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found the churches miserably supplied with preachers, The bishop of Ely certified, that of 152 livings in his diocese, fifty-two only were duly served; and that there were thirty-four benefices vacant, thirteen that had neither rectors nor vicars, and fifty-seven that were enjoyed by nonresidents. This was not owing to the popish clergy being deprived of their benefices, for the number so deprived did not exceed two hundred in the whole kingdom; but the truth was, that at the conclusion of Mary's reign the great bulk of the clergy were grossly ignorant, and it was long before the universities were encouraged to furnish a series of learned divines.
In 1561, archbishop Parker and some of the other prelates made an application to the queen against the use of images, to which her majesty still discovered a very great inclination, and it may be inferred that they induced her to change her opinion on this matter, from the anecdote given in our account of dean Nowell, who incurred her displeasure by only presenting her with a prayer-book, illustrated with engravings. In other respects she adhered to many of her father's notions, and when about this time she took a journey into Essex and Suffolk, she expressed great displeasure at finding so many of the clergy married, and at observing so many women and children in cathedrals and colleges. She had, indeed, so strong an aversion to matrimony in the clergy, that it was owing to Cecil's courage and dexterity, as appears by a letter of his to Parker, that she did not absolutely prohibit the marriage of all ecclesiastics. He was, however, obliged to consent to an injunction, “that no head or member of any college or cathedral, should bring a wife, or any other woman, into the precincts of it, to abide in the same, on pain of forfeiture of all ecclesiastical promotions.” Archbishop Parker took the liberty to remonstrate with the queen against this order, and on this ivterview she treated the institution of matrimony with contenipt, declared to him that she repented her making any of them bishops, and wished it had been otherwise; pay, threatened him with injunctions of another nature, which his grace understood to be in favour of the old religion. In his letter to Cecil on this occasion, he assures him that the bishops have all of them great reason to be dissatisfied with the queen; that he repents his having engaged in the station in which he was; and that the reception which he had from her majesty the day
before, had quite indisposed him for all other business, and he could only mourn to God in the bitterness of his soul; but if she went on to force the clergy to any compliance, they must obey God rather than men, and that many of them had conscience and courage enough to sacrifice their lives in defence of their religion.
But, whatever our archbishop might suffer from the despotic caprices of the queen, he had yet more trouble with the dissentions which appeared in the church itself, and never ceased to prevail, in a greater or less degree, until the whole fabric was overturned in the reign of Charles I. These first appeared in the opposition given to the ecclesiastic habits by a considerable number of divines, and those men of worth and piety, who seemed to be of opinion that popery might consist in dress as well as doctrine. By virtue of the clause in the act of uniformity, which gave the queen a power of adding any other rites and ceremonies she pleased, she set forth injunctions ordering that the clergy should wear seemly garments, square caps, and copes, which had been laid aside in the reign of king Edward. Many conformed to these in every circumstance, but others refused the cap and surplice, considering them as relics of popery, and therefore both superstitious and sinful. The queen, enraged at this opposition, which was favoured even by some of her courtiers, wrote a letter to the two archbishops, reflecting with some acrimony on it, as the effect of remissness in the bishops; and requiring them to confer with her ecclesiastical commissioners, that an exact order and uniformity might be maintained in all external rites and ceremonies; and that none hereafter should be admitted to any ecclesiastical preferment, but those who were disposed to obedience in this respect. Archbishop Parker, accordingly, with the assistance of several of his brethren, drew up ordinances for the due order in preaching and administering the sacraments, and for the apparel of persons ecclesiastical. According to these, the preachers were directed to study edification, and to manage controversy with sobriety; exhorting the people to frequent the communion, and to obey the laws, and the queen’s injunctions. All the licences for preaching were declared void and of no effect, but were to be renewed to such as their bishops thought worthy of the office; and such as preached unsound doctrine were to be denounced to the bishop, and not contradicted in the church. Those VOL. XXIV.
who had licences were to preach once in three months; and those who were unlicensed, were to read homilies. In administering the sacrament, the principal minister was to wear a cope, but at all other prayers only the surplice; in cathedrals they were to wear hoods, and preach in them ; the sacrament was to be received by every body kneeling; every minister saying the public prayers, or administering the sacraments, was to wear a surplice with sleeves; and every parish was to provide a communion-table, and to have the ten commandnients set on the east wall above it. The bishops were to give notice when any persons were to be ordained, and none were to be ordained without de. grees. Then followed some rules about wearing apparel, caps, and gowns; to all which was added, a form of sube scription to be required of all who were admitted to any office in the church; that they would not preach without licence, that they would read the Scriptures intelligibly, that they would keep a register-book, that they would use such apparel in service-time especially as was appointed, that they would keep peace and quiet in their parishes, that they would read some of the Bible daily, and in conclusion, that they would observe uniformity, and conform to all the laws and orders already established for that purpose; and to use no sort of trade, if their living amounted to twenty nobles.
It might have been expected that these ordinances would bave pleased the queen, as being in conformity with her wishes, and, in fact, in answer to her orders; but the opponents of the habits, who began to be called Puritans, applied to their friends at court, and especially to her great favourite Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, who prevailed so far with her majesty, that all her former resolution disappeared, and she refused to sanction the ordinances with her authority, telling the archbishop, that the oath of canonical obedience was sufficient to bind the inferior clergy to their duty, without the interposition of the
The archbishop, hurt at such capricious conduct, and at being placed in such a situation between the court and the church, told Cecil, that if the ministry persisted in their indifference, he would " no more strive against the stream, fume or chide who would ;” and it is most probable his remonstrances prevailed, for the above ordia nances were a few days after published, under the name of Advertisements; and he then proceeded upon them with
that zeal which procured him from one party the reproach of being a persecutor, and from the other the honour of being a firm friend and supporter of the church-establishment. The particular steps he took, the trials he insti. tuted, and the punishments he inflicted, are detailed at length by Strype and other church-historians; but on the merit of his conduct there is great diversity of opinion. It has been said, both in excuse and in reproach of his measures, that he was too subservient to the
queen. To us it appears, that he took as much liberty in advising the queen, and in contending with her humours, as any prelate or statesman of her reign, and that what he did to promote uniformity in the church arose from a sincere, however mistaken opinion, that uniformity was necessary to the advancement of the reformation, and in itself practicable. All that is wrong in this opinion must be referred to the times in which he lived, when no man conceived that an established church could flourish if surrounded by sectaries, and when toleration was not at all understood in its present sense.
He continued to struggle with the difficulties attending his office and measures, until his seventy-first year, when, finding himself in a declining condition, he signed his will April 5, 1575, and died on May 17 following. He was buried in his own chapel at Lambeth, with a Latin inscription by his friend Dr. Walter Haddon : but this was demolished, and his bones taken up and scattered, during the usurpation; nor was it known what became of them till they were discovered by Dugdale, in archbishop Sancroft's time, who again replaced them in the midst of the area of the chapel, as a small marble stone facing the altar, with this inscription upon it, now denotes, “ Corpus Matthæi archiepiscopi tandem hic quiescit :" the monument itself, with an epitaph upon it of his own drawing up, being since removed into the anti-chapel.
Concerning his learning and zeal for the promotion of learning, there is no difference of opinion. His skill in ancient liturgies was such, that he was one of the first selected to draw up the Book of Common Prayer; and when he came to be placed at the head of the church, he lay boured much to engage the bishops, and other learned men, in the revisal and correction of the former translations of the Bible. This was at length undertaken and carried on under his direction and inspection, who assigned
particular portions to each of his assistants, which he after. wards perused and corrected, and spared no pains in getting it completed. It was first published in 1568, and bas usually been called the “ Bishop's Bible," and ran its course with the Geneva translation, until the present version was executed, in the reign of king James. He also published a “Saxon homily on the Sacrament,” translated out of Latin into that language, by Ælfric a learned abbot of St. Alban’s, about 909 years before; with two epistles of the same, in which is not the least mention of the doctrine of transubstantiation. He was the editor also of editions of the histories of Matthew of Westminster and Matthew of Paris, and of various other works, enumerated by Tanner; some of which were either composed by him, or printed at his expence. The work on which he is thought to have spent most time was that “ De Antiquitate Britannicæ Ecclesiæ ;” but his share in this is a disputed point among antiquaries. In his letter to the lord treasurer, to whom he presented a copy, he speaks of it as his own collection, which had been the employment of his leisure hours. Dr. Drake likewise, in the preface to his edition of it, quotes a letter of the archbishop's in the college-library, in which he expressly styles it, My book of Canterbury Predecessors;" and archbishop Bramhall was of opinion, that the conclusion of the preface proved Parker bimself to have been the author. But notwithstanding these testimonies, the matter is doubtful. Selden was the first who called it in question, although without giving his reasons; and sir Henry Spelman.considered Dr. Ackworth to have been either the author or collector of the work. Archbishop Usher thinks that Ackworth wrote only the first part, concerning the British antiquities; and he, Selden, and Wharton, ascribe the lives of the archbishops to Josselyn, and make Parker little more than the director or encourager of the whole. And this certainly seems to be confirmed by the copy now in the Lambethlibrary. This copy, which originally belonged to that library, but was missing from the year 1720, was replaced in 1757 by Dr. Trevor, bishop of Durham, who found it in the Sunderland - library. This, which Dr. Ducarel thought the only perfect one existing, contains many manuscript papers, letters, and notes, respecting archbishop Parker and the see of Canterbury; and, among these, some proofs that Ackworth and Josselyn had a con