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JUSTICE TEMPERED WITH MERCY
Contemporaries were by no means agreed as to the number of ministers deprived. Rudd, the Bishop of Chester, said, in the Convocation of 1604, that it was “bruited abroad” that the Puritans who would refuse to conform were “diners hundred in number,” i while John Burgess wrote to James that “six or seauen hundred of the ablest ministers in the land are like to be put out. On the other hand, Nathaniel Bacon declared in the House of Commons in March, 1605-6, after the deprivation, that two hundred and sixty ministers had actually been deprived, Henry Yelverton charged Bancroft to his face, at a conference of the two houses of Parliament, with depriving three hundred*; and in June, 1607, it was said in debate, “that three hundred (were) deprived, suspended or silenced.” The author of the tract, The Altar of Damascus, gives the number deprived as three hundred, though the Reverend Samuel Hieron, in his Short Dialogue, says "the number of such as are deprived, silenced, suspended, and admonished, amounts to the some of two hundred seventy-five at the least ... besides many others that are in question, and many others who being of the same iudgment and practice are like to be talked withal.” From the Dialogue between an old Protestant and a new Formalist (p. 59) we learn that “of those already remoued, restrained or refused to be admitted, their names I say being taken the first of November, 1605, amounted to two hundred seventy and upward, and yet there were eight Bishoppricks whereof it could not yet be learned what had been done in them.”
The sympathisers with the Church, have on the other hand, found comfort in the statement of Archbishop Spotiswood of Glascow. “Let me add that which I was afterward told by Richard Bancroft, 1 Harleian MSS. 577, f. 41.
5 Commons Journals, 385. 2 S. P. Dom. Jac. I, VIII, no. 85. 6 History of the Church of Scotland, 3 Commons Journals, I, 285.
479. + Lambeth MSS. 445, f. 424.
Archbishop of Canterbury,... that when the Rolls were brought in of those that stood out and were deposed, which was some years after, they were found to be forty-nine in all England, whereas the ministers of that kingdom are reckoned nine thousand and above." Yelverton also reported to the House of Commons, in 1606, that Bancroft himself replied to the charge of depriving three hundred, by alleging that only sixty had been deprived who were factious. In any strict sense, none of these statements are evidence, for they are all hearsay, but those quoted from Bancroft come direct and seem to be more trustworthy than the others. Nevertheless, while the Puritan statements may not be literally correct, the impression derived from them may be more nearly the truth than that obtained from the very low figure cited from Bancroft's own lips.
A certain looseness of terminology based, perhaps, on an ignorance of ecclesiastical procedure has been responsible for many of the extreme statements of later writers. Bancroft says explicitly, forty-nine or less than sixty "deprived;" Hieron says two hundred and seventy-five "deprived, silenced, suspended, and admon . ished,” a phrase nearly repeated in the statement of two hundred seventy “remoued, restrained, or refused to be admitted.” These figures, however, do not relate to the same thing: only forty-nine might have been deprived and yet two hundred seventy-five or three hundred might have been deprived, suspended, silenced and admonished. Nevertheless, it has often been asserted that three hundred were deprived, and that Bancroft's statement was ridiculously small, while the Church writers have, on the other hand, been as ready to turn the story round. In reality, there were various 1 Lambeth MSS.
445, f. 424. explicitly that the figures set oppo«• Where
said the number was site each county refer to the “numthree hundred, and his Grace ber of preachers : which before swered, not above sixty, and against the beginning of this last parliament them opposed 10,000 and that these (i, e. before March, 1604) witnessed sixty were factious."
under their own handwriting their 2 Another sort of carelessness has .desire to petition for the removing of been responsible for the constant use, them” (the ceremonies). Yet this in this connection, of the figures 746 list, which does not seem trustworthy for the ministers deprived, (e. g. Ur in any connection, has been quoted wick, Nonconformity in Cheshire, p: and used for every conceivable purviii) and many of the local histories pose by Puritan writers, invariably contain notes of various large totals without acknowledgment. It certaindeprived in that county, all of ly cannot refer to the deprivations. which can be traced to a table of Pu 3 Dr. Gardiner has adopt the Puritan ministers in An Abridgment of ritan view. (History of England, I, the Book of the Lincolnshire Puritans 197.) "It has been calculated that of 1605, p. 52. But the tract states about three hundred of the clergy