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A45195 The honours of the Lords spiritual asserted, and their priviledges to vote in capital cases in Parliament maintained by reason and precedents collected out of the records of the Tower, and the journals of the House of Lords. Hunt, Thomas, 1627?-1688. 1679 (1679) Wing H3755; ESTC R24392 40,120 57

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take the rest in Order onely premising this that t is true indeed we find fewer of this See upon the Civil Stage than any other most Offices being lookt upon as below the Archiepiscopal Dignity and therefore a Nobleman upbraided Hurbert Arch Bishop 1199. when he was made Chancellour of England Chief Justice of England and high Governour of all the Dominions under King Richard the first however we shall begin with his Person and See Canterbury Hubert under Richard 1. and King John who intrusted the same Prelate with the Government of the whole Realm at his departure into Normandy Gualter Reynolds Chancellour Ann. Dom. 1310. John Stratford Chancellour under Edw. 3. And when the King Invaded France no Person thought so fit in his absence to have the Government of the Nation entrusted to him Simon Islip of the Privy Counsel to the Edw. 3. John Stafford to Hen. 5. John Morton to Hen. 6. and Edw. 4. But we need not stand upon this when in truth it hath been seldom known that any of them have been at any time omitted Nor was this proper only to the times of Propery Come to the Reformation we find Arch Bishop Cranmer of the Privy Counsel to Hen. 8. and Edw. 6. and very active in Civil matters yet a man so averse to Rome so instrumental in planting the Gospel so Laborious so Holy that a great Apocalyptical man Mr. Brightman in his Commentaries oa the Apocalypse a man no friend to the Hierarchy takes him to be that Angel pointed at by God Rev. 14. that had power over the fire Under the renown'd Queen Elizabeth John Whitgift of the Council and had the Government of the Principality of Wates given to him YORK Waler Gray Chancellour under King John had the Government of the Realm entrusted to him under Hen. 3. William de Melton Successively Treasurer and Chancellour of England 1317. William de Zouche Vicegerent to King Edw. Ann. Dom. 1346. John Kemp Ann. 1425. twice Lord Chancellour And Thomas Young Lord Precident of the North An. Dom. 1561. LONDON There was not long since to be seen in St. Pauls the Monument of William Bishop of London who obtained from the Conqueror the City Charter to which the Lord Major and his Brethren the Aldermen used in a gratefull Commemoration every year to walk on foot He was Privy Counsellor to King William the Conqueror Mauritius Chancellour under the same King Eustachius de Falconbridge one of King Rich. 1. his Justices Chancellour of the Exchequer Treasurer of England and twice Embassadour into France Henry de Wingham Chancellour under Edw. 3. Ralph Boldoc under Edw. 1. Richard Bintworth under Edw. 3. Robert Braybrook under Rich. 2. Richard Cox Dean of Westminster whom I crave leave to name here as belonging to the Diocess of the privy Counsel to Edw. 6. And Bishop Bancroft sent Embassadour to Embden to treat with the King of Denmarks Commissioners Ann. Dom. 1600. DURHAM Geoffrey Rufus Chancellour of England Ann. Dom. 1140. Richardus de Marisco Ann. Dom. 1217. Anthony Beake of the Privy Councel Ann. Dom. 1294. Richard de Bury Cancellarius Ann. Dom. 1334. and Treasurer Ann. Dom. 1336. Thomas Langley Chancellor Ann. Dom. 1406. Thomas Ruthal of the Counsel to Henry 8. and as his Monument at Westminster testifies Secretary to Hen. 7. Richard Neyle of the Privy Council A. D. 1627. And here we cannot omit that known passage of Newbrigensis who brings in K. Richard making himself merry with the Bishop boasting what a feat he had done E Vetusto Episcopo novitium Comitem ego mirus artifex feci To make a New Count of an Old Bishop a Priviledge yet continued to that Ancient See WINCHESTER Swithan Chancellour of England under K. Egbert Ann. Dom. 860. William Giffard Chancellour under the Conqueror William Rufus and K. Henry 1. Peter de la Roch. Lord Chief Justice under K. John Sendall Chancellour 1316. William Edenden Treasucr under Edw. 3. William of Wickam Founder of New Colledge in Oxon Principal Secretary of State Keeper of the Privy Seal Master of the Wards and Treasurer of the Kings Revenues in France Ann. Dom. 1360. William Wainfleet Founder of Magdalen Colledge Oxon for his great Wisdom and Integrity long Lord Chancellor of England under Hen. 6. Richard Fox Founder of C. C. C. Oxon one of the Privy Counsel to Hen. 7. as Prudent a Prince as this Nation hath known and this Bishop as wise a Privy Counsellor as he a Prince continually employed either in matters of Counsel at home or Embassies and Treaties abroad ELY William Longchamp Chancellor Ann. Dom. 1189. after Chief Justice and Protector of the Realm when K. Richard the first undertook his Journey to the Holy Land Eustacius Chancellor Ann. Dom. 1196. John Hotbam Chancellor Ann. Dom. 1317. Simon Laughan And. Dom. 1361. first Treasurer then Chancellor of England John Barnet Treasurer A. D. 1366. John Fordham Treasurer Ann. Dom. 1385. William Gray Treasurer Ann. Dom. 1469. John Alcock Chancellor Ann. Dom. 1486 And Thomas Goodrick Chancellor under Edw. 6. LINCOLN Robert Bleuet Chancellor under the Conqueror Ann. 1092. Alexander under K. Henry the I. Lord Chief Justice of England Galfridus Chancellour A. D. 1180. Hugh de Wells Chancellour Ann. Dom. 1209. Walter de Constantiis Chancellour under Hen. 6. and Dr. Williams Dean of Westminster and after Bishop of this See made Lord Keeper by the Learned K. James COVENTRY and LICHFIELD Roger de Wiseman Keeper of the Great Seal Ann. Dom. 1245. William de Langton Treasurer Ann. Dom. 1226. Roger Northbrough Clerk of the Wardrope afterwards Treasurer Ann. Dom. 1322. Geoffrey Blyth Lord President of Wales Ann. Dom. 1513. Rowland Lee his Successor in the same Office Ann. D. 1535. Richard Sampson in the same Ann. Dom. 1537. William Smith Founder of Brazen-Nose Colledge Oxon in the same under Hen. 8. SARUM Osmond Chancellor of England always of the Privy Council and seldom separated from the Court under the Conqueror Roger Chancellor 1107. and under K. Stephen Ann. Dom. 1136. John Waltham Master of the Rools Keeper of the Privy Seal and after Treasurer of England under Richard the II. Nicolas Bubwith Treasurer Ann. Dom. 1407. William Ayscoth Clerk of the Counsel Ann. Dom. 1438. BATH and WELLS Robert Burnet first Lord Treasurer then Chancellour of England and always of the Council under Edw. I. John Drokensford Keeper of the Wardrope Ann. 1309. Robert Stillington first Keeper of the Privy Seal then Chancellour Ann. Dom. 1465. Oliver King Principal Secretary of State 1492. John Clark Master of the Rolls A. D. 1523. EXETER Leofricus first one of the Privy Counsel then Chancellour of England under the Conqueror though Sir Henry Spelman reckons him of Bath at that time and possibly he might be of both William Brewster of the Privy Counsel under Henry the 3. Walter Stapledon Founder of Exon Colledge Oxon first of the Privy Counsel then Treasurer under Edw. 2. John Grandesson Privy Counsellor to Edw. 3. John Voysey Lord
President of Wales under Hen. 8. Gervase Babington Vice Precident of Wales A. 1597. NORWICH Hen. 2. by a special Commission makes the Bishops of Norwich Winchester and Ely Lord Chief Justices of England in my Authors words Radalphus de Diceto Archi Justitiarios Angliae who there adds Clergymen were pitched upon by the Kings for this employment rather than others for that they were the likeliest persons not to oppress the poor nor to respect the face of the Rich. John Salmon Chancellour A. D. 1319. Robert Baldock Chancellour An. Dom. 1324. John Wakering Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal A. D. 1416. HEREFORD Thomas Cantelupe Chancellour A. D. 1275. Thomas Charlton Lord Treasurer 1329. John Gilbert in the same employment 1386. Thomas Melling of the Privy Counsel to Edw. 4. Charles Booth Chancellour of the Marches of Wales Ann. Dom. 1517. WORCESTER Galfridus Giffard Lord Chancellour of England Ann. Dom. 1267. Walter Reynold first Treasurer then Chancellour of England under King Edw. 2. John Bar●●s Lord Treasurer Ann. Dom. 1362. Henry Wakefield Treasurer An. Dom. 1376. Nicholas Heath Lord President of Wales and Chancellor of England under Queen Mary CHICHESTER Ralph Nevil Chancellor of England Ann. Dom. 1222. But Sir Henry Spelman reckons it 1226. who saith he was appointed to that Employment by Parliament John de Langton Chancellor under Edw. 1. and 2. John Stratford Lord Chancellor Ann. Dom. 1360. Adam Molins Clerk of the Privy Council Ann. Dom. 1451. And that very Learned Prelate and industrious Preacher Lancelot Andrews Privy Councellor of England and Scotland under a Prince who knew the worth of Learning and advanced it accordingly ROCHESTER Walter de Merton Founder of that Colledge that bears his name in Oxon Lord Chancellor of England Ann. Dom. 1274. John de Shepey Lord Treasurer Ann. Dom. 1358. OXFORD Hugh Curwyn Lord Chancellor of Ireland St. DAVIDS Adam de Houghton Lord Chancellor of England Ann. Dom. 1376. Lindwood the famous Canonist Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Ann. Dom. 1440 and a person much employed in Embassies to the King of Spain Portugal c. I might here add several Deans and Arch-Deacons promoted to the same and like Dignities and with industrious Mr. Stow take notice that till the dissolution of Abbies and Monasteries the Prior of Christ Church in London was ever a Member of the Court of Aldermen and that the Dean of Westminster is by his Charter allowed no small interest in the Government of that Neighbouring City But I shall not nauseate the Reader any longer with the repetition of any more antient names but observe as others have done before me that in the Catalogue of Chancellors Recorded in Spelmans Glossery amounting to about 170 near a 100 of them were Clergymen more than all the other Professions put together can make up These then are the Honours which if any humane Testimony can make a thing certain by an uninterrupted Custome equal to Law which Wise Antiquity in the best of times gave them through all the Saxon Danes and Norman times without Controul and Dispute till within these 40 years or thereabout since which England hath groaned under the very great sin of Dispiseing the Embassadors of Christ and with some it hath been no small step to preferment to rail at them to murmure at and decry their advancements for secular ends of their own yea to rank the great Trustees of Souls with the vilest Peasants in the Nation as if there were no better way to shew their Love to their Redeemer and their own Christianity than by hatred to his Servants who conveyed it to them as if men had no other way to manifest their respects to the Majesty of the great God but by powring out contempt and obloquy upon those who represent his Person And thus Corah and his accomplices great complaint and grievance against Moses and Aaron was That they were too high took too much upon them Numb 16. They were advanced and honoured above the rest this was the main Eye-sore but the revengeing hand of God would not then bear it Nay have we not here in England dureing our late and unhappy troubles heard such Language as this nay have we not seen the thing reduced into practise All the Congregation is Holy and one may Preach as well as another Thus would these Sons of Confusion have brought upon us a Munster Confusion and Disorder by taking away the Distinctions of Callings The Wise God we know appointed it otherwise under the Old Testament when every one we know was not admitted to the Priesthood We cannot but think that there were 1000 in Israel who knew how to kill slay and dress a Sheep Ox or Goat as artificially as the Sons of Levi yet none ever attempted it in reference to the Altar without a severe rebuke And was Moses a more Prudent Lawgiver or Steward of Gods house than Jesus Christ the Wisdom of the Father Would it be fuffered in humane Societies in any well regulated Corporation that every man who should conceive himself fitter to discharge an Office manage a Trade Husband an Estate should presently exclude another legally possest of it and invade his propertys grant this and farewell Government and welcome Babel Let me say it once for all ' t is folly for any to expect the prosperity of the Nation whilst the Clergy of it is in Misery a Low and Despicable Condition whilst the sacred Function is deposed nay with black ingratitude revil'd to whose learned labours do we owe the Translation of our Bibles and who as before once was intimated under God were the principal Instruments of delivering us from that Egyptian Darkness our Forefathers sate in Is not this like the Deer we Read of in Plutarch who browsed on that Bush in a Calm he was glad to creep under in a Storm Certainly they are not worthy the Name of Christians or Friends of the Gospel whatever their pretences may be that despise and vilifie the Ministry than which nothing more bespeaks a vile and reprobate Heart We all know that under the Law presumptuously to rise against the Priest was punishable with no less than Death Deut. 17. for these are the Embassadors of the King of Heaven and how sacred such persons were esteemed by the Laws of all Nations all Histories do abundantly Witness 't was the shame of our Neighbour Nation of Scotland the Murder of the late learned Prelate there and that small indignities offered to persons of his Rank have been highly resented the Ammonites are a lasting testimony in the days of King David and prood Corinth was for no other reason burnt to ashes by the enraged Romans Florus CHAP. VI. The Antient Estate of our Bishops and Clergy under the times of the Britains Saxons Danes and Normans VVHat incouragement the Clergy found in the times of the Britons will appear to have been very great if we will but read Arch Bishop Usher de Primordiis Ecclesiae Britanicae through the Series
by their Proxies the next authority I shall make use of is a Parliament Roll it self of that year as I find it in Sir Robert Cotton's Collections intituled as followeth Placita Coronae coram Domino Rege in Parliamento suo apud Wegmonast diae Lunae proximae post Festum Exaltationis Sanctae Crucis Anno regni Regis Ric. 2. Post Conquestum 21. The Roll it self you may see in the Tower among the Records there kept It is of an Impeachment of the Earl of Arundel and Warr. c. for Treason c. the Articles were exhibited against him by several Lords as Edward Earl of Rutland Thomas Earl of Kent John Earl of Huntington c. which the said Lords were ready to prove the Crimes objected and demanded the Prisoner to be brought to the Bar which the Lord Nevil then Constable of the Tower did and the aforesaid Lords in their own Persons appeared also His Articles being read the Earl of Lancaster Lord Steward of England by the King's commandment and assent of the Lords declares the whole matter And thereupon the said Earl's answer to the Articles was demanded who pleaded two Pardons and prayeth they may be allowed but they were not whereupon Sir Walter Clopton Lord Chief Justice demands of him what he had farther to say for that if nothing more to say the Law would adjudge him guilty And the said Earl not pleading any thing else the Lords Appellants in their proper persons require that Judgment may be given against the said Earl as Convict of the Treason aforesaid Whereupon the Lord Steward of England by the assent of the King Bishops and Lords adjudged the said Earl Guilty and Convict of all the Articles aforesaid and thereby a Traitor to the King and Realm and that he should be therefore Hanged Drawn and Quartered and forfeit all his Lands in fee c. though the Punishment in regard he was of Noble Blood was changed and he was ordered to be Beheaded which was done by the Lieutenant of the Tower and this is a short account of that Trial for Blood in Parliament Where 't is plain and evident that the Bishops were there present for 't is said that the said Earl was adjudged Guilty and Convict by the assent of the King Bishops and Lords Q. E. D. Next we will produce another Instance and Precedent of the Condemnation of Thomas Arundel Archbishop of Canterbury who was accused by the Commons in full Parliament die loco praedictis where we find the Commons by their Speaker Sir John Bussy Petitioning the K. in manner following For that divers Judgments were heretofore undone for that the Clergy were not present the Commons prayed the King that the Clergy would appoint some to be their common Proctor with sufficient authority thereunto Whereupon the Clergy appoint Thomas de la Percy by their Instrument their Proctor who together with the King and the said Lords adjudged him the said Archbishop guilty of Treason and himself a Traitor The Crimes objected to him was his traiterous obtaining a Commission from the King whereby the Kings Royal Power was encroached his Subjects put to death without Royal Assent c. for all which he was found guilty as aforesaid What I observe in brief is this from this Trial. 1. That there had been divers Errors in Judgment which Judgments were in Law void for that the Bishops were not present 2. That hereupon the Commons Petitioned the King that the Bishops would appoint their Proxy and which accordingly they did Thomas de la Percy 3. He was Condemned by the said Court wherein sate Percy accordingly 4. That the said Bishops did not Vote there personally for that the Arch-bishop their Primate was Arraigned and it might not be seemly for them so to do And here we have the Case adjudged Judgments in Parliament Revers'd for that the Bishops were not Present by themselves or Proxys the Commons Petitioning the King that they would make Proxys a Judgment obtained for that the Bishops had made their Proxys Q. E. D. And if any be not satisfied they may see the Roll of Parliament as before among the Records in the Tower to which they are Referred Furthermore to make another discovery of the Inconstancy of the said Mr. Selden I find him in his Titles of Honour in the latter end of his Book Confessing that Thomas Becket Arch-bishop of Canterbury was Condemned by the Bishop of Winchester in Case of High Treason Vid. Titles of Honour And if any person would but a little reflect upon the Reason why the Bishops have not sometimes Voted in Cases of Blood but by their Proxies viz. Their respect they had to the Canons of the Primitive Church which might give them umbrage for their so doing And together with this what hath been said before of their being frequently appointed by the King and acting as Lord Chief Justices of England any person of an ordinary Capacity may guess at the Reason of their forbearing to Judge in Matters of Blood for the Reason aforesaid and their ready and chearfull compliance with their Princes Command when by the Law of this Land they were enabled so to do and which is a sufficient Supersedeas to the former Canon of the Church Another Precedent we have of the Bishops Personally sitting in Parliament held at Westminster on Monday next after the Feast of All Saints in the 3d of Hen. 5. wherein Henry Bishop of Winton was Chancellour wherein was Tryed Richard Earl of Cambridge and others for Treason for having Levyed men against the King and procured Edmund Earl of March as Heir to Rich. 2. to take upon him to be King of England and had Proclaimed him such in Wales and set one Thomas Trompington an Ideot and Scotchman to Personate Rich. 2. where the said Earl and others his adherents in that Action were Tryed and found Guilty the Lords Spiritual in Parliament being Present c. See the Records in the Tower Parl. 3. H. 5. p. 2. M. 4. Many other Precedents of a later Date and Time might be here Ex superabundanti added but I shall referr them for the matter of another Chapter they being all of them taken out of the Journals of the Lords House beginning in 32 Hen. 8. and ending 29. Eliz. 2. I might have enlarged in these which I have taken out of the Tower but I have purposely forborn to do it for that I find Mr. Selden himself in the days of 1642. granting me the Matter of Fact as clear and evident from the Ancient Records in the Tower of the Spiritual Lords Priviledges in this Matter And will now proceed to another Argument that the Bishops have Right to sit in all Cases as well Capital as Civil For that 4. they are undoubted Peers of the Realm which also I find Mr. Selden himself granting in his Priviledges of the Barronage of England p. 192. For there he saith Though some have doubted we know whom he means
his time that had better been laid out in painfull Preaching to his flock Whereas we all know that Preaching is but a very small part of the Ministers Calling yet of late times it hath been made by some to swallow up the rest of the Ministers Duties as necessary and Essential to his Callings as that can be and have observed also that some Ministers themselves otherwise good men have been a wanting to themselves and the Church in complying too much with a sort of men amongst us whose interest it is to draw all Causes into their own Courts for the support of their own Grandeur and Faculty whereas otherwise those Suites and Causes might perhaps with little or no charge have been more speedily yea and satisfactorily determined Our last instance shall be in Gregory the Great de Cur. Past with who some close the good Popes whom we find complaining that Sub colore Episcopatus ad seculum retractus sum in quo tantis terrae curis inserrio quantis me in vita laic a nequaquam deseruisse reminiscor He was never in all his Life time so encumbred with Worldly business as after he came to be a Bishop but he afterwards adds that Et si cogamur terrenis negotiis intendere mens tamen nostra saeculari varietate non delectatur sed tota in unum currit atque confluit finem Though he was forced to do this for the good of his People yet he took no Pleasure in it and his mind was taken up with better things for all agree that these must not be undertaken out of love to them but Christian Charity and Compassion to the oppressed Aug. de Civ Dei l. 19. c. 19. Now these Imployments were conferred upon those Father 's not as Bishops but as Subjects more Eminently qualified than others both by their Prudence Experience and Integrity as well as Humane Learning But Three there are in which they did Principally engage and which may seem most agreeable to their Coat First To be in the Commission of Peace and to speak Impartially Who fitter for such a Work than they whose business and Calling it is to reconcile those that are at variance And this was the design of the Ancients though at first it began in a way of Charity yet being found profitable it was upon mature Deliberation by the Christian Emperors confirmed particularly by Constantine Zozom lib. 1. c. 9. who leaves it free to any 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 Valens and Valentinian enlarged it and intrusted them with the Rates of Commodities Sold in the Market Cod. l. 1. de Aud. Ep. tit 7. Their Jurisdiction I confess hath been in several ages various sometimes more sometimes less as the Emperors were more or less favourable to the Church whoever kept the Soveraignty in their own hands Constantine was the first that passed the Royal Grant in favour of the Clergy permitting the Cognizance of all Civil matters even between Laymen to the Episcopal Tribunal if either party did require it though the other denyed his consent and their appeal was to be obeyed by the Magistrates whenever made though the action was already commenced in another Court. Arcadius and Honorius did a little retrench this unlimitted power yet still allowing it by the joint consent of both parties and making the Bishops as it were Referees l. si quis ex consensu de Aud. Episcop and their decision to be binding and final without appeal This Law was after ratified by Theodosius and Justinian l. Episc c. eod Nay this latter Emperor Justinian reposed so much confidence in them that he made them Overseers of the Secular Judges Novel Const 56. This then has been the practise of that pure and Primitive Age and the greatest Enemies the Church had could never deny but that the Bishops have had their Tribunals for above these 1300 years Erected by Constantine confirmed by Arcadius and Honorius Theodosius and Valentinian c. Only some Curiously mince the matter and allow them power to hear Causes and to become Referees and Umpires by the consent of both Parties but yet they will not hear talk of any Coercive Jurisdiction though as eminent Civil Lawyers as any are Attribute it to them and particularly Accursius interprets Audientia Episcopalis a term frequent in the Code by Jurisdictio and Constantine forbad expresly the greatest Prince in the Empire to revoke what once the Bishops had Decreed Euseb Vit. Const l. 4. c. 27. In process of time the Magistrates having encroached upon and almost outed the Clergy Charlemaine revives that good old Law of Constantine confirming the same Jurisdiction to all Bishops repeating the Charter word for word Car. Mag. in Capit. l. 6. c. 28. What the practise was in our own Country of England shall God willing be made out in what follows wherein I doubt not but to give abundant satisfaction of the Factum that the Clergy were employed as much as the Laity in the Decision of Secular Causes so far as we have good Authority and Record in the times of the Saxons and so downwards till our late and unhappy Divisions 1640 c. which God grant may be ever buryed in Oblivion and that we may never live to see the same again Secondly To be of the Privy Council where frequently Cases of Consciences relating to State-matters may arise As suppose there be a Consultation about a War or Marriage the Lawfulness or Unlawfulness thereof must be judged in foro Conscientiae and so is the proper Subject of a Divine or Clergyman and perhaps the thing will not bear so much delay as to Summons Prelates together for Advice nor Reason of State to be so much published for want of such Knowing and Religious Counsellours Princes may often be entangled in unjust Massacres and rash Wars and Innocent Blood be spilt which otherwise might have been prevented And for prevention whereof the Godly Prudent Princes both of our own and other Nations have ever admitted some spiritual Persons to their Counsel Tables and Closet Debates To the good advice of Bishop Fox of Winchester we owe the Union of the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland for the other Privy Counsellors advising King Henry the 7th to Marry the Eldest of his Daughters to France the more Noble and Rich Kingdom the old and wise Bishop adviseth his Majesty the contrary at which the King seeming somewhat surpriz'd the Bishop gave him this as the reason of his Opinion that by Marrying the Elder to Scotland that Kingdom would be brought to England and old Enmities reconciled and for ever buryed Whereas on the contrary England being under France we should have here been ruled by a French Liuetenant of Deputy which the English he doubted would hardly brook and perhaps our Government and Laws by reason of their unagreeableness to the French might have been attempted to have been changed into those of France which the English man his Opinion was would hardly bear Whereas those of
Dor. l. 2. p. 43. Then for Geneva it self who is so much a stranger to that Reformation as to be ignorant what a stroke Calvin and others had upon the Senate or grand Counsel which gave occasion to that complaint of some that they had expelled One Bishop and admitted many If remote Countries be to be regarded amongst the Abissines the Clergy is Paramount in Affairs of all natures and we read in Damianus a Goes of Zaga Zaba an Ethiopian Bishop Viceroy of Bagana sent Embassadour to the King of Portugal Dress Orat. In Muscovy their supreme Convention which those Inhabitants call Zabore consists of the great Duke Twenty Ecclesiasticks and as many Nobles the common People being wholly excluded and when they are met together the Patriarch and Ecclesiasticks are always first Consulted and first deliver their Opinion I shall conclude this Paragraph onely reminding that neither the Pagans nor Mahometans are so inhumane or irreligious or discourteous to their Priests as to deny them this Liberty For that Tully acquaints us that it was the appointment of the Gods that the Roman Pontifices should not only take care of their Religion but further Sumnis Reipub. praeesse voluerunt Orat. pro. dom sua Nay at this very day the Barbarous Turks never exclude their Mufti but allow him free entrance and Vote into all their Divans and Counsels yea the great Sultan himself so Honours the Mufti that as often as he comes into his Presence he rises from his Seat and according to their mode putting his hand to his breast bows his head in token of reverence and Honour which he shews not to any other Subject and will hardly vouchsafe the like honours to the mightiest Monarch upon Earth CHAP. V. Englands more particular Respect and Kindness to the Clergy I Might here be very large should I but give the World a brief account of the Honour which our Saxon Kings had for their Clergy neither was this a matter onely precarious and by the Courtesie as we say of England Sed ipsis confirmatum legibus Spelm. Concil Ep. ad Regem The Person who Ministred at the Altar was esteemed equal in all things in censu pariter Capitis to the Lord of the Mannour or any Knight Leg. Aethel c. ult de Wirgildis The Abbot was esteemed no less than a greater Thane which now we call a Baron of the Kingdom The Bishop of no inferiour Rank than the Count or Earl Qui integro fruebantur comitatu The Arch Bishop equal to any Duke who might happen to be set over and have the Rule of many Countries for that saith the Learned Spelman in these times our Kings gave always the greatest respect and honour to their Clergy for that in their keeping were the Keys of Learning and Knowledge the Seculars in the mean time addicting themselves most what to the Wars so that in those times it came to pass that the Priests mouth was the Oracle of our Common People no less than of the King and Commonwealth for that they had ever the first Place in our Commitia's and Assemblies no less than in the Kings Courts of Justice and Law Tribunals in the Kings Palace with the Nobles of his Kingdom in the Counties with the Comittees and Justices of the Counties in the Sheriffs Courts turno Vicecomites together with the Sheriffs the Bishops had their Adsessors yea in the Hundred Courts they or their Ministers sate together with the Lord of the Hundred so that one sword was ever helpfull to the other in the Administration of Justice and nothing of moment was done in these Courts of Judgment but by their advice and assistance Spelm. l. prius citat The practice of the Kingdom ran parallel with the Law for in all Antient Charters and Laws which heretofore were passed and made by signing their names cum signo crucis the Spiritual Lords ever preceeded the Temporal In a donation of Ethelbert A. D. 605. to the Monastery of St. Peter in Canterbury the first witness subscribing it is Austin the Bishop and after him several Dukes and Earls Monast Angl. Spelm. Conc. passim In a Charter of King Inas Ann. Dom. 725. To the Monastery of Glassenbury after the Bishops Boorthwald and Fordred occur Waldhere Ethelherd Ummin and Winchelin the greatest Peers in the Nation putting their Names Not long after in a Grant of King Offus to the Abby of Worcester Ann. Dom. 708. Brotdran Berthand Eadbald and Eadbald two Princes and two Dukes follows the Bishops And at the same Kings Consecration at St. Albans Ann. 793. No less than 10 Dukes besides other Nobles give place to the Prelates And to make an end in a Charter of King Edward the Confessor to the Monastery of Winchester immediately after the King subscribed Plegmund and Frithestan the Bishops being followed by Ethelward the Kings Brother Aethelstan Aelfweard the Kings two Sons Oredluf Orced Brorh●●●f and Heerferth Dukes many more of this nature might be produced out of the same Authors and others as standing monuments of the Clergies Reputation and the Reverence our Religious Ancestors bare to their Functions particularly the third Charter of King Edward the Confessor of the Foundation of the Abby of Westminster where more particularly we find Osberne and Peter two of the said Kings Chaplains signing the Charter before several of the Earls And furthermore here is Statute Law in the Case that this usage may not be thought to proceed meerly from the Curtesie of England 't is confirm'd by the Statute of the 31 Hen. 8. c. 10. Wherein all degrees and offices are placed in Assemblies and Conferences and there the Arch Bishop of Canterbury as primus Par regni the first Peer of the Kingdom is ranked before all the Nobility and Seated at the Kings right hand next and immediately after the Royal Blood and the Vicegerent and the rest of the Bishops follow him in their due precedency according to the Dignities and Aunciencies of their respective Sees See farther the Statute of 8. of Eliz. c. 1. where in that Statute they are called an high and one of the greatest Estates of the Kingdom nor were they ever excluded from the greatest Employments of Honours and Trust in the Kingdom and to evidence that this is not spoke without Book we will subjoin a Catalogue of Churchmen Collected out of Godwin Malmesbury Spelman Dugdale and others c. that have born all at least the most honourable Offices of State and how ever bespatter'd by some discharged them with much integrity and repute England owing more of its happiness to men of this Calling than any other though it cannot be denyed but some miscarriages might be here and there found and yet as few as can be expected in such a Multitude and if a man were disposed to find fault he might without much pains takeing two for one in Critically examining any other Profession Let us begin then with Englands Metropolitan to whom this Primacy justly appertains and
and Succession of Kings who when Converted to the Christian Faith were not scanty in Conferring Honours and Riches upon them See him in his Sixth Chapter under these Respective Heads Antiquitatis Glastoniensis Ecclesiae assertio nova ab Ina rege instauratio Privilegia varia eidem a Saxonibus Regibus Arthur donatio Sepulchri inventio Hen. 2. Edw. 3. Diplomata Possesiones libertates Ecclesiis a Lucio Rege Tributae Wintoniensis Ecclesiae libertates Antiquitates Fundatio Ecclesiae Sancti Petri Westmonasteriensis B. Marcae Doveriensis Sancti Martini Cantuariensis Afterwards in his 7th Chapter De pace Britanici Ecclesiis post caeptam persecutionem Constantio Chloro Aug. Constant M. patre restituta And afterwards in his 8th Chapter of the British Bishops Qui variis consiliis interfuerunt Concilio Arelatensi Sardicensi Ariminenst where any persons may receive satisfaction of the Clergy Honour in those first British times In the times of the Saxons what their immunities were will appear if we instance in but one single one as more eminent and glorious than the rest viz. Their Admission to all Publick Debates and Assemblies Such were 1 their Scire Gemotis which Spelman and other Learned Antiquaries resemble to our Country Courts and Sheriffs turn in which all causes both Criminal and Civil concerning Church or State were handled the persons bound to be present were the Sheriff the Bishop and all the Nobles of the County till at last upon their humble Petition in Parliament the Clergy were dispensed with by the Statute of Marleborough 52 Edw. 3. unless urgent necessity required it Secondly their Folk Gemotts a kind of Annual Parliament commonly held in the beginning of May in which the Princes of the Kingdom Bishops and Magistrates and the Laity took the Oath of Allegiance and confirmed their mutual Union before the Bishops The Original of this is intimated to be as high as King Arthur Vid. Leg. Edw. Confess 35. Thirdly their Wittena Gemotts or Michel Synoth the grand Convention of their Wise men These who desires to look farther into may have recourse to Spelmans laborious Glossary V. Gemot Now out of none of these were the Clergy excluded but ever reckoned an eminent and principal part of each their Counsels Votes and Approbation demanded and given before any Laws were constituted For Proof of this we shall look back above 1000 years to the Laws of King Ethelbert and the Authors we shall produce and on whose Authority we lean are Bede Spelman and Lambard And as to King Ethelbert presently after the arrival of Austin the Monk here in England we find as Spelman hath it in Spelm. Conc. 126. The King to have called a grand Assemby A. 605. Tam cleri quam populi In the Laws of King Ina which Florentius Wigorniensis dates Ann. Dom. 686. Spelm. 692. Lambert 712. we find these Laws were made and wrote by the perswasion and advice of his Bishops Hedda and Erkenwald and though the Learned Spelman Excerps out of the body of those Laws only those which more particularly relate to the Church as being only proper for this design yet Lambard mentions many Civil matters there determined And when the great League and Union between the Britons Saxons and Picts was concluded we find it Ratified per Commune Concilium assensium omnium Episcoporum Procerum Comitum omnium sapientum seniorum populorum per preceptum regis Inae The very manner of our passing Laws in Parliament now used in England Bed Eccles Histor l. 1. In the Laws of King Athelstan about the year 924. Spelm. 922 there 's no mention of any other Counsellors for the enacting though certainly the form was the same but his Arch Bishop Ufhelme and his other Bishops and these were at least the prime persons there though the Body of the Laws concern secular affairs Spelman selecting only Ecclesiastical yet in the Title he owns others passed In the Laws of K. Edmund about 946. the King had a full meeting of Ecclesiasticks and Laicks at London in which were present Odo and Wulstan the Arch Bishops none of the rest though without doubt there present once named Again 948. to a great Convention of the Estates at London under Edred Writs of Summons are issued out to the Arch Bishops and Bishops and yet their agitur de negotiis Regni Ingulph p. 87. Spel. Conc. p. 428. Come we to the Danes 1021. we find a Publick Assembly called at Winchester by Canutus where were present Wulstan and Adelholme the Arch Bishops with other Bishops Dukes and Earls c. Spelm. Conc. p. 534. Now dureing these two Periods there 's no mention of Baronies but all the Churches tenure was in Pura Eleemosyna Frank Almoigne and the Bishops sate onely as eminent Prelates by vertue of their Spiritual Dignities for there being hardly any Laws but some way or other concerning Religion and the good of Souls therefore in the enacting of them the Cergy was ever required by our Prudent Ancestors Thus much for the Grand Assemblys stiled usually by the Learned Knight Sir Henry Spelman Pan Anglica and Pan Britanica We will only mention the Private Statute of King Edgar which was thus ex omni comitatu bis quotannis conventus agitur cui quidem illius Diocaesae Episcopus Senator intersunto quorum alter jura divina alter populum edoceto Nor doth Mr. Selden no friend of the Clergy ever deny or question but the Bishop was joyned in Commission with the Aarlderman nay he expresly affirms the same Titles of Honour l. 2. c. 5. Hitherto of the British Saxon Danish Governments pass we down to the Normans and here we have King William solemnly with an Oath ratifying the Laws of St. Edw. the Confessor and this particularly is added Si quis sanctae Ecclesiae pacem infregerit Episcoporum est Justitia Lambard p. 139. And in several Old Precidents of Grants such Clauses as these Occur Nolumus quod libertas Ecclesiae per nos vel ministros nostros quoscunque aliqualiter violetur jura ilbertates Ecclesiasticas illaesas volentes in omnibus observari Yet more particularly in a Charter to the Church of St. Pauls in London Tam liberam volumus Ecclesiam D. Pauli London quam sit anima mea in die Judicii And here now at last we come to that great change in the State Ecclesiastick the Bishops who had ever enjoyed the privileges of Majores Thani among the Saxons are translated to Barons which gave occasion to that groundless error of some to date the first sitting in Parliament hence as if the Conquerour to curry favour with the Clergy and the better to settle his new gotten Kingdom confered this Honour upon them But certainly if there were truth in this the Clergy are much to blaim and very ungrateful to their Patron K. William for that we find them loosers by his favours and looked upon their Condition under him much worse
than before and all the Writers of that Age must be corrected for representing him as a perfect Enemy of the Church To clear up this we will only give you one Instance cited from an Old Record Entituled Liber Sancti Albani Where we read this Passage of Frederick the then Abbot of St. Albans that to obstruct the March of the Conquerour he caused all the Trees round to be cut and laid them cross the ways wherewith the Conquerour being stopt in his march sent in some passion for the Abbot who under his security coming to him the Conquerour demands the Reason for the cutting down the Woods the Abbot resolutely answers him that I have done but what became me and if all the Spiritual Persons through the Kingdom had used their Endeavours against thee as they might and were in duty bound to have done Thou wouldst never have been able to have entered the Land thus far The Duke then replying Is the Spiritualty of England of such Power if I live and enjoy that which I have gotten I will make their Power less Add to this that stategem of the Kentishmen in surrounding the King and forcing him to a Composition which they did under the Conduct of Stigand their Arch-Bishop which thing ever after netled him and that he was never heartily reconciled to the Church and proved afterwards as good as his word to the Abbot oppressing the Clergy all his Reign bringing them under Knights-Service and Ordering how many Souldiers each Bishop should maintain for him and his Successors the Church as beforesaid being ever free from that bondage Let no Man then say that the Conqueror who was ever look'd upon by the Bishops as their Enemy did them any Acts of Grace or Havour by erecting each Bishoprick into a Barony which thing was ever by the Bishops look'd upon as a grievance and a more glorious piece of slavery This was in deed a shrew'd shaking to the Bishops yet still they preserv'd their Votes in all Assembli●s and