¶ A treatise cō ­cernynge diuers of the constitutyons prouynciall and legantines,

❧ Printed at London by Tho­mas Godfray. Cum pri­uilegio regali.


IN this lytell treatyse are contayned dyuers thyn­ges concernyng the con­stytutions prouynciall & the legantynes / of Othe and Octobone / somtyme legates in this realme. And the matters that in treateth of be shortely touched in .xxx chapiters / whiche be sette in the la­ter ende of this present treatise / wher­by it appereth that diuers of the said constytutyons and legantynes be a­gaynst the kynges lawes & his pre­rogatyue. And that some of them be also very troublous vnto the people / and nat so cha­ritable as they ought to haue ben.

The fyrst chapiter.

IN the constytutions prouiciall in the first boke / and in the tytle of cōstitutions: there is a decre / whiche be gynneth. Quia incō ­tinentie uicium et infra. Wherby it is cōmaunded that the constitucyon of the late lorde Octobon / agaynste concubinaryes be inuyolably obser­ued / and that it be recyted openly in the foure princypall chapiters rurall of the yere / before all the chapiter excludynge thens / and seperatynge all lay persons. &c.

These constitucions be good and necessary. But why laye personnes shulde be seperate fro the seyde recy­talle: I se no cause / for if laye per­sons might be there also to here it / it wolde bothe do them good / and also make the spirituall men the beter to take hede. And syth laye men here of the defaultes and abusyons at home where they dwell. What hurte could [Page]it do / if they herde the lawes that the clergye hath made for a reformation of them: But it is verye lyke that / that excludynge of laye men fro the redynge of the sayde constitucyon: proceded of a drede / that the prelates at the makynge of the seyd constitu­cyon had: lest that laye men / if they herde it / shulde happely the rather disdayn prestes or dispyse them: but surely it is to feare that / that drede ꝓceded nat of charite / but of sigula­ryte / for by reason therof / I suppose the mater is come to that effecte / that it is neither red to preestes / ne yet to laye men.

¶ The seconde chapiter.

ALso in the constytution / whiche begynneth.

Quod in constitutione et infra, And it is in the fyrst boke / in the tytle of the Iteracyon of the sacramentes / [Page]to be done / or nat done. After the vii. Sacramentes be there resyted / it is sayde thus. But the .vi. sacrament that is to saye of holy orders / accor­deth to they in that be parfyte. And the seuynth sacrament / that is to say of Matrymonye / in the tyme of the Newe testamēt accordeth to imꝑfet. And though it be trewe / that some that be in holy orders be more par­fyte thā they that be in matrimony / yet to make a recytall in the lawe ge­nerally that the one order / that is to say prestehode accordeth to perfytte men: And the other / that is to say matrimony accordeth to imparfet men / may ful lightly gyue occasyon to the one / that is to say to prestes to be vaine glorious / & to the other that is to say to maryed mē / to mystrust ouer­moche the state of lyuenge that they be in / which neuerthelesse vndouted­ly accordeth to parfyte men / and if it be well kepte / is in dede holy & bles­sed. And though I knowe well that [Page]the meanyng of the sayde recitale is nat that all in the one degre be ꝑfite / and in the other vnperfyte: yet for asmoche as laye men that rede it / & be maried may lightly take it so / it may do great hurte that way / as is sayd before / but I se no way howe it can do any good. And it is no doute but that matrimony in the Newe testa­mēt parteyneth and accordeth to parfytte men / as well as euer it dyd in ye olde testament.

The thyrde chapiter.

THe lawe of the Realme is that yf an aduowson be voyed / and the patro­ne present an able encombent to the ordynarye accordynge to the lawe / that the ordy­nary vpon his paryll shall admytte hym / and if he do nat a Quare impedit lyeth agaynst hym / as it shulde do agaynst another disturbour. And [Page]yet neuerlelesse hath the bysshoppes and clergie made a cōstitucyon / that if a preest haue a benyfyce / and also a sōne & dyeth / that / that sonne shall nat be presented to that benefice next after his father. And the seyd con­stytucyon is in the tytle of preestes sonnes / in the fyrst boke. And begynneth: For as moche as it is forbyd­den. And there is a lyke legantyne of Otho / that begynneth. Although holy fathers. &c. And in that legan­tyne it is decreed / that if any prestes sonne / be immedyatly after the deth of his father / presented to the same benyfyce / and no meane parson be­twene / that he shalbe depreued. And these lawes were made whan it was lanfull for preestes to haue wyues. And also / it maye come yet in vre / in case that a man haue a sonne before his preesthode / and after hath a bene fyce / and dyeth / in whiche case his sonne is prohibyte by these lawes / that after the death of his father / he [Page]maye nat be admytted to that beny­fyce. And in this poynte / the lawes of the realme / and the sayd spirituall lawes do vary: For in the same selfe case / if the patrone after the deth of the father presente the sonne / so that he be able to be presented / if the bys­shoppe refuse hym a Quare impedit Lyeth agaynste hym natwithstan­dynge / the seyd constitucyons / and he shall be compelled by the kynges lawes to admytte him. And the abylytie or non abilytie / in this case shal be taken accordynge to the qualytie of the person presented in vertu and connynge / and nat accordyng to the lawes made by the clergye. For if they wolde make a lawe / that none shuld be admitted to a benyfyce / but he were a maister of arte. That law shulde nat bynde in this realme / and this inconuenyence may folowe vpō suche lawes / that if a man in suche case be admytted by auctorite of the kynges lawes / and be in possessyon / [Page]the clergy wyl make proces agaynst him / and depreue him / & so that the one law doth the other will auoyde / where vpon variaunce and vnquietnesse may ensewe / nat onely in those cases / but also in other lyke / and a ly­ke lawe is in the tytle of othes in the seconde boke: that begynneth thus / We determyne by this present statu­te. &c. Wherby it is decreed / that the bysshoppe shall receyue an Othe of him that is presented / that he hath neither promysed nor gyuen ought for that presentacion vnto the presenter / neither made any cōpactiō with him for it / specyally if he that is pre­sēted seme lykely to be suspected ther of / and there vpon it foloweth / that if such an inconbēt refuse to be sworn Wherfore the ordynary for his diso­bedyence refuseth him: That a Quare impendit lyeth agaynst the ordy­nary by the Kynges lawes / and he shalbe compelled to admit him: But than wyll the bysshoppe for his diso­bedyence [Page]pretende to depreue him a­gayne / & grudges / suetes / and vari­aunces may encrese / and the cause of all this hath resyn by reason that the bysshoppes whan they sawe cause resonable (as they thought) to haue lawes made in the case before rehersed wold nat cōplayne to the ꝑlyamēt to haue it reformed there but wold make lawes themselues / which thei had none auctorite to make / and if they had complayned to the parlyament / and the parliament wolde nat loke vpon the matters / than were the or­dynaryes the more to be excused: for that they dyd that in them was / and therfore as me semeth the parliamēt dyd well if they wolde make lyke lawes in the cases before rehersed / and in other lyke / where the clergy haue made lawes vpon a resonable consyderation / where they had none auctorite so to do. And thā the lawes shulde stande in good strength in the lawes of the realme against the offē ­der / [Page]as they do nowe in the spirytual lawe / and if it be thought that no profet can come of the makyng ther­of / than it wyll be better to repelle them / than to suffre them contynue any lenger.

The fourth chapiter.

THere is a Consty­tutyon in the tytle of othes in the se­cond boke / whiche begineth: Euenir et infra. &c. Wher by it is decreed yt whan prelates and ecclesiastycal iu­ges enquere of the defautꝭ and exces­ses; of their subiectes that deserue punishement that the laye shall be compelled (if nede requyer) by sentence of excōmunicacyon to gyue an othe to say the truth / and that if any with stāde or let the othe to be gyuen / that he shalbe brydeled with the sentence [Page]of excōmunicacyon and interdicti­on / and this constitutyon standeth nat with conscience / for it excepteth nat that there shall be any monicyon gyuen before accordynge to the gos­pell / & ouer that there be many thin­ges that a lay man may knowe / whi­che he may nat with conscience vtter to none other / neither after monicy­on nor before / and yet by this constitucyon he shall be enforced therto or be a cursed / & put him selfe in ieopar­dy to be taken as to the worlde / as a man a cursed / and yet be nat a cursed before god / and the constitucyon is nat / that it shal be disclosed secretely to the prelate / as it may be somtyme if the denouncer thynke the prelate secrete and charitable / but it must be done in the courte / so that processe shalbe made vpon it / and that may do great hurte / for accordyng to the myndes of many doctours / some per sons refrayne to offende for feare of infamye / whiche if they perceyue [Page]them selfe openly fallen in to it / wyll fall to sine / all feare set a parte. And ouer that it may be / that none kno­weth ye mater but he only / & than his sayenge is no suffycyent profe / & to compell him to swere where his othe shall do no good / but happely tour­ne him self to trouble / semeth nat reasonable. And ouer that / the othe that is apoynted to be taken by the sayde constitution / is nothyng lyke to the othes that men be compelled to ta­ke at the comē law / to enquere vpon transgressours / for they enquere cō ­menly vpon murthers / felonyes / trespasses of landes and goodes / comen nusances / or other thynges as be a­gaynst the peace / and to the hurte of the comen welth / & that requyre also the iugement of deth / restitution to the partyes / auoydyng to the comen nusances or suche other as iustyce requyreth to be done / and that can nat be holpen by no monycyon made after the offence: And also suche en­queryes [Page]at the comen lawe haue ben alway vsed by a generall custome of the realme / for the mayntenaunce of iustice and of the comen welth. But this othe was brought vp by the clergye without assente of the kynge or of the people / and where vnto they could nat compelle any man before: and if any mā wyll say that this mo­cyon may do hurte / as to auoyde corrections / and gyue boldenesse to thē that be yuell to offēde / to that I wyll say thus. I wyll nat denye but that charytable corrrcetions be ryght ex­pediēt / specyally where there is dout of recydiuatyon & fallyng agayn to synne / but surely I haue nat herde but that offenders in tyme paste / by one meanes or other (I knowe nat redily howe) haue ben suffred to syt styll without correction / nat with­standyng all the othes that haue ben made in spūall cour­tes in tyme past.

The fyfth chapiter

THere is a Cōstitucyon in the fyrste boke in the tytle of the Archepreest / that begynneth. Igno­rantia sacerdotum et infra. Wherein amonge other thynges the ten com­maundementes be recyted / and it a­pereth therin / that the fyrst cōmaundement of the second table / is to ho­nour our father and mother tempo­rally and spiritually / and it is sayd after in the same place / that in this cōmaundement is nat vnderstande onely the father and mother carnall and temporall / but also spirituall: So that the father spyrytuall is the prelate of the churche / mediat or im­mdyeate / and the spirytuall mother is the churche / whose sonnes be all & euery catholyke persone & persones / by whiche Constitucyon / some spirituall men haue p̄tended in tyme past that euery man is as moche boundē to honour his spirituall father / wherby they vnderstande his prelate and [Page]his spirituall mother / wherby they vnderstand the church / that is to say prestes / as they be to honour theyr father and mother carnall / and that if nede requyre / they be bounde to releue thē temporally / as theyr own father and mother / And that is mo­che lyke to the errour of the Phari­syes whiche taught the people / that if they wolde offre to the Temple / it shulde discharge them of their du­tie to their father and mother / as ap­pereth. Luc. xv. It is also a great ouersyght / that the clergye calleth the churche the spirituall mother to euery catholyke persone / meanynge only by that worde church / prestes: for all Catholyke people make the churche / which is the spirytuall mo­ther / so that preestes be but onely a parte of it: How be it that they be in dede a right notable parte therof / but to call them selfe ye hole churche it semeth a gret ouersyght / and that they haue do so / it appereth in ma­ny [Page]writynges / as whan it is sayde: that suche a thīg or suche / is against the lybertye of the churche / the mea­nyng is / that it is only agaynste the lybertye of the clergye / and so it is where it is sayde: that all they that wrongefully witholde any thynge from the churche be accursed / & that maner of writynge is founde in ma­ny places of the Constitucyons and other writynges also: Insomoche that in the very statutꝭ of the realme that terme church, is somtyme vsed for the clergye / as in the statute of Magna carta: the fyrste chapiter. Where it is sayd / yt the chyrch of En­glande shall haue all her olde lyber­tyes / whereby is ment no other / but that the clergye of Englande shalt haue their lybertye / And it is nat to thynke but that tho wordꝭ were / put in to the statute by the specyall cal­lyng on of the clergye / And this ma­ner writyng causeth some of the cler­gye of Englande to exalte them self [Page]farre aboue lay mē / bicause they thinke yt they only be takē as the church / wherfore it semeth it is expediēt for brīgyng in of mekenesse to some spi­rytuall men / that / that terme church be nat from hens forth vsed only for the clergye / but that there as it hath ben vsed to be sayd: It is agaynste the lybertie of the church / to say here after that it is against the lybertie of the clergye or of preestes / & that they that witholde the dutye of ye clergie do offende against the clergye & nat generally to say that they offende a­gaynste the churche / in which worde be comprised al christen people.

The sixte chapiter.

IT is a ryght troublous thynge to the people / to haue two powers with­in the realme / whereby they may be sued for one thynge in seuerall courtes and by se­uerall auctorities / and great expen­ses [Page]and vnquietnes to the people haue ensued thereby in many places / & one great hurte in that behalfe maye lyghtly ryse by reason of a Constitucyon that is in the seconde boke / in the tytle of Iugementes. And it be­gynneth. Item omnes illi et infra. Wherby amonge other thinges / whiche I passe ouer for shortenesse. It is decreed / that the vyolatours and disturbours of the immunitye and lybettyes of the churche. That is to saye / that all such seculer persons as at any tyme here after shall presume to withdrawe any thynge out of the houses or other places of Archebys­shoppes bysshoppes / or any other ec­clesiasticall persons agaynst the wyl of the lordes or of them that be deputed kepers of the same / may be con­uented in the place where suche tres­pas is done: Although they can nat be there founde / and a specyall pro­ces is ordeyned in the same constitu­cyon / agaynste them that can nat be [Page]foūde: and it is decreed forther / that all the ordynaries and iuges of the ꝓuynce of Canterbury shall in such case helpe the one an other without any dyficultye in spedyng of citacyons and executyons of the same / and all other laufull cōmaundemētes in that behalf. And though the sayde cōstitucyon seme to meane non other wyse / but that the offenders agaynst the lybertye of the churche / and that wrongfully take awaye the goodes of the churche shall only be sued: yet it maye be that by occasyon of an vn­true surmyse / he that is innocent and no offender may be greuously vexed and troubled vpon it / as if a spiritu­all man take awaye wrongefully the goodes of a laye man and bryng thē wtin the landes or possessyons of the churche / and after the laye man fyn­deth them there / and taketh them a­gayne / as it is lawfull for him to do / yet it maye be surmysed that he offended the sayd constitucyon / so that the [Page]ꝓces shal go forth as straytly agaīst him / as it shuld do agaynst him that were a very offender / and there is a legantine of Octobon / that begyn­neth. For the sauegard &c. that is moche of the same effecte as the sayd cō ­stitution is: For it is / that if a man violently or enuiously carye awaye other mens goodes / whiche arlayed vp in holy place / or shall helpe / counsayll / or cōsente therto / shalbe wrapte in the dede doynge in the bandes of excōmunication: from the whiche he shall in no wyse be assoyled / but he fyrst make satisfactyon to the church whiche he hath so greatly iniuryed: And also to hī that hathe suffred losse and domage. And that if such an ex­cōmunicate person monisshed by his dyocesan do nat satisfye within the tyme by him appoynted / his landes shall be enterdit / whiche shall nat be released before due satisfaccyon. And it is certayne / that the partye maye also be sued in the kīges courte / whi­che [Page]may be great vexation vnto him And though the lawe of the realme be / that if any suche sute be taken in the spirytuall courte for any tem­porall thynge / that as well the iuge as the partie rēne therby into the premunire. Yet for as moch as some po­re man maye be sued there: that is nat able to sue a p̄munire / it semeth more resonable / clerely to breke the sayde constytucyon and legantyne / than to suffre them to stande any len­ger / for as longe as they shall be suf­fered to stande / some spyrituall men maye hapely thynke / that the spyri­tuall Iurisdiccion is greatly wron­ged / in that they maye nat be execu­ted. And ouer that / some men thinke the sayd constitucyon to be more parcyall and the lesse indifferent / bycause that all the proces therof is made agaīst seculer persones. For though spyrituall men offende in the same degre of offence / as the seculer mā doth yet the constitucyon gyueth no suche [Page]specyall proces agaynste hym. And also if a man take goodes wrongful­ly fro a pore man / the offence is most cōmenly greater agaynste god / than if he toke them from any of the cler­gye / and yet no remedye is prouided for the poore man. But the clergye is in suche lawes highlye regarded / and that in such a synguler and par­cyall maner / that many of the temporaltye thynke / that they force but lyt­tell / how pore lay men be hādeled ne what wronge they haue / so that they haue none them selfe,

¶ The seuenth chapiter.

MAnye lawes and decrees haue ben made / affermīge that it is nat lawfull that anye preest shulde be put to answere before laye men. And gret censures of excommunicatyons be made agaynst theym that doo it. And accordyng to the sayde decrees / [Page]there is a constitucyon in the seconde boke / in the tytle of a competent courte: and it begynueth. It happeneth some tyme. &c. Where it is recyted / that clerkes / although they be nat ta­ken in the dede doynge / or conuicted as euyll doers / or suspected of crime or trespace / or wronge doyng to any man. Be neuerthelesse taken by the laye power / without any regarde of persones / & be layde in pryson. And if they can nat be founde / that than they be banisshed the realme / wherbi is mēt / yt they be outlawed. And it is sayd there yt therin the lybertie of the church is confoūded & broken / whan a clerke is iuged of a laye iuge / and it is therfor decreed / that if the clerkꝭ that be so takē be knowē & be honest / yt thā as well the takers as the wtholders of them shalbe declared excōitate / and the landes of the takers and retayners of them to be enterdit tyll they be delyuered / and conuenient satisfaction and amendes made / but it [Page]is here to be noted / that the constitu­tion cōsydereth nat / that it is as law full for iuges to here the complaynte agaynst them that be innocent / as a­gaynste theym that be gyltie / tyll the matter be tryed. And therfore if the complaynte be made of such matters as they ought nat for to be delyuered to their ordinaries in / if they were gyltie / than the ordynaries may nat complayne / though they be nat delyuered where they be nat gyltie tyll ye matter be tryed / for it is nat yet knowen whether they be gyltye or nat. And also / if it be in case yt they ought to haue priuelege and be delyuered / yet if they be asked of offycers that haue no power to delyuer them / ther is no cause why such offycers that so deteygne them / shulde be excommu­nycate / or their landes enterdyted. And therfore it semeth / that constytutyon farre vnreasonable in that pointe. And that clerkes ought nat to be put to answere before laye men / I neuer [Page]sawe any auctoryte therof / but lawes of their owne makyng which be therin of no strengh for thē in this realme / excepte certayn lybertyes yt they haue ī that behalf / by the kyng & his ꝓgenytours / & by the lawes and customes of the Realme / whiche be right great & moch fauourable vnto them / it they be well loked on. And if they wyll nedes clayme suche lyber­tyes by other waies / than by the kīge and his lawes / that they haue them of: they deserue the lesse to haue thē any lenger. Than the seyde Consty­tucion saith farther in the later ende / That if clerkes restored to the chur­che / be amerced by the seculer iuge / for any personall transgressyon / the prelates shall nat compell the sayde clerkes to paye the same amerciamēt seynge they were nat cōdempned by their own iuges. And surely there is no cause / why a clerke for a personall transgressyon shulde nat be compel­led to pay the amercyamēt / and that [Page]by the kynges Iuges as well as any laye man shulde / without spekynge any thynge to the prelates in it: but yet as longe as such lawes stande vnrepelled: it wyl be thought by many of the clergye that it is nat so / & that the lybertye of the churche is greatly offended by it.

The eyght chapiter.

THere is a Constitucion in the seconde boke in the tytle of a cōpetēt courte / that begynneth / Cir­cumspecte agatis et infra / wherin be dyuers artycles which be put in ma­ner worde for worde among the sta­tutes of this realme / whiche the ler­ners of the lawe of this Realme haue cōmenly amonge them / and there is set as for a tytle of the sayd Cōstitucion these wordꝭ folowyng. Certaī thī ges takē out of ye kyngꝭ answers. &c. whiche neuerthelesse as I suppose were neuer takē out of the kyngꝭ an­sweres / for they be in some poyntes [Page]clerely agaīst the lawes of this real­me / as it is in that there is recyted therm that prelates / for fornycacyon auowtry / or suche other / enioyne so­metyme corporall punysshemēt / some tyme pecunarye / but I neuer herde that prelates haue auctoritie to enioyne peyne pecunarie for aduowtrye / fornycacion / or suche other. And also in the sayd constitucyon it is sayde / that if the prelate or aduocate of any churche aske of the persone any pencion due to him / that all suche pency­ons ought to be asked in the spiritu­all court / and maketh no exception of no maner of pencion / & the lawe of the realme is clere / that Annuy­teis and pencyons that begyn by cō ­posycion or agrement of the parties / and also by prescripcyon: belong to the kynges court / and therfore many haue sayd / that the sayde treatyse of Circumspecte agatis is no statute / but that it was so named to be by ye prelates / and so it is sayd that it was [Page]in the .xix. yere of kynge Edwarde the thirde in a writ of Annuitie / and if it be so / than is it but onely a bare constitucyon / And than it is to the two poyntꝭ afore rehersed clerely voide / because it is therin dyrectely a­gaynste the kynges lawes & his pre­rogatyf / & was also made without his assēt or any of his ꝓgenitours.

The nynth chapiter.

THere is a constitucyon in the thirde boke among the constitucyons De Clericis non residentibus that begi­neth Audistis et infra wherin it appe­reth that whan a preest taketh two benefices with cure of soule without a pluralitie / that some lawes spirituall haue iuged both to be voyde / and some haue holden the laste to be voyde / as the legatyne of Octobon doth: And than the sayd Constitucyon de­creeth that he shalbe content with the [Page]last benyfyce so optayned. But all those lawes / as it shulde seme by the sayde constitucyon / are to be vnder­stand only of such benefyces / as any parsone had at that tyme withoute pluralitie. And therfore the same cō stitution gothe farther / and decreeth that who so euer hensforthe receyue many benefyces: all hauyng cure of soules / or otherwyse uncompatyble / without the popes dispensatyon / or gete them by waye of institutyon or cōmendam / or of custody / otherwy­se than the constytution of Gregorie made in the counsaile of Lions doth permytte: the same in so doyng to be depriued from all benefyces that he hath so optayned. And than as I take it / the lawe of this Realme is / that all benefyces so optayned with out pluralitie / be clerely voyde with out any depriuation: For there be in the lawes of Englande / fyue causes of a voydaunce of a benifyce. That is to saye: Resygnation / dethe / de­priuation [Page]/ creation / & cessyon, And Creatiō is / where a mā that hath dyuers benifices is made a bisshop: for than all his benifeces by that creatiō be forchwith voyde. And where a man taketh two benifyces / without pluralytie they be voyde also. And yt is called Cessyon. And if there must be therupon a depriuatiō before they be voyde / thā is the depriuation the cause of the voydaūce & not the Ces­syō. And thā there shuld be but four causes of a voydaunce / howbeit I wyll nat determynatly speke in that matter / for they that be lerned in the lawes of yt realme can best determin whether it be so or notte. And if the lawe of the realme be therin as I haue sayd / than can it nat be chāged by no constytucyon And thā if the lawe be as I haue sayd before / it foloweth therupō also / that if a man take two benifyces without a pluralytie / that both be forthwith voyde. But if he than take ye thyrde / that is nat voide [Page]For the two fyrste were none of his / whan he toke the thirde: But if he after take the fourthe / than are the thyrde and the fonrth voyde also.

¶ The tenth chapitre.

THe lawe of the Realme is that whan a benefyce falleth voyde / and the patron presenteth an able & a mete clerke to the Or­dynary / that the Ordynary is bounde vpon the payne of a Quare impe­dit / and to be taken as a dysturber / to admytte that clerke so presented / in as conuenyent tyme as he may / with out any notable delaye. And yet it is decreed by a constitucyon / that is in the thirde boke / in the tytle of clerkes that be non resydent. And it begyn­neth: Cum secundum apostolum et in­fra. That the bisshop in no meanes shall dyfferre aboue two monethes to admyt him that is presented / wherby [Page]it appereth that the meanynge of the cōstitucion is / that he shuld haue power so longe to delaye the prsente­ment / if he wyll / and that is dyrect­ly against the lawe of the realme: for he is bounde to presente suche an en­combent in as cōuenient tyme as he can all notable delayes set aparte as is aforesayde.

¶ The eleuynth chapiter

IF a bysshop / abbot / pri­our / or any other spirituall man that hath temporall possessyons / wyll a­lyeu any of the seyd pos­sessyons / there is an ordre set by the kynges lawes / vnder what maner that Alyenation shall be made.

And if an alyenation be made accor­dyng to that ordre / it shall be good & perfite for euer. And none other hath power to make any lawe to the con­trary therof: And yet there is a con­stitucyō [Page]made in ye thirde boke / whi­che is in the tytle of gyftes of preben­des / & it begynneth: That the chur­ches indempnyties. &c. Wherby it is decreed that no Abbot / or Pryor / no Archedeacon or Deane / ne any other inferior clerke / p̄sume to selle / pledge or morgage / or to gyue in fee of new or any other wyse to alyenat the pos­sessyons or profyttes of dygnytie / or churche that is commytted to theym / the forme and maner of the Canons therin nat obserued / and that if any dare do the contrarye to this / bothe the thyng that is done shall be of no value / and also he that doth it shalbe depreued by his superiour / excepte yt he wyll cal backe agayn that he hath alyenat withi a tyme prefyxed by his superiour / and the sayd Cōstitucion goth yet ferther & sayth: And he also that herefater receyueth the churche goodes and after he is warned presumeth to witholde thē shalbe stryken with the swerde of excōicacion: And [Page]in no wyse shall he be heled of yt woū de tyll he haue made restitucion: All which lawes be dyrectly agaynst the kynges p̄rogatyf & the lawes of the Realme / wherfore it were better that they were put awaye / than to be suf­fred to stande any lenger / as though they were of effecte / and be nat so indede.

¶ The twelfth chapiter.

IF a womā haue goodes and take a husbande / all the goodes that she hath at the daye of Martagear her husbandes. In so moche that if she after that / make a wyll and dye / that wyll after the lawes of the realme is clerely voyde. And if she aske lycence of her husbād to make a wyll / and he wyll none gi­ue / he offendeth nat. But if a wo­man haue goodes as an executryce / and take a husbande / those goodes [Page]be nat the husbandes. But he shall haue them to the vse of the fyrst wyl. And if the wyfe in that case / by the lycence of her husbande make a wyll and appoynt another to be her executour and dye / that wyll is good / and that executour shal haue those goods fro the husbande. And shall haue all accyons as executour of executrice to execute the fyrste wyll / and also if a man be bounde to a woman by an o­blygacyon in an hundreth poundes / and after she taketh a husbande / and she by the lycence of her husband maketh her husbāde or any other her executoure that wyll is good / and he or they so made executours shall haue an accyon vpon that oblygacyon: And if no suche wyll had ben made / the husbande ne no nother shuld nat haue hadde any action vpon that ob­lygation / vnlesse they take a letter of administration: as administratours to the wyfe. And than there is a ge­nerall cōstitucyon made in the third [Page]boke / in the tytle of Testamentes. which begineth: Callyng to mynde the statute. &c. Wherby all they be accursed / that let the fre makyng of te­stamentes / of ascriptis / and of other persones of seruyll condicyon. And of women also / both maried and vnmaryed / or of their owne wyfes / or of other mēnes wyues. And all that constitucyon / as to women couerte that haue no goodes / but as before appereth / is clerely voyde & against the lawes of the realme. And also of villaynes / the lawe is, that if the lor­de make a generall seaser of the go­des of his vyllayne / that all the vyl­laynes goodes be his. And of that it foloweth that the wyll as to tho go­des is voyde / and that neither there cutoure nor ordinarie may nat wast any of tho goodes for prouyng of the testament. But if he were an execu­tour / or if his lorde made no seaser / than he might laufully make a wyll and the wyll were good: But if ther [Page]be suche a seaser / the wyll is voyde and of none effecte: And than if the vyllayn haue none other goodes / the wyll is voyd and nedeth no probate.

¶ The .xiii. chapiter.

THere be diuers good la­wes and Canons made whiche nede nat here to be rehersed / whereby it is appoynted howe the goodes of the clergie shall be dyspo­sed in charitable vses after their deth And there be but fewe cases where a clerke after tho lawes shulde make a wyll. And the lawe of the realme is / that clerkes may make their wil­les as lyberally as any lay man may and that though they haue theym for their spirytuall ministratyon. And the conuocacyon perceyuynge the fauour that the lawes of the realme beareth to clerkes in that behalf / ha­ue ordeyned that bysshoppes and o­ther [Page]Ecclesiasticall Iuges of the prouynce of Cauntorburye / shall in no wyse by any crafte or colour / medle with the goodes of clerkes benefy­ced / whiche maye by the custome of Englande make theyr testamentes, but shall suffre yt executours of their testamentes / frely to dispose and or­der the same. And the seyde Consti­tucyon is in the thirde boke / in the tytle of testamētes. And begynneth:

Ita quorundam et infra. And if the seyde Constitucyon / and the lawe of the realme also in that poynte were refourmed / And that it were appoin ted / that the goodes of clerkes shuld be charttably disposed aff their deth specially suche as they haue by anye spirituall benifyce / in suche maner as shuld be thought cōuenient by parlyamēt and conuocation. It shulde seme to be a good charita­ble dede.

¶ The .xiiii. chapiter.

IT apppereth so euydently in scripture / both in the olde testament and in the new that the people are bownde to fynde to their spirytuall ministers a suffyciēt porcyon of their goodes to lyue with that it nedeth nat to expresse here any certane auctoritye therof / and for a recompence of that certayn porcion / it is vsed in this Realme in maner vniuersally / that the peple shall pay to their spiritual ministers the tenth parte of their encrease / which tenth parte many spirituall ministers clay me to be due to theym by the lawe of god. And therfore it is sayde in the third boke / in the tytle of tythes and oblatyons / that they that paye the eleuynth shefe for the tenth / dispyse ye cōmaundemētes of the olde and new testament / the whiche pretence excludeth all customes and prescriptions that mighte be had contrary to the [Page]tenth parte. And syth it is well kno­wen / that it hath ben in late tyme / & also yet is in question and in doute: whether the tenth parte be grounded vpon the lawe of god / or vpon the lawe of man. It semeth that good charitie wolde / that for the clerynge of the conscyence of many mē / it shul de be clerely and plainly determyned whether it be soo or nat. And if it can be proued to be a morall lawe of the olde Testamēt / or to be assigned by any authorite of the Newe testa­ment / that the tenth parte shulde be payde / I trust no man wyll resyst it. And if it can nat be proued that the tenth parte is by the lawe of god thā of very ryght the olde resonable cus­tomes of payeng of tythes muste be obserued / as well by theym that as­ke tythes / as by them that pay them / and than if any man wyll denye to paye his predyall tythes after the ol­de custome / or that any curate wolde eske any more than right requireth / It [Page]semeth reasonable that he be en­forsed by compulcyon of lawes to kepe the custom. Howbeit some lawes seme nat reasonable of payenge ty­thes: That is to saye: that tythe shul de be payed of the skynnes of the she pe that dye to the losse of the owner ne yet that the tythynge of the odde lambes or calues shulde be set ouer tyll another yere / to the entent the curate in the seconde yere maye haue a tenth lambe or calfe / that in the same yere coulde nat haue had it. Also it semeth a very sore lawe that seruantes shulde tythe for their wages / or that any man shulde be sewed for preuy tethes / which lyeth nat in outwarde profe / though it be rightgood to pay suche preuy tythes / as conscience re­quireth. And yet it semeth to be the moste straunge lawe of all the other / that Persons / vycars / and parysshe preestes / shall vpon a payne be com­pelled to sewe for tythes / & that they may natsyt styl if they lyst / and that [Page]is by a constitucion in the third boke that begynneth: For so moche as through dyuers customes. &c. And all the other artycles before rehersed appere in the Constitucyons in the tytell of Tythes and Oblacyons: Nat all in one peragraf / but in seue rall peragrafes / as to the reder wyll appere / and if they were reformed it semeth it were a good dede: Also to bere the people in hād that the tenth parte is due to curates and spiritu­all mynysters by the immediat lawe of god / and it nat so / is a great offē ce for it is an affyrmaunce of an vn­truth / and many persones haue ben compelled therby to paye the tenthe parte / contrary to the olde custome vsed in those parties where the cura­te hath had ynow besyde / wherfore it semeth better & the more charytable way for the ministers of the churche to confesse if the truth be so that the .x parte is grounded only vpon the cu­stome & law of man / & that it began [Page]by the good assent of the people / thā to clayme the .xx. ꝑte to be due to thē by the Immediat lawe of god / and yet vnder that pretence a lawe is made in the sayd tytle of tythes & obla­cions / whiche begynneth: All be it god hath promysed. &c. Wherby it is decreed / that tythes shalbe payed generally of wode / & that is agaynst a statute of this realme / made in the xlv. yere of the reigne of kynge Ed­warde the thyrde / wherby it is enac­ted / that a phibicion shall lye where a man is impledid for tythe of wode of the age of .xx. yere / by the name of Siluacedua / As it had done in ty­me past / and it semeth nat good to suffre a Constitucion to stand so dy­rectly agaynst a statute / but it be opē ly declared why it ought so to do.

The .xv. chapiter.

IT is a daungerouse thynge to fall in to the Censures of the churche / and therfore they wolde nat [Page]be gyuen but for great causes. And in such playne and open maner / that euery man that wolde with dilygēce take hede to it might knowe whether he offended in that thynge that they were gyuen for or nat: but the more pytie is / the censures of the churche be many tymes extended in such a generall maner / and in so many cases / that no man can well knowe howe to eschewe them / and that appereth many tymes in the cōstitutions / as whā men be a cursed for breakynge of the churches lyberties / and exp̄sseth nat what the liberties be. And in the said tytell of tithes and oblations / in the later ende of the constitution / which begynneth. Men are so blynded. &c. Is this generall lawe made / that all and synguler / such as worke wicked inuentions and deceytes / by the whiche the rightes or the aprobate custo mes / or the lyberties of the church be in any thynge dimynisshed / or suffre any iniury / domage / or grefe / cōtra­ry [Page]to the churches lybertie / shall be wrapped in the bonde of the great excōmunicatyon / their absolucyon re­serued specially to their diocesan / the poynte of deth onely excepted. And in a constitucion which is in the fifth boke / in the tytle Contra grauamina &c. And begynneth: Cum malum et infra. It is recyted / that all they be acursed that do maliciously presume to take away fro chirches their right or through malyce / or contrarye to iustyce do intende to breake or dis­tourbe the lybertyes of the same / and than there vpon the makers of ye said lawe say farther thus / wherby saye they / we perceyue all them to be tyed in the daunger and in the bonde of excomunicacyon / that obtayne let­ters fro any laye courte to let or hyn­der the ꝓces of spirytuall iugꝭ in all suche causes as hy the verdicte of holy Cannons be knowen to appartayne to the iuges of the spiritual court / and the sayde letters are to be vnder­stande [Page]as it semeth of the kinges prohibycions. And who can haue knowlege what parteyneth to the spiry­tuall courte by the Canons / whiche be so many & so great in nombre that fewe canne come to the knowlege of them. And these lawes be so vncer­tayne that it wyll be harde for anye man / to knowe whether he be in the danger of them or nat / And where ignoraunce shall excuse hym that is so accursed / and where nat it is a right great doute / and such thynges as touche the people so nygh as such excomunicatyons doo / wold be brought as nigh as reason could dryue it in to a more clere knowledge / than thei be yet as me se­meth.

¶ The .xvi. chapiter

IT is ye lawe of this Real­me / that if a man recouer his presentemēt. in a Qua­re impedit / In the Kyn­ges courte agaynste a no­ther that claymeth the patronage.

And a gaynst his incumbent / that ye playntyffe shall haue a writte to the bisshop to admytte his clerke / whe­ther the incumbent of the disturbour be admytted before the writ come or nat: vpon the payne of a Quare non amisit / and of making of a fyne to the kīge. And if the deffendaūtes might haue pledyd plenartye / and dyd nat / they loste the aduauntage of it: and the clerke muste be remoued. And yet it semeth that there is a constitu­cyon made to the contrary therof in the thirde boke / and in the tytle of patronage / whiche begynneth: Whan one optaineth in the kinges lawe &c. For it is sayde there / that if suche a writte come to the bisshoppe / and the benifyce be nat voyd / that the prelate [Page]for his excuse shall shewe vnto the kynge or his Iustices / that by cause such benifyce is nat voyde that he cā nat fulfyll the kinges cōmaundemēt. And certayne it is that / that is no ex­cuse in the lawes of the realme. And than the sayde Decree: somwhat to saue the tytle of the Playntyfe / as it thynketh / gothe further and saythe: that it shalbe lefull to the patrone in that case to present the possessoure a­gayne / that by that meanes / the title of the patrō that hath optayned / may be declared more playnly after: But howe can the patron present the same possessour agayne / if he may nat be remoued / as the seyde constytucyon pretēdeth that he may nat: And ther­fore if he shulde present him agayne / it shulde be rather a confyrmatyon of his first presentment / and a hurte to his owne tytle / than anye furthe­raunce of it / for the possessour shulde haue the benifyce styll by the first presentmente / and nat by the presentmēt [Page]of the patrone / & so at the nexte tyme of auoydance / the same dysturbour shulde by reason of that presentment present agayne. And of that it shulde folowe also / that if a dysturboure coulde fynde the meanes that his en­combent shulde be admytted / that he shulde nat be remoued durynge his lyfe / though the right patrone reco­uered after in the kynges courte / and that were clerely agaynst iustyce / & therfore the ordinary in that case is bounde by the lawes of the realme / vpon his ieopardye / to amoue the clerke of the disturbour / as is sayde before: But if the churche be full of the presentment of an other patrone / than of hym that the Quare impedit is brought agaynst: Or if the ordy­nary haue presented by laps / where he is nat named in the action as a disturbour / than he may laufully laye tho causes for his excuse / But for the plenartie of the same encumbent / a­gaynst whom the accyon is brought [Page]he can make no excuse / and there is another decree in the thyrde boke of lyke effecte / as the sayd fyrste decree is: & it begynneth: Esurientes auaricie &c. Wherin ther be some thyn­ges dyrectely agaynst the writtes of Quare impedit / & quare non admisit / as to the reder wyll appere. And it semeth that it is nat good / that suche lawes shulde be suffred to stāde that be so dyrectly agaynste the lawes of the Realme / seyng that it perteyneth to the kynge and his lawes to ordre the right of all presentementes with in this Realme.

The .xvii. chapiter.

IT is an olde law & custome of this Realme that if a felon or a murderer flee to a church & aske sentwary there that he shall haue it / and that than he shall remayne ther fourtie dayes / and no man to be prohibit for those fortye dayes to bryng him mete & drinke but aft the fortie daies [Page]meat and drynke shall be prohibyte him / tyll he wyll yelde him self to the kynges lawes. And he that thā wyll brynge him any meat or drinke offendeth the lawe / and in the mean tyme whyle he is so in sentwary: it is lau­full for the to wnship where he is: to set sure watche and kepynge aboute him that he shall nat escape / lest they shuld be punisshed against the kinge for the escape. And yet in a constitucyon prouincyall / that is in the thyrd boke / in the tytle of the churches ly­bertie. And begynneth: Porro et in­fra. Amonge other thinges / it is decreed / that none shall be set to watch them that take the church or the churche yearde for sentwary / and if there be / that as well the kepers / as they yt set them there / shall be dryuen away in forme of lawe by the sentence of excommunicacyon. And the cōstitucion is further / that the churche shall de­fende them / whom the Canons only commaunde to be defended. And all [Page]this Constitucyon is voyed bycause they that made it hadde no power to make it / for it was made vpon this pretence / that such sentwary is graū ted to churches by the lawes Canon / where in dede it is graūted by ye kinges progenytours / and the lawes of his realme / in fauour and honour of churches / and therfore it hath apperteyned alwayes to the kinges lawes to determine in what case a man shal haue sentwary in a church & in what nat / and how he shalbe ordered whā he is there / howe long he shall tary there / and if he wyll abiure howe he shall be ordered whan he hath abiu­red / and it is dayly sene that the parliament appoynteth who shall haue suche sentwarye / and who nat / and putteth some fro it as they thinke reasonable: and it hath caused great vnquietnes / that the clergye claymeth suche sentwary to be by their auctoritye / and for a good reformacyon it wolde be prohibited that they shulde [Page]nat do so herafter. And a lyke pretence the clergye maketh / whan a man is admytted to his clergye: for they pretende that / that priuilege of cler­gye is graūted to them that can rede by the lawes of the Cannons. And that they be Iuges who shall be so admytted / and who nat. And ther­fore they saye that the ordynarye is there present by auctoritye of the ca­nons / to accepte such as he shall thi­ke to rede as clerkes / and to refuse them / that he thiketh do nat so. And whan they be admytted to their clergye / they saye they be cōmytted to ye bisshops prison as to him / by who­se fauour and power they haue their clergye. And neuerthelesse / the tru­the is that they haue theyr clergie in suche cases by the kynge and his la­wes / and his Iuges shall determyn where a man ought to haue his clergie / & where nat. For if the ordinary admytte one as a clerke that is none the kinges iuges shall set a fyne vpō [Page]him / & also shall gyue iugemēt vpon the ptie / & if the ordynary refuse one that ye iuges thynke redeth as a cler­ke they shall alowe him as a clerke & also set a fyne vpon the ordynary for his refusynge / and at euery generall gaole delyuery / the ordinary vpon a payne of a fyne to be set vpon him by the kinges iuges is boūde to be therto gyue his attendance without any warnyng / & at a speciall gaole dely­nery wt a warnyng. & whan he is in the bysshops pryson / the bysshop is bounde to kepe him safe / & nat to suffre him ot make any purgatyon / but accordyng to the kynges lawes / & if he do / he shall be punys shed for the escape. And if the kyng pardon him / that is so in the bysshoppes pryson / the bisshop is bounde to delyuer him vpon the kynges pardon / whethy it appereth suffyciently / that he is ther by the kiges power & auctority. And yet many spūall men pretēde the contrary / And therfore if ye matter and [Page]other lyke were sette in a clere waye it shulde cause greate quietnes / and thoughe they that haue their clergye haue it by the kynges lawes / as is afore sayde / and nat by the lawe Canon / yet are the Ordynaries bounde in consciens to kepe them that be soo commytted to them for their clergie / as fauorably as they ought to do if they were brought thether by their owne auctorite.

¶ The .xviii. chapiter.

IT is an old lawe in this realme / yt whan Bysshoppes die / the kynge shall haue the temporaltes during the vacacyon / & ma­ny statutes be made how the same tē poralties shalbe saued fro wast and destruction durynge the vacacyon / and that the kynges exchetours shal nat sell the vnderwodes / ne shall nat [Page]hunt ī their ꝑkes or warens / nor fysh in their fisshyngꝭ nor do any wast / to the p̄iudyce of the houses or of ye deane & the Capitre / Prior or supprior / and that the Prior & supprior maye take it to ferme if they wyll. And for as moche as in the tyme of suche va cacyons of Bysshopprykes / and of abbeys and Priories / whan they be nat taken to ferme. Hurte hath come sometyme to the sayd possessyons by the defaulte of the kynges offycers / where vpon the newe electes myght haue good remedy by the lawe of the realme if they wolde / yet the spirt­tualtye as it semeth / nat contented so to do / but pretendynge that by law­es made by them selfe / they wolde haue suffycyēt remedy without asking any ayde of the kynge / haue made a law in that case as it appereth in the thirde boke in the tytle of churches lyberties / in the chapiter whiche be­gynneth. Where the kyng. &c. which chapiter shall be rehersed hereafter [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page]worde for word / that euery man may se theffecte therof. And it beginneth thus: Whan the kynge hathe the cu­stodye of Cathedrall or Conuentual churches / although acordinge to the chartour of lyberties graūted to the church by the kinge and his predecessours / he ought to receyue onely cer­tayne profytes and certayn seruyces and that without the distreyninge of men / and destruceyon of thinges. It chaūceth neuerthelesse that his bay­lyffes through imoderate tallages & exaccyons / do bothe vyolently take away the churches tenaūtes goodes in tyme of vacation / and also destroy the parkes / woods / store poles / hou­ses / and scatereth the goodes abrode they euyll entreate the pore & stretch their hādes nat only to those thyng; which they were wont to optayn by reason of custody: But also vnto the goodes of them that remaine in lyfe / that is to wit / to that blade and store & such other / wherwith the chapiter [Page]and couente ought to be sustayned: Yea / and presume to take other thin­ges lyke wyse / whiche by reason of Baronye / can in no wyse apptayne vnto him: As tythes & oblations be­longinge / and apperteynig to chur­ches appropriate vnto bysshoprik ꝭ & monasteries and other lyke thinges. Therfore to withstande this euyll [...] we ordeyne / that as sone as the kin­ges escheters & baylyffes shall haue entred such custody / the prelat ꝭ whi­che haue iurisdiccyon / shall openly & solemply forbyd all the seyd baylyff ꝭ generally / that vnder payne of erco­munication they attēpt no such thig; But if they do cōtrary / let it be opēly declared / that they be fallen in to the sentēce of excōtcation decreed agaist the violatours & troublers of ye chur­ches lyberties vntyll thei haue made a cōpetent amēdes / for the hurts & in­iuries. which sentēce if they dyspyse after such denuncyation. Let proces be made agaist thē by interdiccyons [Page]and other penalties ordeyned aga­ynst suche wrong doers / and excepte the kynge admonisshed therof make competente restitucyon / or cause the thinges so taken to be restored and amended. Let proces be made against hym / as it is decreed in other cases touchynge the kynge / and the selfe same thinges which are before decreed for the kynge and his minysters we wyll to be obserued in other infe­ryour lordes / if peraduenture / the custodye come to them. Thus farre goth the seyde constitucyon / wherby it appereth / that though the parties greued might in such case haue good remedye by waye of peticyon to the kynge or against his bailyffes by the ordre of his lawes: that yet the cler­gye nat content with those remedyes haue taken vpon theym to make the seyde constitucyon to declare that su­che offycers be nat onely fallen in to the sentence of excomunication decreed agaynste the vyolatours of the [Page]churches lyberties / but also that if they make not a competent amendes that proces shalbe made agaynst thē by interdiction / and yet nat content with suche extreme lawes agaynste offycers / they procede farther / and decre / that if the kynge him selfe mo­nysshed make nat competent restytucion / that than proces shalbe made agaynst him / as is decreed in other cases touchyng the kyng / and what an entrepryse that is to make proces agaynst the kynge / that ought firste to sewe to him by peticyon it is ap­parant / and though the sayde lawe wyll that the kynge shulde be fyrste monysshed / yet that monycyon can nat be taken for any sute by peticion / but rather for a sute by compulcion / and surely sythe there be suffycient lawes ordeyned by parliament for a remedye in suche case / it semeth some what to be meruecyled why the cler­gye wolde also make this Constitu­cyon / as though theyr possessyons [Page]had nothyng be fauored by the kyng nor his Realme / and the lawes that be made for the preseruacion of such temporaltes in the tyme of vacation without wast or distruction be these. Fyrst in the statute of Magna carta the .v. chapiter: It is ordeyned that the Gardeyn as long as he hath the custody / shall sustayne Houses / parkes / waters / & mildames. &c. per­teynyng to the lande of the issues of the same / & shal yelde thē to the heire at his full age / enstored wt plowes / and all other thynges at the leest as he receyued them / and it is farther enacted / that all these thyngꝭ shalbe obscrued also / of the vacacions of Archebysshoppes / bysshops / abba­thyes / prories / churchꝭ / & dygnities that to the kyng belong / except only that those dygnities may nat be sold and that statute of Magna carta is confermed by the statute of Westm̄ prim̄ the .xxi. chapiter. And after in the .xiiii. yere of Kynge Edwarde [Page]the thirde / the .iiii. and .v. chapiter. It is prouided that no exchetour nor none other keper of the vacations of the temporalties / shall nat sell the vnderwod / nor hunt in the parkes / wa­rennes / nor fysshe / ne do wast nor di­struction to the piudyce of ye houses And that the deanes & the chapiters or superiour priours / or suppriours may take them to ferme if they wyll / so that ye exchetour shall nat medle. And this statute was made at the e­specyall desyre of the clergye / wher­with at that tyme they wer very well content. And vpon these statutes ac­cyons maye be taken / if they that be greued lyst to cōplayn. And what ne­deth it thā to make this cōstituciō / as though no remedy had bē prouyded for thē before: And to say the truth / I haue herde of none yt hath had cause notably to cōplayn in ye behalf / how beit I speke nat this to thentent I wold haue it appere the defaut in makige of this cōstitucion & such other [Page]to be in the prelates that nowe be / as though they wolde proces shulde be made agaynst the kige / for they were nat preuy to the makynge of the sayd Constitucyon. And therfore if they wyll assente to the refourmynge therof / there can no defaute be assygned in them.

¶ The .xix. chapiter.

IF a man be excommen­ged / and he wyll nat submytte him selfe to the iu­ge / ne desire absolucion but wyll obstinatly stan­de styll so accursed / the spyrituall iurysdiccyon hath no power to do any thinge further agaynst him. But if the partye thervpon stande styll ac­cursed fortye dayes / and the bisshop certifye the kynge therof / than the custome of the realme is in fauour of the spyrituall Iurisdiccyon / that the kynge shall awarde a writte oute of [Page]his Chauncerye / whiche is called a writte De excōicato capiendo / which shalbe directed to the sherif wher the partie is / wherby the sheryf shall be cōmaunded to iustifye him by his bodye / tyll he haue made amendes to holy churche. &c. And whanne he is so in prisone. If he by his fren­t [...]es offre to the bysshoppe suffycient caucyon or gage / to stande to the cō ­maundement of the churche / and o­bey the lawe. And he refuse to take it / than the lawe and custome of the realme is / that the kynge shall sende to the sherif a nother writ / which is called a writ De cautione admittēda cōmaundynge him therby to aduer­tyse the bisshop to take the caucyon. And if he refuse to take itꝭ than to delyuer the partie out of prison / wher­vpon as it appereth in the thirde bo­ke / in the tytle of the churches lyber­tye / in a Cōstitucion that begynneth

Seculi principes. &c, The clergye complayneth gretly / for that the [...] [Page]in that case shalbe so delyured / no sa­tisfaction made neither to the church nor to the partie and they complaine as though the ecclesiasticall offyce were thereby confounded and made veyne / while the laye Iuges that haue nat the keye of power & knowle­ge / whiche laye men are so straytly bounde to folowe and obeye / that the auctorite of examinacyon Iugynge and commaundyng is vtterly forbo­den them in all suche thynges as ap­perteyneth to the spirituall iurisdic­cion / and yet go they aboute as the sayde Constitucyon sayth: To cutte downe another mānes corne. Where vpon it is to be noted that the lay iu­ges of whom the Constitucion spe­keth in this place are to be vnderstan­de the kynge him selfe or his chaun­celour / for there is non other iuge in this case that medeleth we the mater / and if the clergye wolde that ye kyn­ge shulde nat haue auctorite to exa­myne / iuge and commaunde in this [Page]case / than their iurisdiccion coulde go no ferther / and therfore that the kynge dothe in takynge of suche an excomunicat person / he doth it at the desyre of the bysshop / and whan he delyuereth him agayne accordynge to the custome of his Realme / bycause the bysshop refuseth a reasonable caucyon / he hath nothyng hurte the spirytuall iurisdiccyon / ne taketh v­pon him the keyes of the power or knowlege that appteyneth to it? he yet he goth nat about to cut downe any other mans corne / for whan the partye is so lette out of prison for the refusynge of the sayd caucyon / he is yet accursed styll as he was before & so shall he stande / tyll he so demeane him selfe that he maye optayne his absolucion. But if the kynge pre­tended that by that delyuery the partye shulde be also dyscharged of his excōmunicacyon. Than myght the clergye somewhat more reasonable cōpliane that the Kynge medeled wt [Page]the keyes of power and knowlege / and that he cutte downe a nother mannes corne. Butte as this case is they haue no cause so to complayne for all that he doth in this mater concernyng their iurisdiccyon / is eyther to do them good / or els no hurt. And so it appereth / that they complayne without a cause / & yet the cōplainte is hādeled vnder suche a facyon that it might make som that shuld happē to rede it / thynke that the spyrituall Iurisdiccyon were therin greuously offended. And yet / whan the matter is throughly loked vpon / it appereth that it is nat so. Also in the same Cō ­stitucyon / a lyttell before the clause that is remembred before / the same Constitucyon sayth thus: And some tyme whan a surmyse is made to the kynge / that the seyde parties impri­soned be excomunicated for such cau­ses as apperteyneth nat to the spiry­tuall courte / that than haue the she­ryffes in cōmaundement / that if he [Page]be excomunycate and imprisoned for such cause and none other / to cause the bisshops to delyuer them shortly / and no credence or faithe / saith the seyde cōstitucyon is gyuen to the proces of the spirytuall Iuges vpon su­che cause of excōmunicacyons / and vpon those wordes / it is to be noted / that the seyd cōstitucyon in ye clause mistaketh the lawe of the realme ve­rye farre / for the lawe is / that suche an excomunicate ꝑsone shall neuer be put in to the bisshops prison / but in to the sheryffes prison / and than to haue a cōmaundemēt to the sheryffe / that he shall cause the bysshop to de­lyuer him out it standeth natte with reason / for they can nat delyuer him oute of prison that they haue nat the kepynge of / and as they mystake the lawe of the Realme in that poynte / so they do in many other in the sayde Constitucyons / as it wyll appere if they be well & thorowly loked vpon / and it is somwhat to be meruayled / [Page]that the Constitucyon sayth / that no credence nor faith is gyuen to the proces of the spyrituall Iuges / vpon su­che causes of excomunicatyon: for vpon their proces and certifycat the partie is arested / and than if it ap­pere after by the proces / that the partye is imprisoned for suche cause as appertayneth natte to the spirytuall courte / than dothe the kynge well / if he commaunde the sheryf to delyuer him out of pryson / and he is also of Iustyce bounde to do it. And ouer that / if a man were excomunicate for that thynge that apparteyneth nat to the spirytuall courte / and after suche a proces were shewed / wherby it shulde appere / that the matter shulde ap­parteyn to the spirytuall courte / and the partye wyll auerre the cōtrarye: what credence shulde be gyuen to the spirytuall proces in that behalfe. I wyll nat take vpon me to determyne but commytte it to other / howe be it it shulde seme resonable that the partye [Page]shuld haue auerremēt agaynst it. And after in another Constitucyon / that is in the fyfth boke / in the tytle of the sentence of excomunicatyon / & begynneth: Furthermore it happe­neth sometyme. &c. Amonge other thynges that be moch lyke to the constituciō before rehersed / it is decreed that if the writte of Excomunicato capiendo be required / and in especial where it ought to be awarded bi the laudable custome of the realme / and it be nat graunted / that the kynge muste be warned by the prelate / that it maye please him to graūte the seyd writte / which if he wil nat do all his cyties / castels / boroughes & villages whiche he hathe within that dyoces shalbe ēterdicted / & so an interdicciō is deryuyed agaynst him by occasi­on of the fauour that his owne law­es / & the custome of his realme hath gyuen vnto the clergye. And I thynke veryly / that if ye rulers wolde ta­ke the payne to loke vpon the sayde [Page]Constitucions / they wold nat suffre them to stande vnreformed / for gret charges and expences be lyke to fo­low vpon excomunications / as long as they shall be suffred to stande in effecte.

The .xx. chapiter.

IF a Parson or a vycar suf­fre their houses to be in de­caye / & dye: It is resonable that his executours shulde repayre them / if they haue goodꝭ suffyciēt to do it / but yet it se­meth yt the spiritual iurisdictiō hath no power to compell the executours to make the reparacyons / for it is a thynge concernyng waste / that is tē porall / and parteyneth merely to the kynges courte / and the iugement of it concerneth the payment of money by the executours / whiche the spiry­tuall court hath no power to enioyn ye executour to. And if they do / they [Page]ronne therby in to the premunire / & therfore it were better that a remedy were prouyded in suche case by par­lyament / than that so great daunger shulde hange vpon the prelates / and also vpon the parties that shulde sue accordinge to the Constitucyōs ma­de in that behalfe / wherof one is in the thirde boke / in the tytle of buyl­dynge of churches. And begynneth If the persone of any churche. &c. And the other is in ye same tytle / and begynneth: We ordeyne that no inqsicyon. &c.

¶ The .xxi. chapiter.

IT is resyted in a Constitucyon / that is in ye third boke / in the tytle of chur­ches liberties / and begi­neth thus: For as moch as the laye be forboden. &c. That lay men be forboden / as well by the la­wes of god as of man / to ordre and [Page]dyspose the churche goodes: by the which terme churches goodes / spirytuall men vnderstande / as well lan­des and tenementes / as chatels per­sonels. And I suppose / that there is no lawe of god that dothe prohibyt laye men to dyspose and determyne the right of lādes and goodes of the church: but that it most properly ap­perteyneth to theym / and nat to the clergye. And that semeth to appere. Luc. xii. Whan our lorde refused to denye the enheritaunce bytwexte the two brethern. And it is to suppose / that as he refused to medell with the iugemēt of suche temporall matters him self / that he wolde his appostels and discyples / to whom the clergye be successours shulde doo the same. And as it semeth he wolde also that the Emperour that tyme beinge / and his lawes shulde doo it and nat he. Than the same Constitucyon gothe further / and fyndeth a defaute at pa­rysshens / that take trees growynge [Page]in churchyeardes some tyme to their owne vses / and sometyme to the vse of the churches. And it byndeth all such doers in the sentence of excomunicatyon / comprehended in a lega­tyne of Octobon / & in a constitucion made by the counsell of Oxforde / a­gaynste the vyolatour of the churchꝭ lybertye. And it decreeth further / that they shalbe put frō the company of the faythfull / to their confusyon & shame / tyll they offre & make an ef­fectuall amēdes. And this is a right sore and an extreme lawe: for as I take it the trees in the churcheyar­de ought to stande styll for the deffence of the churche / and of the chaun­cell as long as they may stāde / with out they be felled by the assēt / as well of the Parsone or Vycar / as of the paryshe / and if the Parson or Vycar agre that the parisshens shall fell thē to the reparations of the churche / I thynke they do ryghte well: And if the parisshens agre that the Parson [Page]or Vycar shall haue them to the re­paracyons of the chauncell / I thynke that they do well also / but if a tree in the Churcheyarde fall downe by tempest / or otherwyse / who than shal haue the tre it is more doute / for thervpon it is to se in whome the frehol­de of the churcheyarde is: Howe be it the grasse hath alwaye by a gene­rall custome parteyned to the Par­son or Vycar / and I wyll no ferther speke in that mater at this tyme / but that I thynke verily there is no case reasonable / why so harde and extre­me a Constitucion euyn to their confusion and shame that take such treis shulde be made against the parisshēs in that case / though they take ye trees without assente of the parsone or vy­care / specyally if they take theym to the vse of the churche.

¶ The .xxii. chapiter.

FEwe men maye do more good than a good precher may. and fewe men maye do more hurte than [Page]an euyll precher maye. And there be many lawes Canon / and also Con­stitucyons prouincyall made who shall haue auctoritye to preche / and who nat / which to eschewe tedyous­nesse to the reders / I wyll omytte for this tyme / excepce onely a Constitu­cyon prouincyall / that is in the fyfth boke / in the tytle of Heretykes / and Secsmarykes. And it begynneth.

Reuerendissime sinado et infra, Wherby it is decreed / that no seculer or reguler nat auctorised by the lawe or other wyse specially priuyleged to preach the worde of god / shall take vpon him the offyce or vse of prechīg excepte he fyrst present himself to the Dyocesan / and be founde apte and mete / and be than sente to preach by him / and that they which afferme thē selfe to haue specyall priuylege / shall really exhibyt and shewe their priui­lege to the Parsone or Vycare. &c. And they that pretende to be sente by the dyocesan / shall in lykewyse shew [Page]the letter of the Diocesan vnder his great seale: And than the sayd Con­stitucyon goth further & saith thus. The perpetuall Curate / we vnder­stande to be sente by the lawe / to the place and people of his owne cure. Natwithstādynge / if it happen any such to be suspended fro such prechīg by the Dyocesan / or by any other su­peryour for errours or heresies / whiche is pretended that he hath preched affermed / or thought: than maye he in no wyse medle with prechynge in our Dyocyse / vntyll he haue purged him self of that defaute at the iust ar­byterment of him that dyd suspende him / and that he be laufully restored agayn vnto prechynge of which his restitucion he shall haue letters and cary them wt him in al places where he shall afterwarde preche / and shal really exhibit the same in maner and forme aforsayd. Thus farre is of the sayd cōstitucion: & as me semeth it is no reasonable cause / to prohibyt any man / specyally a curat that hath ben [Page]admytted to preach: that he shall nat preach for errours or heresies / which is pretended that he hath preched / af­fermed / or taught: for it may be p̄tended yt a man hath affermed preched & also taught heresies / & yt yet it is nat so in dede: for euery p̄tence is nat al­way true & if there be no such heresie p̄ched nor taught thā there is no de­faut wherof he ought to pourge him selfe. Than the seyde Constitucyon goth yet further / and sayth: That if any precher dispyse this holsome sta­tute / and do prech on his owne heed agayne: sayenge obstinatly in word ordede / declaryng that the seyde sentence of excomunicatyon may nat be decreed and cōmaūded in the church in the persones of their prelates / yf they wyll nat therfore abiure / they shall be taken for heretykes / & they: goodes to be forfayte by the lawe. & ferthermore it is decreed / that ye cler­gye or people shall admytte none to prech / excepte they first make a profe of their auctorisynge: And if they [Page]do otherwise / the place where the prechynge is / shall be vnder church en­terditynge in the doynge. These be very strayte lawes. And they prohibyt suche persones to preache: as peraduenture wold preach well and catholycally / and that wolde hap­pely touch somwhat concernyng the Ordinaryes or their iurisdictyons / whiche they wolde nat gladlye haue spoken of. And therfore I holde it a very necessary thyng for the rulers to loke well vpon this matter / to se it set in such ordre / that nothyng be don agaynst the lawe of god therin. And I suppose verily / that the rulers be bounde in conscyence to do it / and in that the Constitucyon decreeth / that their goodes shall be forfayt / that is a voyde decre: for they had none auc­toritye to decree vpon any goodes. and the forfyture of the goodes / for heresye is ordred by the statute made in the seconde yere of kynge Henry the fyfth.

¶ The .xxiii. chapiter.

IT is decreed in the seyde fyfth boke / in the tytle of heretykꝭ and scismatikes / in the constitucion that begynneth. None maye presume. &c. That none shall dispute openly or preuely of the Ar­tycles determyned by the church / as they be conteyned in the decrees De­cretals and Constitucyons prouyn­cyall or Sinodals / except it be done to haue the true vnderstandynge of them. Ne maye call in to doute / the auctoritye of the same decrees Decretals / and Constitucyons prouyncyal or the power of the makynge of them And specyally concernyge the adoracyon of the gloriouse crosse / worshippynge of sayntes Images or pylgrymages makynge / vnto their places and relyques: or agaynste othes to be made after the vsed maner in cau­ses accustomed in both courtes / that that is in the spirytuall courte and [Page]temporall: but that thēsforth all shal teache comenly and preach / that the crosse and Images of the crucyfyxe and other Images of sayntes ought to be worshypped in the memory and honour of them / whom they fygure and represent. &c. And here it is to be noted / that the resonynge and dysputynge of the Artycles of the faith be nat onely prohibyte / but the dys­putynge of the Articles / determyned by the churche / as they be contayned in the decrees decretals and Consti­tucyons prouincyall or Synodals / & prohibiteth nat expressely the reso­nynge of the Artycles of the faythe / Howbeit in that the Constitucyon excepteth / that a man may reason su­che thinges to haue the true vnder­standynge of them it semeth very re­sonable: but that a man may nat call in to dout the auctoritye of the same decrees decretals or Constitucyons / or the power of makynge of theym. I se nat how it standeth with reason [Page]or anye maner of indyfferencye / that that shulde be prohibyt: for there be vndoutedly many of theym that the makers had no auctoritye to make / and that be also dyrectly agaynst the kynge and his prerogatyue / and no cause why they shulde be so / wherof some be remēbred in dyuers of these chapiters. And I suppose verilye / that the most parte of all the clergye wolde confesse thē self that it is so / if they were examyned vpon it. And as to the seyd Artycle / that Images shulde be worshipped. I can nat perceyue howe it shulde stande with the lawes of god / that the Image selfe shulde be worshypped / howbeit the authorityes that cause me to saye so I wyll nat touche at this tyme. And I thynke farther that it were ryght expedyent / that chyldren whan they come to the yeres of discrecyon / shulde be dilygently admonisshed / that they shall nat esteme ymages in such maner as they did in their childhod. [Page]And furthermore to say that he that affermeth or techeth that othes to be made vpon the holy gospels / incases in the lawe expressed / maye nat law­fully be gyuen in bothe courtes of all that haue entrest to gyue them / shall ronne in to the paynes of heresie: as it is decreed there in the seyd Constitucyon that he shulde do / me semeth it can nat stand with the ordre of iu­styce / for though his sayenge therin be vntrewe / yet it is no heresye: for it is nat prohibyt by the lawe of god to saye it. And vpon this poynt / that is to saye / that the clergie hath made thynges heresy / that be none by the lawe of god / and that they haue put them in execucyon / haue rysen great grudges agaynste the clergye. And therfore if the clergye wolde decree that if a man wolde obstynatly saye / that no mā ought to be tenant by the curtesye in this realme / though hys wyfe were seased in fee durynge the spousayls / and though they had issu [Page]or that the enheritance in this realme oughte nat to dyscende to the eldest sonne shulde therfore be taken as an heretyke / yet were he no heretyke in dede / though he sayde vntrewly / for euery errour is nat heresy. And so in this case / though a man sayde vntruly / that none ought to swere / neither in the spirytuall court nor temporall yet were he no heretike. And I thike further / that if the clergye according to the seyde Constitucyon conuycted a man in the case / or the other cases before remembred / or any other lyke of heresy / and delyuered him to the laye courte / that the kynge might nat by his lawes grant forth his writte. De heretico comburendo, For as I take it / that writte oughte nat to be graunted but for heresy / whereby a man falleth fro the fayth and fro the trewth of holye scrypture. and ouer that / what it shulde meane / that the seyd Constitucyon maketh it heresy to say that no man aught to swere in [Page]the temporall courte. I can nat redyly tell / but it were to the entente / that by mayntenaunce of othes in tempo­rall courtes / occasyon might be the rather taken to mayntayne othes in spirituall courtes / howbeit as I ha­ue somewhat touched in the fourth chapyter / some of the othes that cu­stomably be gyuen in the spirytuall courtes / as to enquyre of ye defautes and excesses of the people / ar vnre­sonable as I haue partly touched the causes in the seyd fourth chapiter.

¶ The .xxiiii. chapiter.

THere is a Constitucyon in the fyfth boke / in the tytle of māsleyēge / that begineth: It is inacted by prouisyon. &c. wher­by it is decreed thus: if patrones / aduocates / or Feodatories / [...] vicelor­des / through myscheuouse boldnesse presume to sley or meyme by thē selfe [Page]or by other / any Parsone of churche Vycare / or Clerke of the same chur­che / that they shall vtterly lose patronage / aduocation / fee and vycelord­shyp which they had in the churche. And their posterite in no wyse shall be receyued in to the college of cler­kes vnto the fourth generatyon / nei­ther shall optayne the honour of dignytie or Prelacye in reguler house. And this we wyll / often tymes to be denounced in the church. Thus far goth the Constitucyon / which is ve­ry vncertayne in it selfe / in somoche that it is harde to tell what was the very meanyng of them that made it. And if they mēt / yt as sone as a patrō had slayne a parsone / a Vycare or a clerke in the churche / that forthwith the patronage shuld be forfayt / than they mystoke the lawe of the realme very farre / for such enheritaūce shal neuer be forfayt by the dede / tyll Iu­gement be gyuen vpon it. And fur­thermore it is no doubte / but that of [Page]suche temporall inherytaunce / they had no power to make any suche la­wes / that it shulde so be forfayt. And if theyr meanynge were / that if he were after the sleyng atteynted at the cōmon lawe / that than he shulde for­fayte the patronage: Than the Constytucyon neded lyttell to haue ben made / for so he shulde haue done be­fore / wherfore the Constitucyon is therin euery waye voyde. And to the other poynte of mayminge / it is cer­tayne that though a patron mayme the Parsone / Vycare / or Clerke in a churche / that he shall nat forfayte the patronage / though he be therof attaited / for there is no enheritaunce for­fayte by no suche offence. And the sa­me lawe that is of a patronage is of all the other thynges that be aboue specifyed in the seyde Constitucyon. And than that the heyres of theym that do any such act shal nat be receyued in to no dygnytie or prelacye of reguler house / vnto the fourth gene­ratyon [Page]that byndeth nat in the lawes of the realme: for if the patrone pre­sented the heyre of them that dyd the dede / & that is also within the fourth generatyon to a priorye presentable of his gyfte. And the Ordynarie re­fused bycause of the seyde Constitu­cyon / it is no dout, but that a Quare impedit shulde lye agaynst him / and he shuld be admytted: And if the Ordynarie after depreued him by reasō of the seyd Constitucyon / the patron might present the same selfe parsone agayne / and so shulde be a great confusyon betwyxte the seyd lawes / and though suche matters be nat moche lyke to come in vre: yet to see suche thynges stande / wherof hurte maye come & no good. I thynke it is nat good to be suffred / for many reders maye happely thynke it is euen as the Constytucyon speketh / and yet in dede it is nat so.

¶ The .xxv. chapiter.

THere is a Cōstitu­cyon in the fifth beke / & in the tytle of canonycall purgatyō / that begineth Statuimus et infra wherby it is decreed yt if clerkꝭ haue made their canonycall purgatiō vpon suche thynges as was layd & obiecred agaynst them / & that yet neuerthelesse the laye power taketh their goodꝭ or wt holdeth thē / that such takers & witholders shalbe cōpelled vnto restitucyon of the seid goodes by censures of ye church. And the canonycall purgation yt is spokē of in the seyd cōstitucyon / semeth to be the purgation of clerkes cōuycte / that be cōmytted to ye bisshops prysō and there make their purgation / and that the prelates ment at the makige of the seyd constitucyon / that if they dyd so / that they shulde haue theyr goodes that they had whan they wer conuycie. But I take the lawe of the [Page]realme to be / that clerke cōuycte shal forfayte his goodes. And if it be so / that constitucyon can nat helpe it by no maner of purgatyon that can be made by the clergye.

¶ The .xxvi. chapiter.

PRelates haue done verye moch in time past to brige it about that clerkꝭ shulde nat be put to āswer before lay men. And bicause clerkes sometyme offended in huntynge in forrestes & parkes / wherof many tymes suche great dyspleasure was taken / that amendes must nedes be made. The Prelates made a lawe to appoynt howe the amēdes shulde be made in suche case by their owne auctoritie / so that there shuld nede no sute be takē in ye behalfe at the kingꝭ lawe / & the remedy was thys: As it appereth in the fifth boke / in the title [Page]of a clerke that is an hunter in a con­stitucyon / which begynneth: We or­deyne that if any clerke. &c. That if the clerke were conuycted therof be­fore the Ordinary or cōfessed it / that than the Ordinarie shulde make re­demptyon therof in his goodes / and satisfye the partie greued. And if he had no goodes / that thā his bisshop shulde greuously punissh him. And surely if any Ordynarie dyd execute the seyde Constitucyon / and put the clerke to answere of the offence afore him / and after made redemptyon of his goodes accordynge to the Con­stitucyon / he shulde renne clerely in to the premunire. And furthermore in case that the clerke haue no goo­des / ne can nat be founde / he shall be outlawed at the cōmone lawe / nat withstādynge any punisshment that the Ordynaries coulde make vpon him. And yet it semeth that the ma­kers of the seyd Constitucyon wold haue preuēted that outlagarie if they [Page]coulde. And now let euery man iuge what goodnesse can come by the seid Constytucyon / or why it shulde be suffred to contynew any lenger / syth it can do no good to prelates or cler­kes / ne to none other.

¶ The .xxvii. chapiter.

THere is a Constitucyon in the fyfthe boke / and in the tytle of paynes / that begynneth: Eterne sanctio voluntatis et infra. Wherin it is recyted a monge other thinges / that it oftety­mes happeneth Archebisshops / bys­shops / and other inferiour prelates to be called to seculer iugement / for such thiges as be knowen merely to apperteyne to their offyce / and to the spirytuall courte: wherof I shall re­cyte parte / and parte I shall omytte to eschewe tedyousnesse. First it is recyted / that if prelates parchaunce haue amitted or nat amytted clerkes [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page]to churches vacante or nat vacante: or haue excomunicated their subiec­tes / haue enterdited / haue had cognicion of causes spirituall / as of boundes of parisshes / which as it is sayd there may in no wyse pertayne to the seculer courte / or if they haue taken examinacion of the defaultes of their subiectes as of partury / promes brekyng / troublynge of the churche ly­berties / seynge that the violatours therof be by the sentence made vpon the kynges charter excomunicate in the dede doyng: or if they holde plee bytwyxt the laye complaynyng and Clerkes defendynge in personall ac­cyons vpon contractes or as contractes / vpon trespas or as trespas. All which matters wt diuers other here omitted is pretēded there in the sayd Constitucion to be mere spirytuall / and I haue here recyted these arty­cles therof / that it maye the better appere whether they be mere spirituall or nat / And it is euydent ynow that [Page]dyuers of them are mere temporall. And neuertheles it is ferther decreed there that Archebysshoppes / & Bys­shoppes / and other prelates shall nat appere whā they be called before the kyng or his Iustices for such causes for so moche that ther is no power geuen to the laye / to iuge the lordes a­noynted / but ought of necessyte to o­beye them / and than for reformynge of suche thynges / the Constitucion gyueth strayte proces agaynste the kynges baylyffes and offycers / and agaynst the clerkes that do make the writtes of attachemētes or distresses with great excomunicacions and en­terdictions / and fynally procede so farre that they sette the kynges lan­des in a certayne circuit therin lymyted vnder interdiction / but he vpon the admonicyon of the Bysshoppes reforme suche thynges / and it is af­ter decreed / that if the Bysshoppe or ecclesyastical iuge or inferiour prelate be compelled by suche distresses [Page]to appere / and the Actes of his [...] be than requyred of him: so that it may appere therby / whether he hath proceded in any of the seyde cases or lyke / or if othes / excusations / or put gacyons / be required therin / that he shall in nowyse exhibyt his Actes or gyue any othe / for that the partyes maye brige the Actes forth. &c. And why any such lawes shulde be made that they shuld nat in such case shew their Actes or proces / ne make anye othe before the kyng or his iustyces. I can nat parceyue the verye cause / but that they be of lykelyhode very lothe to haue it examyned. What is their verye Iurisdiccyon and what nat. Thus haue I recyted parte of the seyd cōstitucion / and remytte the resydue to theym that wyll take the payn to rede it. And surely they that so do / shall se dyuers harde and ex­treme clauses & Actycles in it. And if they and such other lyke were re­fourmed / I thike it were right good [Page]and expedient / as well for the clergye as for the people.

The .xxviii. chapiter.

THere is a Constitucyon in the .v. boke / and in ye tytle of paynes / whiche begineth / Euenit et infra wherby it is decreed thꝰ The laye shalde compelled precysely by sentēce of excomunicacion to paye all maner penalyties / as well corpo­rall as pecunarye / whiche they be en­ioyned to by their prelaties / and they that wyl let or stoppe such penalyties to be payde / shalde punisshed by sentence of interdiction and excomuni­cation / & than if the proces be made vnto the distraynyng of prelattes for that cause / let proces be made against the distreyners by the penalyties de­clared in that behalfe / and how farre that Constitution is agaynst the kynges lawes and his prerogatyfe / and [Page]how farre it pretendeth aboue the comon vse of ye spirituall turisdiction / and agaynst all lawes that haue ben made in tyme paste / concernynge the spitytuall turisdiction / it wyll appe­re to all that wyll take the payne to rede them / and if it shulde stande in strength / it shulde folowe thervpon that if a man were enioyned by his prelatte to paye damages for a tres­pas / or a dysseason / or to paye a dette or a certayne some of money for a couenaunt broke or such other / he shul­de be compelled to paye it / and they that wolde let it shulde be enterdit & excomunicate / as appereth by ye playne letter of the sayd Cōstitucion / and so shulde the spirytuall courte haue power to holde plee and gyue sen­tence vpon mere Temporall thyn­ges / & therfore the makers of the said Constitucion by the makynge therof gaue a great occasyon to haue all su­che lyberties & iurisdictiōs / as they had kynges grauntes / and by the [Page]custome of the realme taken fro them But yet if the prelates and Clergye that nowe be / wyll indeuour them to refourme suche thinges / than the ma­kynge therof can nat be layd to thē.

¶ The .xxix. chapiter.

If a man reporte vntruely / that prelates and spirituall Iuges / holde plee for the Tytell of Patronage / of cattell / and of other thyn­ges apparteynynge to the Kynges courte / wherby the prelates and spy­rytuall Iuges be blasphemed & hur­ted: I thynke an accyon lyeth in the kynges lawes agaynst him that ma­keth that vntrue reporte / and yet ne­uerthelesse prelates haue made a constitucyon / that such reporters shalbe openly accursed / as striuers against the churches lyberties / vnto suche tyme that they haue recompensed the Iuges and also the parties for their [Page]expences and damages. And surely if spirytuall Iuges execute that constitucyon / and compell a [...] to make recōpence in that behalfe / they rēne in to the premunire / for the shad none auctoritie to make that decre. And it is nat the very charytable waye / ne the waye to gyue good exāple to the people / ne to enduce them to sufferaū ce and forberige of other: to se their prelates vpon so lyght offences ma­ke lawes / for reuengynge of their owne quarelles / and to desyre to be their owne Iuges therin. And the seyd constitucion is in the fyfth boke and in the tytle agaynste grefes / and begynneth: For as moche as it hath ben. et cetera.

¶ The .xxx. chapiter.

IF a prest craftely imagynnynge to Intrude in to the benyfyce of a nother / afferme that the posses­sour of the benefyce is deed / or hath [Page]resygned / and therupō he procureth him selfe to be presēted in to the same benifyce by the same patron that presented the other / or his heires / and so taketh the profytes. The other whā he knoweth of it / maye sue him that so entreth as an Intruder in the spy­rituall court / for there ye right of pa­tronage bytwixte those two encom­bentes / that clayme by one patrone can nat come in debate / but if the in­truder in such case procure himselfe to be presented by another patrone / and therupon entreth and taketh the profytes / there lyeth no sute against that Intruder in the spirituall court for there the tytle of the patronage maye come in debate bytwixte those seuerall patrones. And yet Otho in his legantyne that begineth: Euery louer of iustyce. &c. Puttyyg no dy­uersyte bytwyxte Intruders that enter by one patrone / and by seuerall patrones / decreeth that he which procureth him selfe to entrude / besyde [Page]the restitucyon of damages / shall be forth with in the dede doynge suspended from offyce and benifyce / which thynge he wyll to be extended onely to hym that presumeth of hys owne wyll / vyolently or priuely to inuade a benifyce / whyles another is in possessyon / and after enforceth hym to defende the same. And bycause the seyde decre extendeth it selfe as well to make processe / where the Incom­bentes be presēted by seuerall patrōs as by one selfe patron. It is against the kynges lawes / and wolde be re­fourmed.


¶ The table.

  • THat excluding of lay mē fro ye heryng of ye cōsty­tucion made agaynst cō cubinaries / is nat reasonable. The first chapif. ¶ Of a constitucyon that sayth / that Matrimony in the newe Testament [Page]accordeth to them that be imparfyte / The seconde chapiter.
  • ¶ Of a Constytucyon that a prestes sonne shall nat be presented immedy­atly after his father / and of an othe to be gyuen to the encombent whā he is presented / that he hathe nothynge gyuen for his presētation The third chapiter.
  • ¶ Of a Constytucyon whan prela­tes enquere of defautes that the laye be compelled vpon payne of excomunicatyon / to gyue an othe to saye the truth The fourth chapiter.
  • ¶ That the prelate mediat or imedyate / is the father spirituall / and that the spirytuall mother is the churche / whose sonnes be all Catholyke par­sones. And of this terme church The fyfth chapiter.
  • ¶ That it is troublous to the peo­ple to haue two powers within the realme / wherby they may be sued of one thynge in seuerall courtes & by seuerall auctorities The .vi. chap.
  • [Page]¶ Of puttynge of preestes to āswer afore laye men / and of Amerciamē ­tes of clerkes The seuenth chapiter.
  • ¶ Of the constitucyon of Circum­specte agans / and whether it be a statute The eyght chapiter.
  • ¶ Whether both churches be voyde if a mā take two benyfyces without Pluralitie The nynth chapiter.
  • ¶ There is a Constitucion that the Ordynarie shall nat delay a present­ment aboue two monethes. and whether he maye therby take the two monethes The tenth chapiter.
  • ¶ That possessyons of the churche shall nat be aliened / the fourme of the Canons nat obserued The .xi. chap.
  • ¶ Of a Constitucyon that all they be accursed / that letteth a woman co­uert to make a wyll The .xii. Chap.
  • ¶ Of a Constitucyon wherby it is decreed / that clerkes may make their wylles The .xiii. chapiter.
  • ¶ Whether the tenth part for tythes be by the lawe of god / and of dyuers [Page]other thynges concernynge Tymes The .xiii. Chapiter.
  • ¶ That the lawes of excōicatyons be sometyme vncertayne / and that there be to many of thē The .xv. cha.
  • ¶ If a recouery be in the Kynges courte agaynste a dysturbour / & his Incūbent that is in possessyon / whe­ther ye Ordinary whā the kingꝭ writ cometh to him / be bounde to remoue that Incombent The .xvi. chapiter.
  • ¶ Whether sent wary and clergy be by the spirituall auctoritye / or by the auctoritye of the kynge and his la­wes The .xvii. Chapiter.
  • ¶ Of a Constytucyon that is made concernynge Temporaltyes in tyme of Vacacyons / and of proces to be made therupon agaynste the Kyng. The .xviii. Chapiter.
  • ¶ Of the writtes of Excomunicato Capiendo / et de Caucione recipien­da. And howe the kynges landes in a certayne cyrcute maye therupon be enterdyted The .xix. Chapiter.
  • [Page]¶ Of wast done in houses of ꝑsons and Vycars decessed. The .xx. cha.
  • ¶ Of a Constitucyon / wherin it is recyted / that laye men be forboden as wel by the lawes of god as of mā to ordre the churche goodes. And of trees ī churchyardes. The .xxi. cha.
  • ¶ Of prohybitynge of preachynge The .xxii. Chapiter.
  • ¶ Of spekynge agaynste Decrees and Constitucyons / and of pylgry­mages / and of worshippynge of I­mages and of othes The .xxiii. cha.
  • ¶ Of a Constitucyon / that if a pa­trone sleye the Parsone / or Vycare / or clerke in the church / that he shall lese the patronage The .xxiiii. cha.
  • ¶ Of Clerkes that make their Ca­nonycall purgatyon / and that they shall be restored vnto their goodes vpon payne of censures of the chur­che The .xxv. Chapiter.
  • ¶ Of Clerkes hunters / & that their Ordynaries shall make a mendes of their goodes. The .xxvi. chapiter.
  • [Page]¶ Of dyuers thynges that be pretended to be agaynst the lyberties of the churche. And that in some case the kynges lādes in the dioces may ther vpon be enterdyted. The .xxvii. cha.
  • ¶ That laye men be compelled by excomunicatyō of the church / to pay almaner penalyties / as wel corporal as pecunari / which they be enioyned to by their prelates The .xxviii. cha.
  • ¶ That if any man reporte vntruly that they holde ple in spirituall courtes of Temporall thynges / that he shall be openly accursed / as a stryuer agaynst the churches lyberties The xxix. Chapiter.
  • ¶ Of Intrusyons in to benefyces The .xxx. cha. ¶
Ende of the table.

❧ Fautes in printyng.

In the .xxi. cha. the first lefe / the .ii. side & .xiii. lyne / rede deuide for deny In ye same .xxi cha. ye .ii. lefe ye .ii. syde & the .xiii. lyne / rede cause for case. In ye .xxii. cha. ye .ii. lefe ye .ii. syde. &. the .xii. lyne / rede taught for thought

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