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1044 [1020]

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

crete preachers, fautors of the sayd erroneous sects, as by certayn hereticall and blasphemous bookes lately made and priuily sent into this realme, by the disciples, fautors, & adherents of the sayd Martin Luther & other heretickes, the kings subiects are like to be corrupted, vnlesse his highnes (as the defēsor of the faith) do put to his most gracious helpe & authoritie royal, to the due & speedy reformation thereof, his highnes therfore, lyke a most gracious Prince, of his blessed & vertuous disposition, for the incomparable zeale, which he hath to Christes religion & faith, & for the singular loue & affection that he beareth to all his good subiects of this his realme, & specially to the saluation of their soules, according to his office & duetye in that behalfe, willeth and intendeth to prouide with all cōuenient expedition, that this his noble realme may be preserued frō the said pestiferous, cursed, & seditious errours. And for as much as his highnes is credibly informed, that some of the said errours be already sowen & spread within this his realme, partly by the corruption of indiscreete preachers, partlye by erroneous bookes, compiled, printed & written, as well in the English tongue, as in latine & other languages, repleat with most venemous heresies, blasphemies & slaunders, intollerable to the cleane eares of any good christen men his highnes therfore, like a most gracious & christian Prince onely entending the sauegarde of this his realme, the preseruation of his subiectes, and saluation of their soules, willeth to put now in execution, with all diligence possible, all good lawes, statutes and ordinaunces concerning the premisses before this time prouyded, made and ordeyned by hys most noble progenitors, kings of England, for that purpose & entent. Which lawes and statutes by our soueraigne Lorde, and hys most honourable counsaile, by long and deliberate aduise for the extirpation suppressyng & withstanding of the sayd heresies, haue bene seene, examined, & by them in euery part, thought good & necessary to be put in execution.

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Wherefore his highnesse chargeth and straightly commaūdeth all and euery his Lordes spirituall and temporal, Iudges, Iustices of peace, Shiriffes, Mayors, Baylifs, Constables, and all other hys Officers, Ministers, and all his true and louing subiectes, that all fauour, affection, and partialitie layd apart, they effectually with all diligence and study, endeuour themselues substantially for the executing of al and euery of the articles hereafter ensuyng, without dissimulation, intermission or excuse, as they wil auoide hys high indignation and displeasure.

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First, that no man within the kinges realme or other his domynions, subiect to his highnes, hereafter presume to preach, teache, or informe any thing openly or priuily, or cōpile and write anye booke, or hold, exercise, or kepe any assembles or schooles, in any maner of wise, contrary to the Catholike faith, or determinatyon of holy church, nor that any person within this his sayd realme & domininions, do presume to preach openly or secretly, withoute they haue first obtained licēce of the Bishop of the diocesse, where they entend to preach, curates in their parishes, persons priuiledged, and other by the law of the church onely except.

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Also that no mā wittingly hereafter fauour, support, or maintain any person, which preacheth in forme aforesayd, or maketh anye such or like conuenticles and assembles, holdeth or exerciseth any schooles, maketh, writeth, or publisheth anye suche booke, teacheth, infourmeth, or stirreth the people or any of them, in anye maner of forme to the said errours. Moreouer, that al & euery person and persons hauing any bookes or writinges of any suche errors, erroneous doctryne and opinion, do deliuer or cause to bee deliuered effectually and actually, all and euerye such bookes and writings, to the Bishoppes of the dioces, or to the ordinary of the place, within 15. daies after this proclamation pronounced. And in case any person or persons, of what estate, condition, or degree soeuer they be, do or attempt any thing contrary to this Act and proclamation, or doe not deliuer or cause to bee deliuered suche bookes, within the time aforesaid, that euery bishop in his dioces, or ordinary, shal cause that person or persons, and euery of them to be arested in that behalfe diffamed or euidently suspected, and detayne & kepe thē vnder safe custody in their persons, vntil such time that the said persons & euery of thē, either haue purged thēselues of the said errors, or els do abiure the said erròneous sects, preachings, doctrines, or opinions, as the law of holye Churche doth require.

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MarginaliaPenaltye.Furthermore, if any person by the law of holy Church be cōuicted before the bishop of the dioces, or his Cōmissary in any case aboue expressed, that the said Bishop may kepe in prison, the sayd person or persons so conuicted, as it shal seeme best to his discretiō, after the greuousnes or qualitie of the crime, and further, may set a fine to be paid to the behoufe of the king, by the persō or persons conuicted, as it shalbee thought conuenient to the saide Byshop hauing respect to the greuousnes of the effence of the sayde persō or persōs: the said fine to be certified by the Bishop, into the kings Eschequer, ther to be leuied to the kings 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 iurisdictiō.

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Also, if any person within this his realme of England or other his dominions, be by sentence iudicial conuicted of the said preaching and doctrines prohibited, erroneous opinions, schooles &informations or any of them, and before the Bishop, or his Commissary do abiure, MarginaliaExtrau. de hæret, super eo. according to the fourme of the lawes of holye churche, the foresaid erroneous sectes, doctrines, schooles, or informatiōs, or els be pronounced by the bishops or their cōmissaries after their abiuration by thē before made, to bee relapsed, so that after the lawes of holy church, they ought to be relinquished to the iurisdiction secular (wherin faith is to be geuen to the Bysh. or his Cōmissaries in that behalf) then the Shiriffe of the Coūtie, Maior, Shirifes, or Maior and Baylifes of the same citie, towne or borough, next vnto the said Bishop or Commissaries shalbee personally present in the sentence geuing, MarginaliaShrieffes to be present at the Sentēce. by the said Bishop or Cōmissaries thereunto required, and after the said sentence geuē, shal receiue the said persons and euerye of them, and put them to further excution, according to the lawes of this realme.

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Also the Chauncellor, treasurer of England, the Iustice of the one Bench and the other, Iustices of peace, Shirifes, Maiors and Bayliffes of cities and townes, and other Officers hauing gouernance of the people, which now be, or for the time, hereafter shall be, shal make othe in taking their charge and ministration, to put their whole power and diligence, to put away, and to make vtterly to cease, and destroy all maner of heresies and errours, cōmonly called Lollardies, within the precinctes of their offices and administrations, from time to time with all their power.

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Also they shal assist the Bishoppes and their Commissaries, and them shall fauour and mayntaine as oftentymes as that to do, they or any of them, shal be required by the said Byshops or their commissaries, so that the Bishops or their commissaries, shall beare & pay the reasonable costes of the said officers and ministers, when and as often as they shall trauaile or ryde to arrest heretickes and Lollardes, or to assist the said Bishops or Commissaries by vertue of the kings lawes and statutes.

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MarginaliaInquisition at Sessions.Moreouer the Iustices of the kings Bench, Iustices of peace, and Iustices of Assise shal inquire at their Sessions and sittings, of all those that holde any errours or heresies, and who be their mayntainers, receptors, fauourers and supporters, common wryters of bookes, as also of their sermons, schooles, conuenticles, congregations, confederacies.

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Furthermore, if any person be endicted of any of the poynts abouesayd, the Iustices of the peace haue power to awarde agaynst them A capias, and the shriues be bound to arrest such persons so endicted, as sone as they may be found by themselues, or by their Officers. And forsomuch as cognisaunce of heresie, errours, and Lollardies, appertayneth to the Iudge of holy church, and not to the Iudge secular, the persons so indicted to bee deliuered to the bishoppes of the places or their Commissaries, by indenture betweene them to be made within x. dayes after their arrest, or sooner if it can be done, thereof to be acquite or conuict by the lawes of holy church, in case that those persons be not endicted of other thinges, whereof the knowledge appeareth to the Iudges & Officers secular. In which case, after they bee acquite and deliuered afore the Iustice seculare, of those thinges pertayning to the Iudge seculare that they be conueyed in safegarde to ordinaries or their Commissaries, and to them to be deliuered by Indentures (as is abouesaid) there to be acquite or conuicted of the said heresies, errours and Lollordies, (as is abouesaide) after the lawes of holy church. Prouided that the Inditementes be not taken in euidence, but for an information afore the Iudges spirytuall, against such indicte, but that the Ordinaries cōmence their proces against those indicts in the same manner as no inditement had bene, hauing no regard to such inditements.

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Moreouer, that no manner of person or persons, of what estate, degree or condition he or they be, do from henceforth presume to bring into this realme, or do sell, receiue take or detayne anye booke or worke printed or written, whiche is made, or hereafter shall be made agaynst the fayth Catholike, or against the holy decrees, lawes and ordinaunces of holy Church, or in reproche, rebuke, or slaunder of the kinge, his honourable counsayle, or hys Lordes spirituall or temporall. And in case they haue any suche booke or woorke, they shall incontinent, vppon the hauing of them, bring the sayd booke or worke to the Bishop of the dioces, without concealement or fraude: or if they know any person hauing any of the sayd bookes, they shall detect them to the sayd bishoppe, all fauour or affection layde 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 generallye 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 disputation betwene the father and the sonne.
A booke of the olde God and new.
Godly prayers
The Christian state of Matrimony.
The burying of the Masse.
The summe of the Scripture.
Mattens and Euensong, vij Psalmes. and other heauenlye
Psalmes, with the commendations in English.
An