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1313 [1312]

K. Edw. 6. Taking downe of Altars, with reasons prouing the same.

MarginaliaAnno. 1550. leth it both an Altar and a Table. For as it calleth an Altar whereupon the Lordes Supper is ministred, a table, and the Lordes MarginaliaThe table how it may be called Altar, and in what respect. boord, so it calleth the table where the holy Communion is distributed with laudes and thankes geuing vnto the Lord, an Aultar, for that, that there is offered the same sacrifice of prayse and thankes geuyng. And thus it appeareth, that here is nothyng neither sayd nor meant contrary to the booke of common prayer.

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The third reason.

MarginaliaThe thyrd reason.
This reason for taking away the superstitious opinion, serueth also as well for the abolishing of other things moe beside Altars. &c.
Thirdly, the Popishe opinion of Masse was that it might not be celebrated but vppon an aultar, or at the least vpon a superaltare, to supply the fault of the altar, whiche must haue had his printes and charactes, or els it was thought that the thyng was not lawfully done. But this superstitous opinion is more holden in the myndes of the simple and ignorant by the forme of an aultar, then of a table: wherfore it is more meete for the abolishment of this superstitious opinion, to haue the Lordes boorde after the forme of a table, then of an aultar.

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The fourth reason.

MarginaliaThe 4. reason.
The name of an altar how it is deriued, and what it signifieth.
Fourthly, the forme of an altar was ordeyned for the Sacrifices of the Lawe, and therefore the aultar in Greke is called xxx, Quasi Sacrificij locus. But now both the lawe and the Sacrifices thereof do cease: Wherfore the forme of the aultar vsed in the lawe, ought to cease withal.

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The fift reason.

MarginaliaThe 5. reason.
Christ vsed a table and not an Altar.
Fiftly, Christe dyd institute the Sacrament of his bodye and bloud at his laste Supper at a Table, and not at an Aultar, as it appeareth manifestly by the three Euangelistes. And Saint Paul calleth the commyng to the holy Communion, the commyng vnto the Lordes Supper. MarginaliaThe Altar neuer vsed among the Apostles. And also it is not read, that any of the Apostles or the Primitiue church did euer vse any altar in the ministration of the holy Communion.

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Wherfore, seyng the forme of a Table is more agreeable with Christes institution, and with the vsage of the apostles and of the Primitiue Churche, then the forme of an Aultar, therefore the forme of a Table is rather to be vsed, then the forme of an Aultar in the administration of the holy Communion.

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The sixt reason.

MarginaliaThe 6. reason. Finally, it is said in the preface of the booke of common prayer, that if any doubt do arise in the vse and practising of the same booke, to appease all suche diuersitie, the matter shal be referred vnto the Bishop of the dioces, who by his discretion shall take order for the quietyng and appeasing of the same, so that the same order be not contrary vnto any thyng contayned in that booke.

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After these letters and reasons receyued, the forenamed Nicholas Ridley Bishop of London, consequently vppon the same dyd holde his visitation, wherein amongest other his Iniunctions the sayde Byshop exhorted those Churches in his Dioces, where the Aultars then dyd remayne, to confourme them selues vnto those other Churches which had taken them downe, and had set vp in the steede of the multitude of their Aultars, one decent Table in euery Church.

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MarginaliaNicholas Ridley B. of London appointed in his Dioces the right forme of a table. Vppon the occasion whereof there arose a greate diuersitie about the fourme of the Lordes boorde, some vsing it after the fourme of a Table, and some of an Aultar. Wherein when the saide Bishop was required to say and determine what was most meete, he declared he could doo no lesse of his bounden duetie for the appeasing of such diuersitie, and to procure one godly vniformitie, but to exhort all his Dioces vnto that, whiche he thought dyd best agree with Scripture, with the vsage of the Apostles, and with the Primitiue Churche, and to that which is not onely not contrarye vnto any thyng conteyned in the booke of common prayer (as is before proued) but also might highlye further the kynges most godly proceedynges, in abolishyng of diuers vayne and supersticious opinions of the Popish Masse out of the hartes of the simple, and to bring them to the right vse taught by holy Scripture, of the Lordes Supper, MarginaliaThe walle by the high altars side in Paules Church, broken downe by Nicolas Ridley. and so appoynted he þe fourme of a right Table to be vsed in his Dioces, and in the Churche of Paules, brake downe the wall standyng then by the high Aultars side.

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Nowe we wyll enter, 

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Mary Tudor

Mary's campaign of overt resistance to the protestant policies of the Protector' s government began with the introduction of the 1549 Prayer Book at Whitsun in that year, a day upon which she caused mass to be celebrated with exceptional splendour in her chapel at Kenninghall. On 16 June the Council wrote to her a restrained letter 'giving her advice to be conformable and obedient to the observation of his Majesty's laws…', which provoked the response given here. Mary based her resistance on two points: firstly that her father's settlement should not be changed while her brother was a minor, because the Royal Supremacy was vested in him personally, and secondly that her conscience could not accept the validity of 'a late law of your own making', which called in question the whole authority of a minority government. For a discussion of these issues, see D. Loades, Mary Tudor: A Life (1989), pp.145-6. Mary's position was supported and exploited throughout by the Imperial ambassadors, first Francois Van der Delft and later Jehan Scheyfve, whose aim was to cause the maximum embarrassment to the English government, short of an outright breakdown of diplomatic relations. At the change-over of ambassadors in July 1551, Mary planned to escape to the continent, and then changed her mind (D.L. Loades, Mary Tudor (, pp.153-5). The most disturbing letter from the King was that of 24 January 1550, wherein he makes it clear that he is personally supportive of the policies which she has been attributing to his council. Her reply of 3 February makes the extent of her disquiet plain.

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David Loades
University of Sheffield

(God willyng) into those matters whiche happened betweene kinge Edwarde and his sister Marye, as by their letters here folowying are to be seene. 
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Although a number of letters from the council to Mary, and vice versa, survive in the State Papers and among the Harleian MSS, these are not among them, and the originals appear to be lost. The Council's latter of advice to the princess 'that the mass should not be used' survives as MS Harley 6195, f.5. A note of the instructions issued to Dr,.Hopton appears in the Council Register (Acts, II, pp.291-2), but the note is brief and it is not certain that this document is being referred to. The original of this does not appear to survive. The instruction given to the Lord Chancellor (Richard Rich), Sir Anthony Wingfield and Sir William Paget on 24 August 1551, does appear in the Council Register, together with their report. (Acts, III, pp.333, 336, 347), which is full and circumstantial, but which was not used by Foxe.

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To my Lorde Protectour and the rest of the kynges Maiesties Counsayle.

MY Lorde, I perceyue by the letters whiche I late receyued from you, and other of the kynges Maiesties Counsayle, that ye be all sorye to finde so litle conformitie in me touchyng the obseruation of his Maiesties Lawes: who am well assured I haue offended no lawe, vnles it be a late lawe of your owne making, for the alteryng of matters of Religion, whiche in my conscience is not woorthye to haue the name of a Law, both for the kynges honours sake, the wealth of the Realme, and geuyng an occasion of an euyll bruite through all Christendome, besides the parcialitie vsed in the same, and (as my sayde conscience is veryly perswaded) the offendyng of God, whiche passeth all the rest: but I am well assured, that the kyng his fathers Lawes were allowed and consented to with out compulsion by the whole Realme, both Spirituall and Temporall, and all ye executours sworne vppon a Booke to fulfil the same, so that it was an authorised Lawe, and that I haue obeyed, and wyll doo with the grace of God, till the kynges Maiestie my brother shall haue sufficient yeares to be a Iudge in these matters hym selfe: Wherein my Lorde, I was playne with you at my laste beyng in the Courte: declaryng vnto you at that tyme, whereunto I woulde stand, and nowe doo assure you all, that the onely occasion of my staye from alteryng myne opinion, is for two causes.

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One principally for my conscience sake: the other, that the kyng my brother shal not hereafter charge me to be one of those, that were agreeable to suche alterations in his tender yeares. And what fruites dayly growe by suche chaunges since the death of the kyng my Father, to euerye indifferēt person, it well appeareth, both to the displeasure of God, and vnquietnes of the Realme.

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Notwithstandyng, I assure you all, I woulde be as lothe to see his hignesse take hurt, or that any euyl should come to this his Realme, as the best of you al, & none of you haue the like cause, consideryng howe I am compelled by nature, beyng his Maiesties poore and humble sister, most tenderly to loue and pray for him, and vnto this his realme, beyng borne within the same, wishe all wealth and prosperitie to Gods honour.

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And if any iudge me the contrarye for myne opinions sake, as I trust none doth, I doubt not in the ende, with Gods helpe, to proue my selfe as true a natural and humble sister, as they of the contrarye opinion, with all their deuises and alteryng of lawes, shal proue them selues true subiectes, praying you my Lorde and the rest of the Counsaile, no more to vnquiet and trouble me with matters touchyng my conscience, wherein I am at a full poynte, with Gods helpe, what soeuer shall happen to me, intendyng with his grace, to trouble you litle with any worldly suites, but to bestowe the shorte tyme I thinke to lyue, in quietnes, and pray for the kynges Maiestie and all you, hartily wishyng, that your proceedynges maye be to Gods honour, the safegarde of the Kynges person, and quietnesse to the whole Realme.

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Moreouer, where your desire is, that I woulde sende my Controuler and Doctour Hopton vnto you, by whom you woulde signifie your myndes more amply, to my contentation & honour: it is not vnknowen to you all, that the chiefe charge of my house resteth onely vppon the trauayles of my sayde Controller. Who hath not bene absent from my house three whole dayes since the settyng vp of the same, vnlesse it were for my letters patentes, so that if it were not for his continuall diligence, I thinke my litle portion woulde not haue stretched so farre. And my Chaplayne by occasion of sickenesse, hath bene long absent, and yet not able to ride.

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Therefore like as I cannot forbeare my Controller, and my Prieste is not able to iourney: So shall I desire you my Lorde, and the rest of the Counsayle, that hauyng any thyng to be declared vnto me, except matters of Religion ye wyll eyther write your myndes, or sende some trustye person, with whom I shall be contented to talke, and make answeare as the case shall require, assuryng you, that if any seruaunt of myne owne, eyther man or woman, or Chaplayne shoulde moue me to the contrary of my conscience, I woulde not geue eare to them, nor suffer the like to be vsed within my house. And thus my Lorde, with my harty commendations, I wishe vnto you and the rest, as well to doo as my selfe. From my house at Kinning hall, the xxij. of. Iune. 1549.

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Your assured frende to my power,

A remem
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