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CLXX. TO CRUMWELL.
My very singular good Lord, in my most hearty wise I commend me unto your lordship. And whereas the bearer Westmin- hereof, Mr. Hambleton, upon no consideration else, as I Crumwell's understand, is put from his lands and possession in ScotCorres- land, but for that he favoureth the truth of God's word; pondence. Original. and is, besides his birth %, a man of right good living and Todd, Life honest conversation, and of gentill h behaviour, by whom of Cranvol. i. the word of God in this his exile hath no slander, but is the rather to be had in price and esteemed of other, considering that he so willingly hath borne his adversity : these shall be to desire you, my lord, to be a mediator unto the King's Highness for him, that being of this good judgment, he may have of his Grace some competent living for his degree. Which, in mine opinion, shall not only be a good and an acceptable deed unto God, but also much redound to the King's Grace's honour, so to consider the necessity of a gentleman for God's quarrel; and besides this, your lordship for your part cannot be unrewarded of God for the same. Thus Al
f [This was probably James Hamilton, brother of Patrick Hamilton the first martyr of the reformation in Scotland. Foxe, after giving a detailed account of the execution of Patrick Hamilton at St. Andrew's in 1528, relates farther, that some years afterwards his brother James Hamilton, and his sister Catharine the spouse of the Captain of Dunbar, with some others, "were called to the Abbey Church of "Holyrood House in Edinburgh, by James Hay Bishop of Rosse, in "the presence of King James the Fifth...... James Hamilton was "accused as one that maintained the opinion of Master Patrick his "brother. To whom the King gave counsel to depart, and not to ss appear, for in case he appeared, he could not help him; because the bishop had persuaded him that the cause of heresy did in no case 66 appertain unto him. And so James fled, and was condemned as an "heretic, and all his goods and lands confiscate, and disposed unto "others." Catharine his sister appeared on the scaffold, and supported a long argument with John Spens, a lawyer; but at last the King "called her unto him, and caused her to recant, because she was his aunt, and she escaped." Foxe, Acts, &c. vol. ii. p. 238.]
[This allusion to Mr. Hambleton's birth, agrees well with the supposition that he was the James Hamilton mentioned in the foregoing note, who, as it may be there seen, was nearly related to the King of Scotland.]
h [As the meaning of this word is not perfectly expressed either by gentle or genteel, the old orthography has been retained.]
mighty God have your good lordship in his blessed tuition. At Aldingtoni the 9th day of August.
Your own ever assured,
To the Right Honourable and my
singular good lord, my Lord
CLXXI. TO KING HENRY VIIIK.
Pleaseth it your Grace to be advertised, that where, as Cotton. well by your Grace's special letters, dated the third day of MSS. June1 in the xxviith year of your Grace's most noble reign, f. 232. as also by mouth in Wynchester at Michaelmas last past m, Holograph. Original. your Grace commanded all the prelates of your realm, that Strype, they with all acceleration and expedition should do their di- Cranmer, App. No. ligence every one in his diocese, fully to persuade your xiii. people of the Bishop of Rome his authority, that it is but a false and unjust usurpation, and that your Grace, of very right and by God's law, is the supreme head of this Church of England, next immediately unto God; I, to accomplish
[Near Ashford in Kent," where was a seat for the Archbishop, a "park, and a chase for deer." Strype, Cranm. p. 282. It was included in the great exchange with the King, Nov. 3. 1537. See Letter CXCIII. note.]
*[Some writers have named 1534 as the date of this letter. Strype (Cranmer, p. 32.) and Mr. Todd (Life of Cranmer, vol. i. p. 110.) fix 1535. But the Michaelmas mentioned in the first sentence, as might be supposed from the context, and as is proved beyond question by Letter CLX, was the Michaelmas of 1535; and the letter therefore must have been written in 1536. There can also be no doubt respecting the time, when the King sent his order to the bishops to preach against the papal supremacy; for this order is here positively stated to have been dated the third of June, 27 Hen. VIII. i. e. 1535. Yet both of the abovenamed writers, together with Wilkins, have supposed a proclamation of the 9th of June, which refers to it, to have been issued in 1534. Strype, Memorials, vol. i. p. 168. Todd, Life of Cranmer, vol. i. p. 110. Wilkins, Concilia, vol. iii. p. 772. This is the more extraordinary, as a document of the 25th of June, of a similar character, printed by Burnet, contains in itself evidence of its date in an allusion to the deaths of Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More, who suffered on the 22d of June 1535. See Burnet, Ref. vol. iii. p. 188, and Append. book ii. No 32.] [See Letter CL.] [See Letter CLX. note (k).]
your Grace's commandment, incontinent upon my return from Wynchester, (knowing that all the country about Otford and Knol, where my most abode was, were sufficiently instructed in those matters already,) came up into these parts of East Kent, only by preaching to persuade the people in the said two articles: and in mine own church at Canterbury, because I was informed that that town in those two points was least persuaded of all my diocese, I preached there two sermons myself; and as it then chanced, Dr. Leighton was present at my first sermon, being then your Grace's visitor". Of whom if it so please your Grace you may hear the report what I preached.
The scope and effect of both my sermons stood in three things. First, I declared that the Bishop of Rome was not God's vicar in earth, as he was taken. And although it is so taught these three or four hundred years, yet it is done by means of the Bishop of Rome, who compelled men by oaths so to teach, to the maintenance of his authority, contrary to God's word. And here I declared by what means and craft the Bishops of Rome obtained such usurped authority.
Second, Because the see of Rome was called "Sancta "Sedes Romana," and the Bishop was called "Sanctissi"mus Papa;" and men's consciences peradventure could not be quiet to be separated from so holy a place, and from God's most holy vicar; I showed the people, that this thing ought nothing to move them, for it was but a holiness in name; for indeed there was no such holiness at Rome. And hereupon I took occasion to declare his glory, and the pomp of Rome, the covetousness, the unchaste living, and the maintenance of all vices.
Third, I spake against the Bishop of Rome his laws; which he calleth "Divinas Leges" and "Sacros Canones," and makes them equal with God's law. And here I declared that many of the laws were very contrary; and some of
[This again confirms the dates given above; for it was in Oct. 1535, that Leighton was first employed as visitor of monasteries. Burnet, Ref. vol. i. p. 369.]
them which were good and laudable, yet they were not of such holiness as he would make them; that is, to be taken as God's laws, or to have remission of sins by observing them. And here I said, that so many of his laws as were good, men ought not to contemn or despise them, and wilfully to break them; for those that be good your Grace had received as laws of your realm, until such time as others should be made. And therefore as laws of your realm they must be observed, and not contemned.
And here I spake as well of the ceremonies of the Church as of the foresaid laws; that they ought neither to be rejected or despised, nor yet to be observed with this opinion, that they of themselves make men holy, or that they remit sins. For seeing that our sins be remitted by the death of our Saviour Christ Jesus, I said it was too much injury to Christ, to impute the remission of our sins to any laws or ceremonies of man's making. Nor the laws and ceremonies of the Church at their first making were ordained for that intent. But as the common laws of your Grace's realm be not made to remit sins, nor no man doth observe them for that intent, but for a common commodity, and for a good order and quietness to be observed among your subjects; even so were the laws and ceremonies first instituted in the Church for a good order, and for remembrances of many good things, but not for remission of our sins. And though it be good to observe them well for that intent they were first ordained; yet it is not good, but a contumely unto Christ, to observe them with this opinion, that they remit sins; or that the very bare observation of them in itself is a holiness before God: although they be remembrances of many holy things, or a disposition unto goodness. And even so do the laws of your Grace's realm dispose men unto justice, unto peace, and other true and perfect holiness. Wherefore I did conclude for a general rule, that the people ought to observe them, as they do the laws of your Grace's realm, and with no more opinion of holiness, or remission of sin, than the other common laws of your Grace's realm. Though my two sermons were long, yet I have written
briefly unto your Highness the sum of them both. And I was informed by sundry reports, that the people were glad that they heard so much as they did; until such time as the Prior of the Black Friars at Canterbury preached a sermon, as it was thought and reported, clean contrary unto all the three things which I had preached before.
For as touching the first part, which I had preached against the erroneous doctrine of the Bishop of Rome his power; which error was, that by God's law he should be God's vicar here in earth; the Prior would not name the Bishop of Rome, but under colour spake generally, that the Church of Christ never erred.
And as touching the second part, where I spake of the vices of the Bishops of Rome; and thereto the Prior said that he would not slander the Bishops of Rome. And he said openly to me in a good audience, that he knew no vices by none of the Bishops of Rome. And he said also openly, that I preached uncharitably, when I said that these many years I had daily prayed unto God that I might see the power of Rome destroyed; and that I thanked God that I had now seen it in this realm. And yet in my sermon I declared the cause wherefore I so prayed. For I said, that I perceived the see of Rome work so many things contrary to God's honour and the wealth of this realm, and I saw no hope of amendment so long as that see reigned over us; and for this cause only I had prayed unto God continually, that we might be separated from that see; and for no private malice or displeasure that I had either to the Bishop or see of Rome. But this seemed an uncharitable prayer to the Prior, that the power of Rome should be destroyed.
And as for the third part, where I preached against the laws of the Bishop of Rome; that they ought not to be taken as God's laws, nor to be esteemed so highly as he
[They were called "Dominican, Black, and Preaching Friars: "Preaching, because they were the only preachers of all the friars: "Black, because of their habit, which was a black cope and cowl over a white coat: Dominican, because St. Dominic was their "founder." Somner, Antiq. of Cant.]