Obrazy na stronie

Records show that of those who suffered death were 5 bishops, 21 clergymen, 8 gentlemen, 84 tradesmen, 100 husbandmen and servants, 55 women, and 4 children. Others similarly suffered either by the stake or dying in the dungeons.

ROTHERHAM AGAIN CATHOLIC. At Rotherham there is happily no record of any such martyrdoms. It may be that the chief rulers and the inhabitants were very willing to escape the stake by complying with the religious orders of the Catholic authorities. From the local records it is to be recognised that large wax candles again were lighted on the altars of the Parish Church and the Chapel on the Bridge. Again were all the objects of Catholic ritual, crucifix, paten, chalice, censers, &c., brought to the performance of the august ceremonial of the Mass. The chantries were again visited by the celebrants and devotees. Again in the Chapel on the Bridge did the choristers chant the ancient antiphones. This is made evident by reference to the accounts of the Feoffees.

“ 1553. Item paid to John Avkerede for mending a loke of ye quere dore in ye chappell at Bryge, 2d.”

The “Chappell” was again taken in solemn charge for Sacred rites.

“ 1556. Item for nailles to ye seepulcre, and for wood and a corde and mendying of it, 2}d.”

What does this signify? The record appears to refer to a ceremony of maintaining, at the time of Easter, lights burning over an imitated sepulchre, constructed of wood and nails, where Christ, in the form of a crucifix, was interred, and on Ascension Day was pulled “up hie,” to quote an old account, with ropes above the clouds, by a vice devised in the roofe of the church.”

QUEEN ELIZABETH AND PROTESTANTISM. Under Queen Elizabeth the progress of Protestantism was more rapid. Its violent repression under Mary's reign, and the burnings of noble Anti-Popish martyrs, only made the fresh outburst of the Reformed faith the stronger. At first the Catholic priests retained their livings and continued to

[graphic][merged small]

celebrate the Mass. The supremacy of the Queen was not favored by the Bishops, but they were in time to learn that Elizabeth would prove herself quite equal to unfrocking any obstinate member even of the episcopal order. At first the Litany, the Lord's Prayer, and the Creeds were allowed to be recited in English by the clergy. The first Parliament again vested in the Crown the first fruits and tenths, that Catholic Mary had restored to the Church. Greatly in favor of the English Reformation was the fact that the former jurisdiction of the Papacy in this country concerning faith, worship, ceremonies was now settled upon the monarch. While the Puritans even at this period regarded the jurisdiction of the church purely spiritual according to the guidance of Scripture, yet their chief aim was to have the nation delivered from the domination of Rome, and they seem to have acquiesced in the adoption of King Edward's Liturgy in a modified form. Elizabeth was herself favorable to an elaborate ritual with all the attractive appointments of the altar, and she was inclined to conciliate both Catholics and Reformers. While she had struck out from King Edward's Liturgy, “ From the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome, and all his detestable enormities, good Lord deliver us,” she disallowed the main Catholic tenet, namely, that of the corporal presence of Christ in the Sacrament. Copes and other ancient vestments were allowed again, and the people were enjoined to kneel at the Communion. As the Bishops were generally opposed to the Royal Supremacy the difficulty of consecrating Dr. Parker as Archbishop of Canterbury had to be got over by the joint performance of the ceremony by four Bishops-elect. Of course Roman Catholics have ever since disputed the perpetuation and validity of apostolic succession in the hands of the English episcopate. The Puritans on their part disclaimed all such claims of bishops and priests, and urged that the appointment of church ministers must be simply in accordance with the Scriptures.

PROTESTANT EXILES-JOHN TYNDALE. Most of the Protestant exiles, who had fled abroad under Mary's persecution, now returned, and the Dutch reformers were granted the Church in Austin Friars, while the French

Protestants were restored to their church in Threadneedle Street. It had been always to the interest of English trade and commerce to encourage the settlement here of such foreign artisans, and the eastern and southern parts of the country owed an immense development of the woollen manufacture to such immigrants fleeing from Catholic persecution abroad, especially on the occcurrence, 24th August, 1572, of the Black Bartholomew's massacre in Paris. The reform movement was further promoted by the publication and circulation in this country of what is known as the

Geneva Bible.” This was completed by English scholars abroad, and compared with Tyndale's earlier translation. Tyndale, the Gloucestershire scholar, had the noble ambition in early life to do such a great work, saying to an ignorant theologian “ if God spare me life ere many years I will cause the boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture than you do." He had to execute his performance in Germany and the Low Countries, but had to pay for his service to religion by his death. He was hanged and his body burnt at Vilvoorde by order of the Emperor, and his last dying prayer was, “ Lord, ope the King of England's eyes.” But King Henry VIII., like a Gallio, cared for none of those things. And like her royal father, Elizabeth was opposed to any rapid and violent changes in the national church. The English Service Book was, however, made to include more Scripture lessons, and a "Book of Homelies" was published to assist the clergy unable to preach sermons. The Articles of the Church of England were reduced from 42 to 39, corresponding to what they are at present.

Although there were popular tendencies towards a Reformation, it cannot be said the court and upper clergy showed any great desire to promote the transformation. For instance, at the Norwich Sessions, 1578, Matthew Hamond, wheelwright, was first condemned to be set in the “pillory and have both his ears cut off for some offence to the Queen, and to pay a fine of £100, and then condemned by the Bishop of Norwich for denying Christ Jesus to be Son of God, and affirming that by his death and passion no one can be saved. Consequently he was burnt to death in the Castle ditch. Again, 1583, three other men were burnt in the same city,

« PoprzedniaDalej »