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580 [524]

Actes and Monuments of the Church.

thers and mothers, smasters and gouernoures doo bestow their children and seruaunts euen from their childe hode, either to learning, or to some honest exercise, occupation or husbandry exhorting, counsailing, and by all the wayes and meanes they may, as wel in their said sermones and collations, as other wais, perswading the saide fathers, mothers, maisters, and other gouernors, being vnder their cure and charge diligently to prouide and foresee, that the said youth be in no manner wyse kepte or brought vp in idlenesse, least at any time after ward they be driue for lack of some ministery or occupation to liue by, to fall to begginge, stealing, or some other vnthriftinesse. For as much as we may daily see, through slouth and idlenes, diuers valiaunt men fal, some to begging, and some to thefte and murther, whyche after brought to calamity and misery impute a great part therof to their frends and gouernoures, which suffred them to be broughte vp so idlely in their youth, where if they had bene educated and brought vp in some good literature, occupatiō, or ministery, they shuld (being rulers of their owne family) haue profited as well them selfe, as diuers other persones, to þe great commodity and ornament of the cōmon weale.

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Also that the saide Persones, Vicares, and other Curates shall diligently prouyde that þe Sacraments and Sacramentals be duely and reuerently ministred in their parishes. And if at anye time it happen them, other in any of the cases expressed in þe statutes of this realm or of special licence geuen by the kings maiesty to be absent from their benefices, they shall leaue their cure not to a rude and vnlearned person, but to an honest well learned, and expert curate, that may teach the rude and vnlerned of their cure, holsome doctrin, and reduce them to the right way, that they doo not erre and alwaies let them see, that nother they nor there vicars do seke, more their own profitte, promotion or aduauntage, than the profit of the soules, that they haue vnder their cure or the glory of God.

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Commentary  *  Close

This provision, mandating that every parish priest should provide a copy of the Bible in Latin and English by 1 August 1537, does not appear in certain manuscript copies of the Injunctions or in STC 10084.7. As a result it has often been denied that Cromwell's 1536 Injunctions contained this order, but this belief has been refuted; see Richard Rex, Henry VIII and the English Reformation (Basingstoke, 1993), pp. 185-6 and Margaret Bowker, 'The Henrician Reformation and the Parish Clergy' in The English Reformation Revised, ed. Christopher Haigh (Cambridge, 1987), p. 76 n. 8. The idea was somewhat impractical; at the time the only complete printed English language Bible was that produced by Matthew Coverdale and it did not have official approval.

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that euery person or proprietary of any parish churche within this realme, shall on this side the feast of S. Peter ad vincula 
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I.e., by 1 August 1537.

nexte comming, prouide a boke of the whole Bible both in Laten and also in English, and laye þe same in the quire, for euerye man that wyll to loke and read theron. And shall discourage no man from the reading of any parte of the Bible either in Laten or English, but rather comfort, exhort, and admonish euery man to reade the same, as the very word of Ged, and the spirituall foode of mannes soule, where by they may the better knowe their duties ot God, to þe soueraigne Lord the king, & their neighbor, euer gentilly and charitably exhorting them,that vsing a sober and a modest behauioure in the reading and inquisition of othe true sence of the same, they doo in no wise stifly or egerlye contend or striue one with a nother aboute the same, but referre the declaration of those places, that be in controuersy to the iudgemente of them that be better learned.

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Also the said Deane, Persones, Vicars, Curates, and other priests shall in no wise at any vnlawfull time, nor for anye cause than for their honest necessity haunte or resort to anye Tauernes or Ale houses, and after their dynner and supper they shall not geue thē selues to drincking or riot, spendinge their time idlely, by daye or by nighte at Tables or Cardes, playing or any other vnlawful game. But at suche times as they shall haue suche leasure. they shall reade or heare somewhat of holye scripture, or shall occupye them selues wyth some honest exercise, and that they always do those thinges which appertain to good cōgruence and honesty, with profite of the common weale, hauinge alwaies in minde, that they ought to excell all other in puritye of lyfe, and should be example to all other to liue wel and christianlye.

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Furthermore, because the goodes of the Church are called the goodes of the pore, and in these daies nothinge is lesse seene then the poore to be sustained with the same, all Persones, Vicares, Prebendaries, and other beneficed men within this deanery, not beinge residēt vpon their benefices which may despend yerely xx. pound or aboue, eyther within thys Deanry, els where, shall destribute here after yearly amonges their pore parishoners or other inhabitauntes there in the presence of the churche Wardens, or some other honest man of the parish, the xl. parte of the frutes and reuenewes of their saide benefices, least they be worthelye noted of ingratitude, whiche reseruing so manye partes to them selues, can not vouchsafe to enpart the xl. porcion there of amongst the pore people of that parishe, that is so fruteful and profitable vnto them.

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And to the intent that learned menne maye here after spring the more for the executing of the said premisses, euery person Vicar, clarke, or beneficed man within this Deanry, hauing yearly to spend in benefices or other promotyons of the Churche an C. poundes, shall geue competent inhibition to one scholer, & for as many C. poundes more as he may dispend, to so many scholers more shall geue like exhibition in the vniuersity of Oxford or Cambridge, or some Grammer schole. Which after they haue profited in good learning may be parteners of their patrones, cure and charge, aswel in preaching as otherwise in the executyon of their offices, or may when nead shalbe, otherwise profyt the common wealthe wyth theyr

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