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556 [556]

K. Richard. 2. The history of Iohn Wickliffe.

are not of the Christian religion.

Marginalia22That Friers are bounden to get their lyuing, by the labour of their handes and not by beggyng.

Marginalia23That whosoeuer doth geue anye almose vnto Friers, or to any begging obseruaunt, is accursed or in daūger therof.

¶ The letter of the Archbishop directed to the bishop of London, agaynst Wycklyff and hys adherentes.

MarginaliaA letter of the archbi. of Cant. agaynst Wikleffe.WIlliam by God permission Archbishop of Canterbury, Metrapolitan of all England, and of the Apostolicall see Legate: To our reuerēd brother by the grace of God bishop of London, salutation. The prelates of the church ought to be so much the more vigilant and attentife about the charge of the Lordes flocke committed vnto them: how muche the more they shall vnderstande the woolues being clothed in sheepes apparell, fraudulently to go about to woory and scatter the sheepe. Truly, by the continuall cry and bruted fame (which it greueth me to reporte) it is come to our knowledge: that althoughe by the canonicall sanctions, no man beeyng forbidden or not admitted, shoulde eyther publickelye or priuely without the autority of the Apostolicall see or bishop of that place, vsurpe or take vpon hym the office of a preacher: MarginaliaWhat is thē to be sayde of bishops, that hauing charge ought to preach, and preach not.Some notwithstanding, such as are the children of damnation, being vnder the vale of blynde ignoraunce, are brought in to such a doting mynde, that they take vpon them to preache, and are not afrayd to affirme and teache diuers and sundry propositions and conclusions here vnder recited, both hereticall, erronious, and false, condempned by the churche of God: and repugnaunt to the decree of holy churche, which tende to the subuerting of the whole state of the same, of oure prouince of Canterbury, and destruction and weakening of the tranquility of the same: and that as well in the churches, as in the streetes, as also in manye other prophane places of our sayd prouince, generally, commonlye, and publikely, do preach the same, infecting very many good Christians, causyng them lamentablye to wander out of the way, and from the catholicke church, without which there is no saluation. We therefore considering, that so pernicious a mischiefe which maye creepe amongest many, we ought not to suffer and by dissimulation to passe ouer, which may with deadly contagion slea the soules of men, least their bloud be required at our handes: are willing so much as God wyll permyt vs to do, to extirpate the same. Wherefore, by the counsayl and consent of many of our brethren and Suffraganes, we haue conuēted diuers and sundry doctors of deuinitie, as also professors and other clerkes of the Canon and Ciuil lawes, the best learned within the realme, and of the most soundest opinion and iudgement in the catholicke fayth, to geue their opinions and iudgementes concernyng the foresayd conclusions. MarginaliaHad ye tried them by the truth, you should haue found them other wyse.But for as much as the sayde conclusions and assertions, being in the presence of vs, and our fellow brethren and other conuocates, openly expoūded, and diligently examined, and in the end found by cōmon counsayl and consent, as well of them as of vs, and so declared that some of those conclusions were hereticall and some of them erroneus and repugnaunt to the determinations of the churche, as here vnder are described: We wyll and commaund your brotherhood, and by vertue of holy obedience strayghtly enioyne, all and singular our brethren & Suffraganes of our body & church of Cant. that with al spedy diligēce you possible can, you likewise enioyn thē (as we haue enioined you) & euery of thē. And that euery of thē in theyr churches & other places of theyr Citie and dioces, do admonishe and warne, and that you in your churche and other churches of your citie and dioces, do admonishe and warne, as we by the tenour of these presentes, do admonishe and warne the first tyme, the second tyme, and the thyrd tyme: and yet more strayghtly do warne, assignyng for the first admonition one day, for the seconde admonition an other day, and for the thyrd admonition canonicall and peremptorie, an other day: That no man from hence forth of what estate or condition so euer, do holde, preach or defend the fore sayd heresies and erroures, or any of them: nor that he admitte to preache any one that is prohibited or not sent to preache, nor that he heare or harken to the heresies or errours of him or any of them, or that he fauour or leane vnto hym other publiquely, or priuely: But that immediatly he shonne hym as he would auoyde a serpent, puttyng foorth moste pestiferous poyson, vnderpayne of the greater curse, MarginaliaBruta Fulmina.the whiche we commaunde to be thundered agaynst all and euery one whiche shall bee disobedient in this behalfe, and not regardyng these our monitions, after that those thre dayes be past whiche are assigned for the canonicall monition, and that their delay fault, or offence, committed require the same: That thē accordyng to the tenour of these writtyngs, we commaund both by euery one of our felowe brethren and our suffraganes in their cities and dioces, and by you in your Citie and dioces (so much as belongeth both to you and them) that to the vttermost, both ye and they cause the same excommunications to be pronoūced. And furthermore we will and commaund our foresayd felow brethren, and all and singular of you a part by your selues, to be admonished, and by the aspersion of the bloud of Iesus Christ we lykewise admonishe you: MarginaliaHe that kylleth you, shall think they deo God good seruice.that accordyng to the institution of the sacred canons, euery one of them in theyr Cities and dioces, be a diligent inquisitour of this hereticall prauitie, and that euery one of you also in your Cities and dioces, be the like inquisitour of the foresayd hereticall prauitie: And that of such lyke presūptions they and you carefully and diligently inquire, and that both they and you (accordyng to your duties and office in this behalf) with effect do procede agaynst the same, to the honour and prayse of hys name that was crucified, MarginaliaYea rather for the honour of your Pope, and destruction of Christian faith.and for the preseruation of the Christian faith and religion.

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Here it is not to be passed ouer, the great miracle of Gods diuine admonition or warnyng: for when as the Archbishop and suffraganes, with the other doctours of diuinitie, and lawiers with a great company of babling Friers, and religious persōs were gathered together to consult, as touchyng Ihon Wickleffes bookes, and that whole secte: Whē as they were gathered together at the Gray Friers in Londō, to begin their busines, vpon S. Dunstons day after dinner, about two of the clocke the very houre and instāt that they should go forward with their busines, MarginaliaAn earthquake what tyme Wickliffe was examined.
Ex chron. mō. Albanensis.
a wonderfull and terrible earthquake fell, thorow out all England: wherupon, diuers of the suffraganes beyng feared, by the straunge and wonderfull demonstration, doubting what it should meane, thought it good to leaue of from their determinate purpose. But the archbishop (as chief captaine of that army, more rash and bolde then wise) interpretyng the chaunse which had happened, cleane contrary to another meanyng or purpose, dyd confirme and strengthen theyr heartes and mindes, whiche were almost daunted with feare, stoutly to procede, and go forwarde in their attēpted enterprise. Who then discoursing Wickleffes Articles, not accordyng vnto the sacred Canons of the holye Scripture, but vnto their owne priuate affections and traditions, pronounced and gaue sentence, MarginaliaDetermination vpon the Articles of Wikleff.that some of them were simply and playnely hereticall, other some halfe erroneous, others irreligious, some seditious and not consonant to the Churche of Rome. 

Commentary  *  Close

This brief description of the examinations of Rygge and Brightwell is taken from Archbishop Courtenay's register (Lambeth Palace Library, Courtenay Register, fo. 26v).

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Item the xij. day of Iune in the yeare aforesayd in the chaumber of the Friers preachers: the foresayd maister Robet Rigges chauncelor of the vniuersitie of Oxford, and Thomas Brightwell professours of diuinitie beyng appointed the same day and place, by the foresaid reuerend father in God Archbyshop of Canterbury: appeared before him, in the presence of the reuerend father in God, Lord William by the grace of God, byshop of Winchester, and diuers others doctours and bachelers of diuinitie and of the Canon and ciuill lawe, whose names are before recited. And first the sayd chauncelor by the sayd Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, beyng examined what his opiniō was touching the foresayd articles: Publiquely affirmed and declared, that certeine of those conclusions were hereticall and certeine erronious, as þe other doctours and clerkes afore mentioned haue declared: And then immediatly next after hym, the foresayd Thomas Brightwell was examined, whiche vpon some of the conclusions at first somewhat staggered, but in the ende beyng by the sayd Lord Archbishop, diligently examined vpon the same, did affirme and repute þe same to be hereticall and erronious, as the foresayd chaunce-

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