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LAUD, when they came thither. To this the archbishop subjoined, Abp. Cant.
that by the statutes of the noble order of the Garter, the knights were obliged to make their reverence towards the altar. That this religious ceremony had continued ever since the time of king Henry V.: that if there were any idolatry in it, neither queen Elizabeth, who expelled, nor king James, who kept out popery, would have suffered the practice.” After this he argues in a dilemma, that if it was a part of Divine worship, and no idolatry, he ought to perform it no less than the Garter-knights. But if it was a prohibited instance of adoration, and clashed with the Decalogue, they ought to forbear it as well as himself. Their heaviest charge, that the bishops had interpolated the Church records, forged a popish clause, and tacked it to the beginning of the twentieth article, has been sufficiently disproved already, under the year 1562 ; and thither I refer the reader.
The archbishop having gone through these heads of innovavation, acquainted the court there were some other remaining exceptions in points of doctrine ; but that these should quickly be satisfied in a tract for that purpose, meaning the answer to Burton's book, already mentioned. In the close, he declines giving sentence against the persons prosecuted, in regard he was somewhat of a party in the information : and thus he leaves them to God's mercy, and the king's justice.
There was one considerable article, of which the archbishop took no notice in his speech; it is this : “ the prelates had never applied for the king's letters-patent, under the great seal of England, to authorize the keeping their courts, visitations, &c. but that they acted in their own names, and under
their own seals, contrary to law.” The force of this objection Sermon,
having been disabled by a solemn resolution already related, I shall waive repetition; only to what has been said, it may not be improper to add, upon this occasion, that upon the 14th of May, this year, the judges unanimously declared, that the act of repeal of 1 Ed. VI. cap. 2. made in the first of queen Mary, was still in force.
But to strengthen the security for the Church, and make it serviceable to after ages, he humbly desired the king the case might be put more at length, and that the resolution of all the reverend judges might be taken fuller in form, and published by his majesty. That by this means the governors of the
Church may proceed more cheerfully in their functions; and CHARLES the laity be delivered from the prejudices they had received of the bishop's encroachment. His majesty condescending to this motion, published the following declaration :
“ BY THE KING,
“ Whereas in some of the libellous books and pamphlets 4 vindicalately published, the most reverend fathers in God, the lord bishops' exerarchbishops and bishops of the realm, are said to have usurped diction in upon his majesty's prerogative royal, and to have proceeded in their own the High Commission, and other ecclesiastical courts, contrary to the laws and statutes of the realm : it was ordered by his majesty's High-court of Star-chamber, the 12th of June last, that the opinion of the two lords chief justices, the lord chief baron, and the rest of the judges and barons, should be had and certified in these particulars, viz. Whether processes may not issue out of the ecclesiastical courts in the names of the bishops? Whether a patent under the great seal be necessary for the keeping of the ecclesiastical courts, and enabling cita- 776. tions, suspensions, excommunications, and other censures of the Church? And whether the citations ought to be in the king's name, and under his seal of arms; and the like for institutions and inductions to benefices, and correction of ecclesiastical offences? And whether bishops, archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical persons, may or ought to keep any visitation at any time, unless they have express commission, or patent under the great seal of England, to do it; and that as his majesty's visitors only, and in his name and right alone ?
Whereupon the said judges having taken the same into A resolution their serious consideration, did unanimously agree and concurf all the in opinion; and, on the first day of July last, certified under ing this mattheir hands as followeth : "That processes may issue out of ecclesiastical courts in the name of the bishops, and that a patent under the great seal is not necessary for the keeping the said ecclesiastical courts, or for the enabling of citations, suspensions, excommunications, and other censures of the Church. And that it is not necessary that summons, citations, or other processes ecclesiastical in the said courts, or institutions, and inductions to benefices, or correction of ecclesiastical offences by censure in these courts, be in the king's name, or with the
LAUD, style of the king, or with the king's seal, or that the seals of Abp. Cant.
the office have in them the king's arms; and that the statute 1 Ed.VI. c. 2. which enacted the contrary, is not now in force; and that the archbishops, bishops, archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical persons, may keep their visitations, as usually they have done, without commission under the great seal so to do. Which opinions and resolutions being declared under the hands of all his majesty's said judges, and so certified into his court of Star-chamber, were there recorded; and it was by that court further ordered, the 4th of the said July, that the said certificate should be enrolled in all other his majesty's courts at Westminster, and in the High Commission, and other ecclesiastical courts, for the satisfaction of all men : that the proceedings in the High Commission, and other ecclesiastical courts, are agreeable to the laws and statutes of this realm.
“ And his royal majesty has thought fit, with the advice of his council, that a public declaration of these the opinions of his reverend and learned judges, being agreeable to the judgment and resolution of former times, should be made known to all his subjects, as well to vindicate the legal proceedings of his ecclesiastical courts and ministers, from the unjust and scandalous imputation of invading or intrenching on his royal prerogative, as to settle the minds, and stop the mouths of all unquiet spirits, that for the future they presume not to censure his ecclesiastical courts, or ministers, in these their just and warranted proceedings. And hereof his majesty admonisheth all his subjects to take warning, as they will answer the contrary at their peril.
“ Given at the court of Lindhurst, the 13th day of
August, in the thirteenth year of his reign, 1637."
Bishop Wil- In Trinity term, this summer, Williams, lord bishop of Linliams
prosecuted in coln, was prosecuted afresh in the Star-chamber: a bill had for Chamber for some time been preferred against him in this court for revealing subornation, the king's secrets, sir John Lamb and Dr. Sibthorp being the and fined, &c. informers. But here the bishop defended himself so well, that
attorney-general Noy grew weary of the cause, and slackened the prosecution. But after his death the business was revived by one Kilvart, proctor in the Arches. This Kilvart, perceiving the bishop's defence rested most on the testimony
Prigeon, registrary of the court at Lincoln, endeavoured to CHARLES disable the credit of this evidence : for this purpose, he laid a bastard to his charge, and proved the accusation so plausibly, if not with truth, that the justices of the peace, at the quartersessions at Lincoln, made an order for obliging Prigeon to keep the child. The bishop, to clear Prigeon's reputation, procured two of his countrymen, Owen and Powel, to give in counter-evidence, and swear the bastard upon one Boone; upon this Kilvart, taking his advantage, drops the prosecution against Prigeon, and exhibits a new bill against the bishop for subornation of witnesses. Williams, being either conscious of some wrong step, or suspecting his judges unfriendly, endeavoured to compound with his majesty, and offered to purchase his quiet with a considerable sum. This overture was afterwards urged against him as an argument of guilt. In short, he was fined eight thousand pounds to the king, suspended a beneficiis et officiis, and imprisoned during the king's pleasure. The sentence was accordingly executed in every part; the money was all exacted, he was sent to the Tower, and his jurisdiction fell to the archbishop. Laud concurred in the censure with the rest of the Star-chamber, and harangued with great vehemence and length upon Williams's offence. Amongst other things, he set forth, that the world was above three thousand years old before it was depraved to the commission of so great a wickedness: that Jezebel was the first in Scripture who stands marked for subornation; and that her witnesses are described in the strongest terms of infamy, and called the sons of Belial : that notwithstanding he had been five times on his knees to the king on the bishop's behalf, yet now, upon further recollection, he could solicit no longer
L'Estrange's for a gentle sentence.
Hist. King The bishop's secretary, Walker, and Powell, his steward, Charles 1. were fined three hundred pounds each; and Lund, another of me. his servants, a thousand marks, all defendants in the same
Rushworth. cause ; yet none of them were imprisoned, except Lund for a few weeks, neither was their fine ever demanded.
This favour was interpreted by the bishop to bribe them to Kilvart's pleasure, and list them in his service.
To make the history of this matter more entire, the reader may observe, that in the year 1640, when Williams was discharged out of the Tower, and restored to his place in parlia
LAUD, ment, he complained of the illegality of the prosecution. To Abp. Cant.
make his complaint good, he alleged, Bishop
First, That his adversaries, despairing of success, dropped complains of their first information about “ revealing the king's secrets, illegal prosecution. changed their battery, and prosecuted him for subornation;
whereas he conceived all accessaries and incidentals ought to sink with the principal charge.
Secondly, That he was barred the advantage of excepting against the testimonies of sir John Lamb and Dr. Sibthorp, and proving a conspiracy upon them; and that they lay covered upon the score of their being king's evidence. And thus those witnesses which were most serviceable for the defendant, were
set aside by the court. 777. . Thirdly. That Kilvart menaced those who were to appear in
behalf of the bishop, committed some of them, and overawed the rest into silence. The bishop urging several other instances of hard usage, the lords were so far satisfied with his plea, that they ordered the records in the Star-chamber, relating to that process, to be all razed.
To return to the time before us. Bishop Williams fell under a
under a second censure in the Star-chamber upon the following second censure in the occasion. Mr. Osbaldston, schoolmaster, and prebendary of Star-chamber. Westminster, sent a letter to Williams two years since, in
which there was this passage :-“The little Vermin, the Urchin, and the Hocus-pocus, this stormy. Christmas, are at true and real variance with the Leviathan.” The bishop communicating the contents of this letter, was prosecuted for divulging libels upon privy-councillors ; the bill setting forth, that the archbishop of Canterbury was meant by the Urchin, and the lord-treasurer Weston by the Leviathan; and that the bishop ought to have put this scandalous letter into the hands of some justice of peace, and not dispersed it.
The bishop's defence was, that he did not remember the receiving of any such letter; and farther, that he was not sensible the law obliged any person to trouble a justice of peace with riddles and unintelligible descriptions. And to second the bishop's plea, Osbaldston declared his letter was clearly misconstrued ; and that Hocus-pocus stood for one Dr. Spicer, a civilian, and Leviathan for the chief-justice Richardson. It seems there was some resemblance in the stature of these