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Defensorium Directorii ad usum


Defensorium Directorii ad usum


HE “ Defensorium Directorii” is a short

tract which follows the Ordinal of the Church of Salisbury in the printed editions.

I do not suppose that it will be so interesting to many readers as, I trust, much of the other matter which has preceded it in these volumes. But, independently of its extreme rarity, there is not a little in it which will repay an attentive examination. Allusions to contemporary practice and ritual observances : corrections and explanations of erroneous and doubtful rubrics in the Breviary and the Missal: the proofs which it affords of the extensive reception in England of the Use of Sarum, and the limitations which nevertheless were admitted in Churches by which that Use had been adoptéd: these, and much more, will furnish, I doubt not, ample reason with those who wish to enquire more exactly into the History of the Ancient Rituals and Services of the Church of England, why I have now edited the “ Defensorium.”

I have taken the text of the (probably) first edition of the “ Defensorium :" in the Ordinale or Directorium ad usum Sarum, printed at Antwerp by Gerard Leeu, 1488, 8vo. (In my possession.) This agrees, except a few verbal and unimportant variations, with the edition, undated, by Caxton: of which a copy is in the Library of the British Museum, and another in the Bodleian.

Pynson also published the Directorium : but his edition of the “Defensorium Directorii,” varies very considerably from both the Antwerp and the Caxton books. And this, chiefly, in its omissions: which are very considerable : and moreover he ends with the

paragraph “Nam solemnitas Paschæ —

sabbato sequente ante missam.”

Besides the “ Defensorium" in the editions of the Directorium, occurs another tract, which is called the “ Crede Michi.” It is much longer: and although there are also in it many points necessarily of importance, inasmuch as it explains and examines various difficulties in the Ordinal, yet I have not seen in it the like recommendations which the present treatise has. The short title is: “Crede michi. Sequentes Articuli ventilati sunt et approbati per canonicos ecclesiæ Sarum."

I cannot say by whom the “Defensorium” was composed. The author evidently was an excellent ritualist, and had most carefully examined the subject on which he treats ; he gives his opinions with decision, and

there seems little doubt of their correctness. The · Prologue to the whole volume states that the Ordinal

was edited by “Clement Maydeston, Priest:” and the probability is that he wrote the “ Defensorium.”

And there is an equal probability that he was the same Clement Maydestone whose history of the Martyrdom of Richard Scrope, Archbishop of York, is printed in Wharton's Anglia Sacra. Tom. 2. p. 369. .

At the end of which is the very remarkable account of the throwing overboard into the Thames the body of K. Henry IV., as it was being carried from London to Canterbury for interment, in a great storm of wind: and that immediately there was a calm.

Clement Maydestone relates this, upon the authority of one of

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that King's household, who spoke openly of the fact at table, during a dinner. Now, of course if the body of the deceased king was thrown into the Thames, the coffin empty must have been buried at Canterbury; or another corpse placed in it for the sake of deception, which does not seem likely. And, in order to arrive at some certainty in this matter, the tomb of Henry IV. was opened a few years ago; and in it was found his coffin, within which was a body, in a most wonderful state of preservation: the whole bearing no mark of any violence or attempted deceit. So that we must conclude that Henry was really buried at Canterbury. The account of this examination of the tomb, is to be seen in the Archæologia, vol. 26. p. 441. but I do not think we are in any way bound to conclude with the Reverend Dr. Spry (who wrote it, and was a spectator), that Clement Maydestone either repeated what he knew to be false, or invented the story; he states his authority: and that with an asseveration and earnest sincerity, which I should be sorry (without some further and good proof against his credibility as a witness) to throw so great a slur upon. I do not see why people, more especially if priests, are so readily to be set down as wilful propagators and inventors of false stories. Maydestone's words are: “Deus omnipotens est testis et judex : quod ego Clemens Maydestone vidi virum illum, et audivi ipsum jurantem patri meo Thomæ Maydestone omnia prædicta fore vera.”

I trust that the reader will not think, as there is ground to believe that this same Clement Maydestone wrote the “Defensorium Directorii,” that I have unwarrantably digressed from my proper subject, in order to rescue his memory from an undeserved and gratuitous accusation.

Jncipit Defensorium ejusdem Di

rectorii in nomine Domini.


CIENDUM quod in ordinali Sarum duæ sunt species rubricarum. Quædam sunt rubricæ generales, quæ ponuntur in libris

ad instruendum qualiter antiphonæ et Responsoria sunt dicenda, et quomodo memoriæ sunt habendæ, et tales rubricas quilibet institutus infra sacros ordines tenetur observare. Sunt aliæ rubricæ cærimoniales, quæ solum obligant clericos ecclesiæ Sarum, et omnes illos qui se sponte obligaverunt ad tales cærimonias custodiendas et non alios, ut inferius latius patebit.

Sciendum est, quod duæ sunt causæ quæ cogunt missam dominicalem ab una dominica in aliam omnino differri: videlicet, prolixitas temporis et eventus assumptionis vel nativitatis beatæ Mariæ, seu dedicationis ecclesiæ in dominica. Prima pars hujus rubricæ est vera, et generalis pro omnibus ecclesiis : quia ibi est vera necessitas quando sunt xxvi. vel xxvii. dominicæ. Sed secunda pars non est generalis, sed cærimonialis vel specialis pro ecclesia Sarum tantum, quia clerici illius ecclesiæ non possunt cantare missam dominicalem infra octavas cum regimine chori, secundum statuta illius ecclesiæ. Ideo ex necessitate oportet ipsos dominicam differre, aliter perderent sex solidos et viii. denarios.

Sed quia talis necessitas non capit nos nec cogit, ideo possumus cum sana conscientia habere memoriam

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