Sayfadaki görseller

CHAP. Stąt: 25 Hen. 8. c. 20. restraining the payment of first fruits XXXIII.

and tenths to the See of Rome, and for electing and ELIZAB. coosecrating archbishops and bishops. Stat. 25 Hen. 8.

c. 21. concerning exactions and impositions heretofore paid to the See of Rome, and concerning licences and dispensations within the realm. Stat. 26 Hen. 8. c. 14. for consecration of suffragans. Stat. 28 Hen. 8. c. 16. declaring void all bulls and dispensations from the Pope.

Besides these which more directly concerned the papal authority; it was also declared, that so much of stat. 32 Hen. 8. c. 38. concerning precontracts and degrees of consanguinity as was not repealed by stat. 2 & 3 Ed. 6. c. 23. and stat. 37 Hen. 8. c. 17. empowering doctors of the civil law, being married, to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction; and all parts of it not repealed in the time of Edward the Sixth shall continue in force. And, bating all these acts, every other act repealed by the said stat. 1 & 2 P. & M. c. 8. is to continue repealed. Consistently with the same views the stat. 1 Ed. 6. c. 1. for receiving the sacrament in both kinds was revived. And, lastly, the stat. 1 & 2 P. & M. c. 6. which had revived the stats. 5 Ric. 2. stat. 2. c.5. stat. 2 Hen. 4. c.15. and stat. 2 Hen. 5. c. 7. against heresies, was repealed. Thus were all the supports of papal jurisdiction once more removed ; and the parliament left at liberty to declare, that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate, spiritual or temporal, shall use, enjoy, or exercise any manner of power, jurisdiction, superiority, authority, pre-eminence, or privilege, spiritual or ecclesiastical, within this realm, or any of her majesty's dominions; and all such power and authority before exercised and used, was thereby united and annexed to the crown; and the queen was empowered to appoint persons to exercise such jurisdiction and authority.

To secure a full obedience to this new establishment, an oath was devised, in which, the party taking it, declared that the queen was the only supreme governor of this realm, and of all other her dominions; as well in spiritual CHAP.

XXXIII. things or causes as temporal ; that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate, had, or ought to have any ELIZAB. jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm; that he did utterly renounce all foreign jurisdictions and authorities, and did promise to bear true allegiance to the queen.

This oath was to be taken by every ecclesiastical person, officer, and minister; by every temporal judge, justice, mayor, and other lay, or temporal officer or minister; and every other person having the queen's fee or wages, under no severer penalties than disability to hold such preferments or offices. Persons before they take orders, or a degree, are first required to take the said oath. Heavy penalties are inflicted on those who impugn the supremacy of the crown.

The next step in effecting this reformation was to revive the use of the Common Prayer, and administration of Sacraments, as ordained by Edward the Sixth. This was done by stat. 1 El. c. 2. which repealed stat. 1 Mar. st. 2. c. 2., an act which, the parliament says, “ brought great decay of the due honour of God, and discomfort to the professors of the truth of Christ's religion.” But this repeal concerned only so much of the said stat. of P. & M. as related to the said book; which book, with the order of service, administration of sacraments, rites, and ceremonies, with the alterations and additions made by this statute, is declared to be in full force and effect. Many penalties are enacted against those who use any other service than this, or who speak any thing in derogation of it; and

persons are constrained, by certain pains and censures, to attend at church.

In this manner was the reformation of religion re-established as far as laws could go, and consistently with the general inclinations of the kingdom. But there followed from this revolution much trouble and anxiety. A new set of malcontents sprung up under the name of noncon

CHA P. formists, which kept the government in alarm; these were XXXIII.

at first the Roman Catholics, and afterwards the Puritans; ELIZAB. who were considered as equal enemies to the established

church, and were the objects of many penal restrictions in the course of this reign.

The next act made upon the subject of these new ecclesiastical alterations was stat. 1 El. c.4. which repealed stat. 2 & 3 P. & M. c. 4., and thereby re-annexed to the crown, the payment of first fruits and tenths. But all statutes before that made for the ordering and levying those dues, (except only the acts for the erection of the court of augmentations, and first fruits and tenths,) were to remain in force. It is further declared, that vicarages not exceeding 101. per annum, and parsonages not exceeding ten marks in the king's books, shall be discharged of first fruits. That incumbents who happen to live only one-half year, shall pay only one-fourth of the first fruits due; those who live one year, only half; if a year and a half, three parts; and shall not be chargeable for the whole first fruits till they have enjoyed their preferment two

years. Simony.

To prevent occasions of scandal in the ministry of the reformed church, it was thought proper to put some restraint on simoniacal practices ; which had hitherto been pupishable only in the ecclesiastical court, by virtue of certain canons. It is therefore enacted by stat. 31 El. c.6. that if any person shall by money, or agreement for money, give or procure to be given any ecclesiastical preferment, these consequences shall follow; such gift shall be void ; the presentation for that time shall be forfeited to the king; the person corruptly presenting shall forfeit double the yearly value of the living; and the person presented disabled to take the benefice. A penalty is also inflicted on persons consenting for money to institute or admit any one to a living; such person is to forfeit double the yearly value of the living; the institution or admission to be void, and the patron allowed again to present. To


of Labourers,

prevent the like corrupt contracts concerning exchanges CHA P. of livings, double the sum given to procure such changes

XXXIII. is to be forfeited both by the giver and taker.

To suppress simony in its first concoction, it is moreover provided, that the giving or procuring holy orders to be given for money, or for any agreement for money, shall induce the penalty of 40l., and the party so corruptly ordained shall forfeit 101. Besides which, should he afterwards within seven years take a living, it shall immediately become void, and the patron be enabled to present afresh. All these temporal penalties are enacted, without any prejudice to the jurisdiction of the spiritual court; with regard to which, this act can only be considered as accumulative; by bringing before the temporal magistrate some more flagrant acts of simony.

Some very material regulations were made in this reign The Statute by parliament concerning the poor and labouring part of the nation. This great bulk of people were considered by the law in three lights; such who, by their education and living, were fit and habituated to work and labour, and such who were poor. These latter were of two descriptions ; the one was such as lived in beggary, through wilful idleness, and were therefore looked upon, in a great degree, as offenders; the other was such as were sick and impotent, and unable to provide for themselves. Under these three considerations were statutes now made, composing a body of provisions for the ordering and correction of such persons; namely, stat. 5 El. c. 4. concerning labourers, artificers, and apprentices. Stat. 39 El. c. 4. concerning rogucs, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars; and statute 43 El. c. 2. for the relief of the poor.

These statutes make very full provisions for such matters as were the objects of them; and, as they were framed upon thorough consideration, and the experience of ages, that part of the community to whom they related were governed by them for many years without much alteration. The particular regulations of these statutes, had either been

of Labourers.

CHA P. adopted from preceding ones on the same subject, or had XXXIII been suggested by the defects and evil consequences attendELIZAB. ing former laws. The former statutes relating to the poor

were many; a retrospective view of them will at once discover the different ways in which this matter had been treated, and the degrees by which these regulations grew to

their present size. To begin with artificers and labourers. The Statute The first regulation concerning them is the statute of

labourers, 23 Ed. 3. This act is said to have been occasioned by the late pestilence, which had carried off many working people. Servants and labourers, seeing the difficulty masters were under from the scarcity of hands, would not serve without excessive wages; and many refusing to work took to begging and disorderly courses. It was therefore thought advisable, that some compulsory method should be prescribed ; and it was accordingly enacted, that every man and woman, able in body, and within the age of threescore, not living in merchandize, nor exercising any craft, not having of his own whereof to live, nor land about whose tillage he might employ himself, nor serving any other, such person should be bound to serve, if required, at the accustomed wages, and if he refused, was to be committed to the next gaol, till he found surety to be entered into service, c.l. If any workman or servant departed before the term agreed, he was to be imprisoned, c. 2. None were to pay more than the old wages, upon pain of forfeiting double what they so gave, c. 3. ; and if any


more, he was to be committed to gaol, c. 5.; and such overplus wages was to be levied to the king's use, in alleviation of the dismes and quinzimes, assessed on the town or district, c.8. Upon this statute many commissions were granted to make inquiry concerning the execution of it.

But this statute not answering the end effectually, was followed by stat. 25 Ed. 3. st. 1. which contained many fure ther provisions; amongst others, carters, ploughmen, and other servants were to serve by the whole year, or by other usual terms, and not by the day, c. 1. None was to go

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