Page images

is found. Such is in brief the balance of testimony, upon which he must be prepared to surrender a consistent, probable, and rational narrative, and to adopt in its stead a supposition at once incongruous, improbable, and absurd.

Upon this part of the subject, it would indeed be a waste of words to add another syllable to the arguments of Bramhall, Browne, and Courayer; and I have only to refer the reader to the ensuing tract with the notes and appendix, as bearing out to the letter the above statement. Another point, however, viz. the consecration of the consecrators of Archbishop Parker, requires to be made out, in order to complete the historical portion of the case; and upon this part of the subject (inasmuch as evidence exists relative to it, with which neither Bramhall, nor Browne, nor Courayer, were acquainted), something must be said at greater length. The Bishops named in the second and final commission to consecrate Parker were seven in number; the actual consecrators were four, viz., Barlow, Hodgkins, Scory, and Coverdale. But Hodgkins's consecration (for which see below p. 76, notes f, h, and Cranmer's Register, fol. 204, and Couray., Déf. de la Diss., Pr. Just. art. vii. $ 5) has never, as far as I am aware, been disputed. To take the others then in order; and 1. of Barlow. A reference to pp. 138, note d, and 226-228, of the present volume, will explain the state of the case as regards the evidence for the consecration of this Bishop, which is briefly this :—that he held four Bishoprics successively (with a few years' interval in the reign of Queen Mary) from 1536 up to his death in 1568, during which period and until 1616—80 years after his consecration, and 48 after his death

- he acted, and was regarded, as a consecrated Bishop, without the slightest semblance of doubt as to the fact, either on his own part, or on that of any one else whatsoever, in whatever position, of whatever creed, or with whatever personal feelings towards him, although he was a prominent controversialist, and changed sides more than once, and had many bitter enemies; and this at a time, when the law of Church and state, and (what is of perhaps more importance in a question of evidence) the public opinion of by far the larger portion of the nation, were imperative in requiring consecration; when it was a simple matter of course to administer the rite, so that its performance must be assumed until disproved; and when the penalty of even its delay by the Archbishop beyond a fixed limit, was the forfeiture of all his temporalties to the Crown ;—for these facts there is no lack of evidence that in 1616 a doubt was for the first time started upon the subject of his consecration, grounded, either by its original proposer or by those who have followed him, upon one or other of four assertions,-i. that Barlow was in Scotland in the early part of 1536, when if at all he was consecrated,-i. that while the record of his confirmations to the sees of St. Asaph Feb. 23, 1535-6, and St. David's April 21, 1536, are given in Cranmer's Archiepiscopal Register, that of consecration to either see is wanting,-iii. that Cranmer and Barlow are known to have held consecration an unimportant ceremony,--and iv. (what is not the fact) that other persons at the same period acted as Bishops and held sees without consecration. Now it is plain from this statement, that the burden of proof lies upon those who assail Barlow's consecration ; it is morally certain that he was consecrated, unless the presumptions alleged to the contrary be both true in themselves and sufficient for their purpose; and an exact account of the circumstances of the case, for which materials fortunately exist, will I think shew, that every one of the above topics, when reduced to the truth, is either nugatory, or if of any force at all, tells, not against, but for, the fact, that it is alleged to disprove. The case stands precisely thus.--"William Barlow, Prior of Bisham" (so styled in his credentials), was sent as ambassador into Scotland with Lord Robert Howard early in 15368 (new style), was confirmed Bishop of St. Asaph Feb. 23, 1536 (n. s.) by proxy (Reg. Cranm.), without any mention of consecration in the Register, and writes from Scotland early in March under the signature of William Barlos.Obviously, then, he had started for Scotland previously to even his election to the see of St. Asaph (Feb. 16, 1536. n. s.), and had not been consecrated in March. He returned to England before April 14%, and continued there until after April 25o; was confirmed in the see of St. David's April 21, in person, in Bow Church (Reg. Cranm.), the record (as had been the case before) closing with a certificate of confirmation only, and making no allusion whatever to consecration: he returned to Scotland some days before May 13, continued there until May 25, signing himself now Willmus Menevs.”, left Scotland immediately after the 25th for the English Courts, and was installed in Parliament as Bishop of St. David's June 30 (Lords' Journals). It follows, that his consecration must have taken place, if at all, either in April previously to the 21st, to the see of St. Asaph, or after the 21st of April and before the 6th or 7th of May, or again in June previously to the 30th, to the see of St. David's; within each of which periods, as appears above, he is known to have been either in or near London. But to the first of these periods there is an insuperable objection, viz., that the records of his successor's consecration &c. to the see of St. Asaph invariably speak of Barlow as having been simply "electusto that see; and although those of his own confirmation to St. David's drop the term, yet the insertion in the one case excludes, and the omission in the other does not imply, his consecration; and to the second period there is likewise an objection, viz. that whatever obstacle impeded his consecration on April 21, on which day the Register proves that he was not consecrated, would probably continue to impede it April 23, 25, and 30, and May 1 (the first and third, Sundays in 1536, and the second and fourth Saints' days), while on May 7, the only remaining day for the purpose, he could scarcely have been in England": and the case is decided against both periods by the fact, that in his precedence in Parliament and Convocation he took place between two Bishops consecrated respectively June 11 and July 2, the former of whom therefore was consecrated either before or at least with him (see

p. 141. note m.

* These facts are proved by Barlow's own letters now published. See below

s See Barlow's Letters, as cited below, p. 141. note m.

There is Other evidence also, that Barlow was never Bishop of St. Asaph. See below p. 139. note c. § 2. end.

u It may be objected, that as he signed himself only “ William Barlow" when confirmed to St. Asaph, it does not appear why he should sign himself Will’mus Menev." (as he does

e. g. April 25), if only confirmed then to St. David's. But the first confirmation was performed when he was absent in Scotland, at the second he was present; and nothing can be more natural, than that he should be more disposed by the latter than by the former to assume his Episcopal title, although equally without a strict right to it in either case.


p. 142. note p). It remains, then, that his consecration should have taken place between June 11 (or thereabouts) and June 30. There are difficulties in the way of any prior date, and a later date is of course out of the question. To look then to other evidence.—It appears from Cranmer's Register, that there were between Jan. 1, and so late as Oct. 20, 1536 (n. s.), three consecrations, and three only, of five Bishops altogether, in the Province of Canterbury; and from other sources, that the consecrations of two other Bishops but no more (including Barlow) ought to have been recorded during the same period and are not; and from the (unvarying) order of precedence in Parliament and Convocation, as has been just hinted, that the consecration of one of these two, Sampson of Chichester, should precede in order, and that of the other, viz. Barlow, should follow, the consecration of Reppis, Bp. of Norwich, which took place on June 11, 1536; the order of consecrations as far as they are recorded, and of precedence as far as it extends (for the three first named Bishops in the following list were not Peers of Parliament or members of the English Convocation), being as follows:-

Date of Consecration.
BROWN—to the Abpric. of DUBLIN
MANNING—to the suffragan See of IPSWICH March 19, 1536 n. s.
SALISBURY-to the suffragan See of THETFORD
REPPIS—to the See of NORWICH

June 11, 1536.
[BARLOW-to the See of St. David's.]
WHARTON-to the See of St. ASAPH

July 2, 1536.

It appears, further, that Bp. Sampson was elected June 3, upon a Congé d'Eslire dated May 29, and confirmed June 10 (being a Saturday); and that the mandate to the Archbishop relating to him, which is merely a general one—"ut quod vestrum est in hac parte exequamini,”—is dated June 11v. It would seem to follow, that the business relating to his admission to his see was hurried over, in order that he might be consecrated with Reppis on the 11th of June; of whom, by seniority probably, he took precedence. Prior, then, to the 11th of June, no consecration appears to have taken place in the year 1536, unless on March 19; at which time, as it appears, Barlow was certainly in Scotland : and if it is asked, why, when Barlow did pay a visit to London in the month of April, his consecration, if he was still unconsecrated, was then left unperformed, it is a sufficient answer, that the Parliament, although summoned April 27, did not meet until June 8, 1536 (Journals), and therefore it is very probable, that there was not a sufficient number

The above is from Cranmer's Register, fol. 189. a.–192. b. The last date, June 11, which is not very plain in the Register, is the date also given in the Rolls (Rym., xiv. 570). There was very probably a separate mandate for confirmation, which has not been enrolled; as there were frequently two mandates of the kind at the time, and in one case (Bonner's, who was con

secrated to the see of London some months after his confirmation in that see), no fewer than three. As is mentioned above, there is no specific reference in the document which is enrolled, to confirmation. — Wharton also conjectures (notes to Strype, Cranmer, vol. ii. p. 1045), that Sampson was consecrated June 11, Godwin says June 9, which was a Friday, and this even in the later editions of his book; of course by a and consecration. There is no formal mere blunder. And Richardson gives record of Reppis' consecration in the June 11, as if on the authority of the Register, but merely these certificates Register ; which is an error also; in- of it.—Of other evidence for it, there are asmuch as the Register breaks off with the Congé d'Eslire May 25, 1536 (Rythe Sententia Definitiva of Sampson's mer, xiv. 569, agreeing with the RegisConfirmation, thus neither excluding ter), received May 27, and the election consecration at that time (as do both May 31, 1536 (Reg. Cranm.), the the records of Barlow's confirmations), Royal Assent June 9, 1536 (Ibid.), nor implying it. The writ of Restitú- the confirmation (Ibid.), not dated but tion of Temporalties for Sampson, dated necessarily June 10 (scil. with SampJuly 4, 1536, and reciting consecra- son), as it must have followed the last tion, is in Rymer, xiv. 573.- It may mentioned writ and preceded consecrabe added, that Barlow was only 37 tion, and the Restit. of Temporalties, years old in 1536 (see below p. 227), reciting consecration, July 19, 1536 and therefore in all probability junior (Rymer, xiv. 573). Wharton (Notes to both Sampson and Reppis ; which to Strype, Cranmer, vol. ii. p. 1545), would account for his taking rank after and Le Neve from him, have appathem, on the supposition that the three rently confounded Reppis with Wharwere consecrated on the same day. ton; as they have assigned June 26

Bishops near town to join in a consecration in the month of April. On June 11, however, there was a consecration, and at Lambeth, by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of Exeter and Bath and Wells W, viz. of Reppis certainly and of Sampson probably; and on June 11, Barlow was certainly in the neighbourhood of London, and almost certainly (up to that time) unconsecrated, while on June 30 he takes his place as a consecrated Bishop in the House of Lords, next in order to the two Bishops just named, and prior to Bp. Wharton of St.

w This is the date, and place, &c., and July 2 for Reppis' confirmation given by the certificate from the Arch- and consecration, June 28 and July 2 bishop to the King, and by the Arch- being the dates of those acts respecbishop's general certificate (both on tively in Wharton's case. the same day), of both confirmation

« PreviousContinue »