receiuers of these heretikes called lollardes, were sharply rebuked, & if nead wer by the censures of the church, & the helpe of the seculer power, they be reuoked from their errors. And afterwarde hauing made diligente inquisition in the same conuocatyon amongst the proctors of the cleargy and others, whyche were there in great nomber out of euery diocesse of oure prouince. It was found out amōgst others, that sir Ihō Oldcastel knight, was and is the principall receiuer, fauorer, protector, & defender of them. And that speciallye in the dioces of Lōdon, Rochester, and Harford he hath sent the said lollardes to preach not being licensed by the ordinaries and bishops of the dioces or places contrarye to the prouincial constitutions in that behalfe made, and hath bene present at their wycked Sermons, greuously punishing with threatnings, terrors, & the power of the seculer sword, such as did withstand him, alledging and affirming amongst others, that we and our fellowe brethren suffraganes of our prouinces had not, nether haue any power to make any such constitutions. Also he hath holden, and doth hold opinion and teach as touching the sacraments of the altar, of penance, of pilgrimage, of the worshipping of saintes, and of the keies contrary to that which the vniuersal church of Rome doth teach and affirme. MarginaliaOh holye spiteful reuerence.Wherfore on the behalf of the saide Prelates and clargy, we were then required that we wold vouchsafe to procede against the said sir Ihon Oldcastell vpon the premisses. MarginaliaSyr Iohn olde Castel in fauour with the king.Notwithstandinge for the reuerence of oure Lord the king in whose fauor the said sir Ihon at that present was, and no lesse also for the honor of his knighthode, we with our fellowe brethren and suffragane then present with a great part of the cleargy of oure prouince comming personally before the presence of our said Lord the kinge, beinge then at his mannor of kenington putting vp against the said sir Ihon a complaint, and partly reciting the defaults of the said sir Ihon. But at the request of our said Lord the kinge, we desiringe to reduce the said sir Ihon to the vnity of the church, wythout any reproche we deferred all thexecution of the premisses for a great time. But at the last for so much as oure sayd Lord the king after his great trauailes taken about the conuersion of him, did nothing at al profyt, as oure sayde Lord the king vouchsaued to certify vs bothe by worde and wryting. We immediatlye decreed to call forthe the sayd sir Ihon personally, to aunswer before vs at a certaine time all ready passed in, and vpon the premysses, & sent oure messenger with theese oure letters of citatyon to the said sir Ihō, then being at his castel of Cowling, vnto the whiche messenger we gaue commaundemente, that he shoulde in no case goo into the Castell, excepte he were licensed. But by the meanes of one Ihon Butteler porter of the kinges chamber, he shoulde requyre the said sir Ihon that he would either licens the said messenger to come into the castell, or that he should cyte him, or at the least that he would suffer him self to be cited with out his castel. MarginaliaHow craftely these serpentes worke.The whiche sir Ihon openlye answeared vnto the said Ihon Butler, declaring the premisses vnto hym, on the behalfe of oure Lorde the kynge: that he woulde by no meanes be cyted, neither in any case sufferhis citation. Then we beinge certefied of the premysses lawfulli proceding further, Fyrst hauing faithful report made vnto vs, that he could not be apprehended by parsonall citation, we decreed to cite him by an edict to be openly set vp in the porches of the Cathedral Churche of Rochester next vnto him, little more then iii. Englyshe miles distant from the said Castell of Cowling. As we had thus caused him to be cited, and our edict aforesayde to be publikely and openlye set vppon the porches of the said church, that he should personally appeare before vs the xi. day of September last paste to aunswer vnto the premisses, and certaine other thinges concerninge heresye. The which daye beinge come, we sitting in our tribunall seat in oure greater chappell within the castell of Leedis of oure diocesse, the whiche we then inhabyted, and where as we then kept residence with oure courte, and hauinge taken an othe whiche is requisite in the premisses. MarginaliaAn assemi lyons skin.And the information by vs harde and receyued, as the common reporte goeth: in the parties wheras the said sir Ihon dwelleth, fortifyinge him selfe in his sayde Castel, defending his opinions manifoldly, contemning the keies of the churche, and the Archbishoppes power. We therfore caused the saide sir Ihon cited, as is aforesayde, to be openly with a loud voyce called by the crier: and so beinge called, longe looked for, and by no meanes appearing: we iudged him as he was no les worthye) obstinate, MarginaliaThe lorde Cobham excommunicated.and for punishment of his saide obstinacye, we did then and ther excommunicate him. And for so much as by thorder of the premisses, and other euident tokens of his doinges, we vnderstand that the saide sir Ihō for the defence of his erroure, dothe fortifye hym selfe, as is aforesaid againste the keies of the churche. By pretence wherof a vehement suspition of heresy and scisme riseth agaynst him. We haue decreed if he may be apprehended againe personally to cite him, or els as before by an edict that he should appeare before vs the Saterdaye next after the feast of s. Mathew the Apostle and Euangelyst next comminge to shew some reasonable cause if he can, whye we should not proceade againste him, to more greuous punishment, as an open hereticke, scismatyke and open ennemye of the vniuersall Church. And personallye to declare whye he shoulde not be pronounced suche a one or that the ayde of the seculer power should not be solempnlye required agaynste. And further to answer, do, and receiue as touchinge the premisses, what so euer iustice shall require. MarginaliaRather what malice shall require.The whiche time beinge come, that is to saye the saterdaye next after the feast of s. Mathew beinge the xxiii. daye of September, syr Robert Morley knight, lieuetenaunte of the Towre of london appeared personallye before vs. MarginaliaThe lorde Cobham caste into the towre.Sittinge in the chapter house of the churche of s. Paule at london, with our reuerent fellow brethren and Lordes, Richard by the grace of God byshoppe of London, and Henrye bishoppe of Wynchester, and broughte with him syr Ihon Oldcastle knight and sette hym before vs (for a little before he was taken by the kinges seruauntes and cast into the Towre) vnto whyche syr Ihon Oldcastle so personallye presente, we rehearsed all the order of the processe, as it is contayned in the actes of the daye before passed with good and modest woordes and gentle meanes. MarginaliaThe teres of the Crocodile.That is to saye, howe he the sayde sir Ihon was detected and accused, in the conuocation of the Prelates and cleargye of oure sayde prouince, as is aforesaid vppon the articles before rehearsed, and howe he was cited, and for his contumacye Excommunicate. MarginaliaThe popish absolution neglected.And when we were come to that poynte, we offered oure selues readye to absolue him. Notwithstandinge the sayde syr Ihon, not regardynge oure offer, sayde, that he woulde willinglye rehearse before vs, and my said fellow brethren, the faythe whyche he held and affyrmed. So he hauinge desired and obtayned licens, he tooke out of his bosome a certen Scedule indented, and there openly red the contentes of the same, and deliuered the same scedule vnto vs, and the scedule of tharticles, whervpon he was examined, whiche was as in forme following.

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¶ The catholike faith and confessyon of the Lord Cobham.

I Ihon Oldcastel Knight, Lorde of Cobham, desire to make manifest vnto al christians, and God to be taken to wytnesse, that I neuer thought otherwise or would thinke othetwise (by Goddes help) thē with a stedfast and vndoubted faith to embrace all those his sacraments which he hath instituted for the vse of his church.

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