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1371 [1371]

K. Henry. 8. Allegatiōs agaynst the vj. Articles. Priestes Mariage.

dines inordinabiliter sunt prouecti, & qui in Præsbyteratu vel Diaconatu constituti, vxores siue concubinas in publico hactenus habuerunt, ab altari nulla se reuerentia continuerunt. Cum verò ad ordines aliquos inuito, dura ceruice nituntur, ne in ordinādo castitatem profiteantur. In English thus. I much desire the puritie of my Clergymen. Howbeit except it be in very few, I finde in them the deafenes of the Serpent Aspis, and the inconstancy of Protheus that the Poetes fable speake of. With their stinging toungues they cast out some while threates, some while tauntes and rebukes. But this greueth me lesse in them that be farder of. This greueth me most of all, that they whiche by of myne owne Church, as in myne owne bosome, and Prebendaryes of myne owne Sea, contemne our Canons, and argue lyke Sophisticall disputers, agaynst the statutes of our Councell. The Prebendaryes which vnordinatly haue bene taken into orders heretofore without making vowe or profeßion, MarginaliaHereby appeareth that priestes in the olde time here in England, neuer made vowe of chastitie at theyr orders, before thys tyme.refuse vtterly to make any profeßion to me. And they that bee Priestes or Deacons, hauing maryed before openly wiues or concubines, will not be remoued for any reuerence from the aultare. And when I call vpon any to receaue order, stifely they denye to professe chastitie in their orderyng. &c.

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Thus, for all the rigorous austerite of this Anselme in forcyng hys Decree made at London agaynst the mariage of Priestes, yet the same had no great successe, neither in hys lyfe tyme, nor after hys lyfe. For although sundry priestes, during his life time, were cōpelled by his extremitie to renoūce their wiues, yet many denyed to obey hym. Diuers were contented rather to leaue their benefices, thē their wyues. A great number were permitted by kyng Henry, for money to enioy their wyues. Which was so chargeable vnto them (saith Edmer in his 4. booke) MarginaliaEx Edmero Lib. 4.that at length ij. hundreth Priestes, in their Albes & Priestly vestementes, came barefote to the kynges Palace, crying to hym for mercy, and especially making their sute to the Queene, who vsing much compassion towardes them, yet durste not make for them any intercession.

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Anselme at this tyme was ouer the Sea, makyng hys viage to the Pope. Who hearyng hereof, wryteth to the kyng, declaryng that such forfeitures apperteyned nothyng to hym, but onely vnto Byshops, and in their default, to the Archbyshops. MarginaliaRead afore pag. 249.Wherof read more, pag. 249 

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See 1570, p. 249, 1576, p. 195 and 1583, pp. 194-5.

. So wilfull was the blynd zeale of this Prelate, agaynst all reason, agaynst nature it selfe, agaynst the example of his foreelders, against publicke custome of his owne time, agaynst the doctrine of the Apostles, the constitution of Councels, agaynst all honesty, and all Gods forbode, that he neither at the cōtemplation of the kyng, nor at the crying out and publicke dolour of so many Priestes, nor yet moued with the letters of Pope Paschalis him selfe (who puttyng him in remembraunce of so many Priestes sonnes, wylled him to consider the necessitie of the tyme 
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See 1570, p. 251, 1576, p. 197 and 1583, p. 195.

MarginaliaRead afore pag. 251. col. 2.pag. 251.) woulde yet nothyng relent from hys stubborne purpose, vnto hys latter end. In whō as many great crimes may iustly be noted, so of all other, this is most principally in hym to be reprehended: for that he seing and perceauyng what Sodomiticall feditie and abomination, with other inconueniences, dyd spryng incontinently vpon thys hys Diabolicall doctrine, yet for all that would not geue ouer hys pestilent purpose.

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MarginaliaAfter the prohibition of matrimonye, followed the vice of Sodomitrie.For so the story recordeth, þt whē Anselme had established his Synodall cōstitution in separatyng priestes from their wyues (whiche was an. 1103.) not long after, rumours and complayntes were brought to him of the execrable vyce of Sodomitrie, whiche then began specially to reigne in the Clergy, after this inhibition of Matrimony. Wherupon Anselme was 

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For Anselm's council see 1570, pp. 250-1, 1576, p. 196 and 1583, pp. 194-5.

constrayned to call an other Councell at Paules within London, to prouide for this mischief. In whiche Councel this Acte was made: Sodomiticum flagitium facientes, & eos in hac volūtate iuuantès, graui anathemate dānamus, donec pœnitentia & confessione absolutionē mereantur. &c. MarginaliaAn acte of Anselme agaynst Sodomitrie.All them that cōmitte the vngratious sinne of Sodomitrie, and them also which aßiste them in this theyr wicked purpose, with greuous curse we do condemne, till such tyme as they shall deserue absolutiō by penaunce and confeßion. &c. Thus ye haue heard what abominable wickednes ensued after that Priestes were debarred from Mariage, & what sore punishmēt was deuised by this maidenly Prelate, for extirpyng that sinnefull wickednes: in þe abolyshing wherof, more wysely he should haue remoued away the occasion, whereof he was the author hym selfe, then by penalty to suppresse it, which he could neuer do. Now let vs heare further what folowed in that worthy Coūcell. MarginaliaThe penaltie prouided agaynst Sodomitrie.Qui vero in hoc crimine publicatus fuerit, statutum est, siquidem fuerit persona religiosi ordinis, vt ad nullum amplius gradū promoueatur, & si quem habet, ab illo deponatur. Si autem laicus, vt in toto regno Angliæ legali sua condignitate priuetur. Et ne huius criminis absolutionem, ijs qui se sub regula viuere vouerunt, aliquis nisi Episcopus deinceps facere præsumat. Statutum quoq; est, vt per totam Angliam in omnibus Ecclesijs, & in omnibus diebus Dominicis, excommunicatio præfata publicetur ac renouetur. &c. MarginaliaEx epist. Anselm.
Rog. Houeden.
Which is as much to say in Englishe: It is enacted, that who soeuer shalbe publickely knowen to be gilty hereof, if hee be a Religious person, he shall from thence forth be promoted to no dregree of honour, and that degree whiche hee hath already, shalbe take from hym. If he be a lay person, he shall be depriued of all hys fredome, within the whole realme of England. And that none, vnder a Byshop, shall presume to assoyle such as haue bene Monkes professed, of that trespasse. It is also enacted, that on euery Sonday in the yeare, and in euery Parishe Churche in England, this generall curse aforesayd shall be published and renewed. &c. Ex Rog. Houed. & Epist. Ansel. 278.

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Is not here (trow you) good diuision of Iustice, that lawful wedlocke of Priestes can find no grace nor pardon, yea is made now heresie: where adultery and horrible Sodomitrie is washed away with a litle confession? And see yet what foloweth more. MarginaliaThe curse against cursed Sodomitrie called in agayne.
Ex Ioan. Treuisa.
After that this penall curse 

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Ranulph Higden, Polychronicon, ed. J. R. Lumby, 9 vols., Rolls Series 41 (London, 1865-86), VII, p. 432. Higden does say that Anselm retracted his ban on sodomy, out of fear that it publicized rather than discouraged the behavior, but he does not say that monks induced Anselm to retract the ban.

should now go abroad and bee published in Churches, þe Monkes perceauyng this matter to touch them somwhat nere, whyspered in Anselmes eare, persuadyng hym, that the publication of that acte myght growe to great daūger and inconuenience, in openyng that vyce, which before was not knowen: in such sort, that in short tyme after, that curse was called in agayn: MarginaliaVertue punished, vice scapeth free.And so cursed Sodomitrye and adulterye passed free without punishment, or word spoken agaynst it, where contrary, godly Matrimony could finde no mercye.

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Now what reasons and argumentes this Anselme sucked out of the Court of Rome, to proue the Matrimony of Priestes vnlawfull, were it not for cumbryng the reader with tediousnes, here would bee shewed. Briefly the chief groundes of all hys long disputation, MarginaliaAnsel. Offendiculū Sacerdotū.in hys booke intituled, Offendiculum Sacerdotum, betwene the master and scholer, come to this effect 

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Anselm's Offendiculum Sacerdotum is printed in Epistolae duae D. Volusiani…(London, 1559), pp. 46-100.


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¶ Argument.

MarginaliaThe reasons & argumēntes of Anselme against the mariage of priestes.Priestes of the old law, during the tyme of their ministration, absteyned from their wyues:

Ergo, Priestes in the tyme of the Gospell, which euery day minister at the altar, must neuer haue any wyues.

¶ An other Argument.

Moses, when he should sanctifie the people, goyng vp to the hill, commaunded them to sequester them selues from their wyues three dayes:

Ergo, Priestes that must bee sanctified to the Lord alwayes, ought to lyue chaste alwayes without wyues.

¶ An other Argument.

Dauid, before he should eate of the shewebread, was asked whether he and hys company had bene without the cōpany of theyr wyues three dayes:

Ergo, Priestes that be continually attendyng vppon the table and Sacramētes of the Lord, ought neuer to haue company with any such.

¶ An
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