[...] against breakinge or defacing of monumentes of antiquitie, beyng set vp in Churches or other publique places for memory, and not for supersticion.

THe Quenes Maiestie vnderstanding, that by the meanes of sundry people, partly ignoraunt, partly malicious or couetous: there hath ben of late yeres spoyled and broken, certayne auncient monumentes, some of metall, some of stone, which were erected vp aswell in Churches, as in other publike places within this Realm, only to shewe a memory to the posteritie of the persons there bury­ed, or that had ben benefactours to the buyldynges, or dotations of the same Churches or publique places, and not to noryshe any kynd of superstition: By which meanes, not only the Churches and pla­ces remayne at this present day spoyled, broken, and ruinated, to thoffence of all noble and gentle heartes, and thextinguyshyng of the honorable and good memorye of sundry vertuous and noble persons deceassed: But also the true vnderstandyng of diuers families in this Realme (who haue descended of the bloud of the same persons deceassed) is thereby so darkened, as the true course of theyr inheritaunce may be hereafter interrupted, contrary to Iustice, besydes many other offences that hereof do ensue, to the sclaunder of such as eyther gaue or had charge in tymes paste onely to deface monumentes of Idolatry, and false fayned Images in Churches and Abbeyes. And there­fore, although it be very harde to recouer thynges broken and spoyled: yet both to prouide that no such barbarous disorder be hereafter vsed, and to repayre asmuche of the sayde monumentes as conueniently may be: Her Maiestie chargeth and commaundeth all maner of persons, hereafter to forbeare the breakyng or defacyng of any parcell of any monument, or tombe, or graue, or other inscription and memorye of any person deceassed, beynge in any maner of place, or to breake any Image of Kynges, Princes, or noble estates of this Realme, or of any other that haue ben in times past erected and set vp, for the only memory of them to their posteritie in common Churches, and not for any religious honour: or to breake downe or deface any Image in glasse wyndowes in any Church, without consent of the Ordinary: vpon payne, that whosoeuer shall herein be founde to offend, to be committed to the next Gayle, & there to remayne without bayle or mainprise, vnto the next cōmyng of the Iustices, for the delyuery of the sayd Gayle, and then to be further punyshed by fine or imprisonment (besydes the restitution or reedification of the thyng broken) as to the sayde Iustices shall seme meete, vsyng therin thaduise of Thordinarye, and yf nede shalbe, thaduise also of her Maiesties Counsayle in her Starre chamber.

And for such as be already spoyled in anye Churche or Chappell nowe standynge: Her Maiestie chargeth and commaundeth all Archbyshops, Byshops, and other Ordinaries, or Ecclesiastical per­sons, which haue aucthoritie to visite the same Churches or Chappelles, to inquyre by present­mentes of the Curates, Churchwardens, and certayne of the paryshyoners, what maner of spoyles haue ben made, sithens the begynnynge of her Maiesties raigne, of suche monumentes, and by whom, and yf the persons be lyuynge, howe able they be to repayre and to reedifie the same, and thervpon to conuent the same persons, and to enioyne them vnder payne of excommunication, to repayre the same by a conuenient day, or otherwyse as the cause shall further require, to notifie the same to her Maiesties counsayle in the Starre chamber at Westminster. And yf any suche shalbe founde and conuicted therof, not able to repayre the same: that then they be enioyned to do open penaunce two or three tymes in the Church, as to the qualitie of the cryme and partie belongeth, vnder lyke payne of excommunication. And yf the partie that offended be dead, and thexecutours of the wyll lefte, hauynge sufficiente in theyr handes vnadministred, and thoffence notorious, the Ordinary of the place shal also inioyne them to repayre or reedifie the same, vpon lyke or any other conuenient payne to be deuysed by the sayde Ordinary. And when thoffendour can not be presen­ted, yf it be in any Cathedrall or Collegiat Church, which hath any reuenue belongyng to it, that is not perticulerly allotted to the sustentacion of any person certayne, or otherwyse: but that it [Page] may remayne in [...]cretion of the gouernoure thereof, to bestowe the same vpon anye other charytable dede, as mending of hyghwayes, or such lyke: Her Maiestie enioyneth and strayghtly chargeth the go­uernours and companies of euery such Churche, to employe such parcelles of the sayde sommes of mo­ney (as any wyse maye be spared) vpon the spedye repayre or reedification of any suche monumentes so defaced or spoyled, as agreable to thoriginall, as the same conueniently maye be.

And where the couetousnes of certayne persones is such, that as Patrones of Churches, or owners of the personages impropriated, or by some other colour or pretence, they doo perswade with the person and paryshioners to take or throwe downe the Belles of Churches and Chappels, and the Leade of the same, conuertyng the same to their priuate gayne, and to the spoyles of the sayde places, and make suche lyke alterations, as thereby they seke a sclaunderous desolacion of the places of prayer: Her Maiestie (to whom in the ryght of the Crowne by thordinaunce of Almighty God, and by the lawes of this Realme, the defence and protection of the Churche of thys Realme belongeth) doth expressely forbyd anye maner of person, to take away any Belles or Lead of anye Churche or Chappell, now vsed, or that oughte to be vsed with publique and diuine seruice, or otherwyse deface any suche Churche or Chappell, vnder paine of imprisonmente duringe her Maiesties pleasure, and suche further fine for the contempte, as shalbe thought mete.

And her Maiestie chargeth all Byshops and Ordinaries to enquire of all such contemptes done from the begynnynge of her Maiesties Raygne, and to enioyne the persons offendynge, to repayre the same within a conuenient tyme. And of theyr doynges in thys behalfe, to certifye her Maiesties pryuye Counsayle, or the Counsayl in the Starre chamber at Westminster, that order may be taken herein.

God saue the Quene.

❧ Imprinted at London in Powles Churcheyarde, by Rycharde Iugge and Iohn Cawood, Printers to the Quenes Maiestye.

Cum Priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis.

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