NEWS FROM Doctor's Commons: Or, A True NARRATIVE OF Mr. HICKERINGILL'S Appearance there, June 8. 1681.
Upon a Citation for Marrying People without Bannes or License.
WITH A PROTESTATION AGAINST THEIR SPIRITUAL COURT.
To which is Added, An ESSAY Concerning the Virtue of SEQUESTRATIONS.

IT is too notorious and vulgarly known, that the Waspish Swarms in Doctors Commons, have been as stinging as stingy against Mr. Hick­eringill; and the little In7s;ects as full of malice as venom against him as their hearts could hold, ever since the Publication of the Naked Truth, the Second Part.

And yet, poor Hearts, they had better have been quiet and let him alone, for they always meddle with him to their hurt; as well as shame and confu­sion, and come home by weeping-cross.

But some men will never take warning: Quos Deus intendit perdere dementat Prius, was once accounted truth, though spoke by a Stoick.

Men doom'd to Ruin when their Facts are bad,
Do blindly run upon their Death like mad.

We will begin (as the Men of Doctors Commons did begin with Mr. Hickeringill, namely) with the Citation, in these words following.

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RObertus Wiseman, Miles & Legum Doctor, Almae Curiae Cant. de Archu­bus, London, Officialis Principalis legitimè constitutus,
Ʋniversis & singulis Clericis & Literatis quibuscunque in & per totam Provinciam Cant, ubilibet constitut. salutem.

Vobis conjunctim & divisim committimus, ac firmiter injungendo mandamus, quatenus (ratione literarum requisitorialium ab Ordinario loci obtent.) Citetis, seu citari faciatis peremptoriè Edmundum Hick­eringill, Clericum, Rectorem Rectoriae & Ecclesiae Parochialis omnium Sancto­rum in Villa Colcestriae in Com. Essex, Diaec.Lond Cantiaeque Provinc. quod compareat coram nobis, nostróve Secretario, aut alio Judice in hac parte compe­ten. quocunque in Aula publica infra Hospitium Dominorum Advocatorum Lon­don, locoque judiciali ibidem sexto die post Citationem hujusmodi ei in hac par­te factam si Juridicus fuerit, alioquin proximo die Juridico ex hinc sequen. haris causarum ibidem ad jura reddenda consuet. certis Articulis, Capitulis, sive Interrogatoriis meram animae suae, salutem, morumque & excessuum suorum reformationem & praesertim ejus solemnizationem, seu potius prophanationem Matrimonii inter diversas personas clandestinè absque eorum Bannis in Eccle­stis suis Parochialibus trinâ vice publicatis, vel Licentiis sive facultatibus in ea parte legitimè obtent juxta Canones & Constitutiones Ecclesiae Anglicanae in ea parte editas & provisas, aliaque crimina & delicta concernen. ei cum ve­nerit ex officio nostro ad promotionem Thomae Doughty, Generosi objiciend. & ministrand. de Justitia sive juramento responsur. ulteriusque factur. & recep­tur. quod justum fuerit in hac parte: & quid in praemissis feceritis, Nos no­strumve surrogatum aut alium Judicem in hae parte competen. quemcunque de­bite certificetis una cum presentibus.

WE live in an Age wherein some men are grown Libertines; and since the Dissolution of the Parliament at Oxford, some are grown so wonderful light and wanton, that they kick up their Heels at all Corre­ction; and defie a Parliament with as much courage as they defie God and the Day of Judgment, when they cry God-damn-me.

These are very merry days, if they would but last.

When Mr. Hickeringill came into the Hall at Doctors Commons, June 8. 1681. He went up to the Doctors, Habited in their Formalities, and with their Caps on, and he also put on his Hat; which Sir Robert Wiseman no sooner espyed, but he bid Mr. Hickeringill be uncovered: But Mr. Hicker­ingill replyed to him in Greek, and to all Sir Robert's Repartees; and dis­coursed for a considerable time: Mr. Hickeringill discoursed still in Greek; at length Sir Robert's patience being spent, (and none of the Doctors would find any more Greek to answer Mr. Hickeringil than Sir Robert did), it was ordered, that this appearance, and Answer in Greek, only should be Registred as a Non-appearance: Wherefore then Mr. Hickeringill did Re­peat [Page 3]in English that he had said in Greek; telling Sir Robert, that he first demanded to see or hear their Commission and Authority for citing him thus from his Family and Home, and out of the Diocess where he dwells, contrary to 23 H. 8.9. And that till it did appear to him that this was his Majesties Court Ecclesiastical, he would pay no respect to it, nor be un­covered before men that were all (except Sir Robert) his Juniors at the U­niversity, and most of them very much his Inferiors in many other respects, not suitable to his modesty there to particularize; Degrees (so easily pur­chas'd) and empty Titles being admir'd by none but Women and Fools. Whereupon, instead of shewing a Commission, Sir Robert again bid him be uncovered, which still he refused: Then Sir Robert made signs to an old Fellow, a kind of Sumner, to come behind Mr. Hickeringill and snatch his Hat off, which he did; but Mr. Hickeringill forthwith snatcht his Hat from the said Fellow, and clapt it fast upon his Head, and there kept it during his stay there; throwing amongst them a Protestation (which was read in Court) and to this effect.

The Protestation of Mr. Edmund Hickeringill, Rector of the Rectory of All-Saints in Colchester, in the County of Essex, Delivered to Sir Robert Wiseman, at the Hall at Doctors Commons, June 8. 1681.

1. I Protest against all your Proceedings as contrary to his Majesties Laws and Prerogative, since you will shew no Commission derived from his Majesty for such Proceedings, and whereby you claim Jurisdiction over me, and that by the sight of which Commission, or hearing the same read, I might know whether it were requisite in my case and circumstances to ap­peal from the same, or make exceptions to the same, if it do not give you cognizance of the Crime, or pretended Crime, objected against me; and whether it be not counterfeit, or not Sealed with the Kings Great Seal of England: The old Ecclesiastical Popish Jurisdiction being (as their Divine-Service and Mass) Foreign, and in a Foreign Language, and exploded by 1 Eliz. 1. by the name of Foreign Jurisdictions, and the High Commission Court (by the same Statute, 1 Eliz. 1.) set up in the room thereof, being also exploded by 13 Carol. 2.12. wherein his present Majesty obliges him­self to grant no more Commissions Ecclesiastical, which makes me believe you have no Commission at all, nor Authority to cite me thus before you: And therefore it is that I will not be uncovered before you, until it appear that you are his Majesties Court Ecclesiastical, by Commission derived from him.

II. I protest against your Proceedings, because in the Citation of me (hi­ther) there is no mention of the Kings Name, nor the Kings Arms in the Seal thereof, but only the name of Robert Wiseman, Knight, and Doctor of Law, and to appear before him or his Surrogate, whereas he is neither Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, nor so much as Dean of the Arches; and therefore he being (at best) but a Surrogate or Deputy, he cannot have nor constitute a Surrogate of Deputy under him.

[Page 4] III. I protest against your Proceedings, because I am cited out of the Diocess where I dwell, contrary to the 23. H. 8.9.

IV. I protest against your Proceedings, because there is no certain day nor time mentioned in your Citation, to limit and direct my appearance at a time certain.

V. I protest against your Proceedings, because there is no certain and particular penal Crime (mentioned in particular in the Citation) to which and for which I am bound to make answer: For it is a duty, not a crime, for a Presbyter (as I am) to joyn People together in holy Matrimony; nor any Profanation, though the Register get not unmerciful and unjust Fees for a formal License; nor any penalty for marrying People without Bannes or License; nor any thing more cusromary or more universally practised a­mong the Ministers in the Country, where I live, than to marry without Bannes or License: Nor do I acknowledge that the sixty second Canon (pre­tended to be consirmed by King James) is a Law of England, nor any other Canons or things that are not enacted and confirmed by King and Parlia­ment; the naked truth whereof none dare deny, without incurring a Prae­munire; the King and Parliament together, having in England the only Le­gislative power. Besides, the Canons clash one against another; for those made in Queen Elizabeth's time order, That such as marry without Bannes or License, shall be suspended ab ossicio, for six months only: But the sixty second of King James's Canons decrees Suspension for three years; whereby it seems, the Synod-men, the longer they lasted, the more they grew and improved (not in goodness and mercy) but in rigour and severity. God bless us, and all Englishmen from such Legislators; and the bottom of the Plot, and design of that Canon and Prosecution upon the same, seems to be calculated to get mony for Licenses, for the benefit of Registers, Com­missaries, Officials, and such like motly-Crew and Lay-Elders, those Ec­clesiastical Fellows, whilst the Ministers and Clergy do the drudgery, and truckle under them, and truckle for them: And is it not a Soul-saving and wholesom Canon, that stops a Ministers mouth, and silences him from Preaching the Gospel for three years together, because a couple are honest­ly married for Five Shillings, without giving the Commissaries, Officials, and Registers (those Poscinummia & Crumine mulgae) eleven shillings and four pence more for a License?

VI. I protest against your Proceedings, Argumento ad Hominem, because according to your own (not my) Canons, no Sentence ought to pass upon a Presbyter, but by a Bishop; and here is no Bishop to hear the Proceedings, and therefore if afterwards any Bishop do pass Sentence, Re in anditâ in propriâ personâ He must do it by a blind implicit faith, in the reports of other men, which (I suppose) no Bishop will be so rash as to venture upon.

Edmund Hickeringill.

Mr. Hickeringill told Sir Robert, the penalty and danger incur'd by the said Statute of 23. Hen. 8, 9. for thus vexatiously citing him out of the Diocess; and threatned Sir Robert, that he would sue him, and prosecute him according to that Statute.

But Sir Robert replied, That he would stop proceedings. Mr. Hickerin­gill (not content with that) replied, Who shall pay me for the vexatious Ci­tation, and unwarrantable trouble and charge you have put me to?

But Sir Robert said nothing to that, nor to the Protestation; it might as well have been Greek, for it non-plust all reply.

Nor are all the Sir Roberts (or) Wisemen in England able to answer that Protestation; for who can patch up an old rotten foundation that (at first and at best) was but a Popish invention, not warranted in the Holy Scripture, for a Bishop to vex and domineer, and pill and poll, and plague his Brethren, Clergy and Laity, biting and devouring (what even birds of prey will not do) their Kind, in spight of the Law of Christ, Luk. 22.25, 26) by illegal Fees, Extortions, Exactions, Gitations, Excommu­nications, Absolutions, Dispensations, Commutations, Procurations, Vi­sitations, Sequestrations, &c.

Which last is an art so dark and unintelligible, and as little known, as seldom or never insisted upon, of all other the mysteries of Iniquity: which makes me subjoin this following Essay,

But some will say, if Bishops Courts be dissolved (as seems to be undeniably prov'd in the Naked-Truth, and in a Book (so stiled) lately published; then what are Bishops good for? And what shall they do? To which I answer, Let them sit in Parliament, and other Councils, when his Majesty shall think fit to call them; let them say their Prayers, Preach, give Alms, Baptize and Catechise, and to the work of their Ministry; and if that be not work enough for one man, (which was a great deal more than the Apostles ever did, who never were Parliament-men nor Privy-Councel­lors) then let them perswade the King and Parllament (if they can) to set up their High-Commission Court again, and give them power (as formerly) to be mischievous.

Bless us, (good God!) what would Ambition and Covetousness, Rage and folly be at, if it could speak?

Is not stately Lordships and Mannors, City and Country-houses, vast Revenues, and great and manifold Preferments, enough to satisfie men, but they must rob the Spittle, and he uneasie, except they have power to be mischievous? Well, God forgive them, and give them repentance, (that's the worst I wish them) and send them more money, and (when they have got more wit and more grace, then also, and not 'till then) more Power.

An Essay concerning Sequestrations, by Edm. Hickeringill.

IF ever any Rags of Popery remain in a Protestant Constitution and Government, (some think) that old Popish Invention called Sequestra­tion, will still stand up and plead for its self.

Sequestration is a term of Art well known in the late Times, name­ly, when Lands in controversie or dispute, or in Abeyance, or in nubibus, are put into the hands of an indifferent person or persons to retain the rents and profits, or take them into custody, till the controversie be deci­ded, and till there be a lawful Incumbent (by Institution and Induction); or, if a Donative, until the Patron do bestow the same upon a Clergy-man.

Sequestration is a Roman word, and honest enough, if it had not been so often abus'd, and where Arbitrary Government (as in the late times) comes in fashion, it is of use, of wicked use.

For Silent leges inter arma, we must not talk of Law, of the ancient and fundamental Laws of England, when either War, Force, Popery (or its Twin) Arbitrary Goverment, comes into play, and is on the winning-hand.

The Pope had a Trick of old, when any Bishoprick or good Living be­came vacant, it should go hard but he would have a snip out of it, before he put in a new Incumbent; and this taking the Benefits into his own hand, he called Sequestration, (that is) keeping the profits in an indifferent hand, to be ready for the next lawful Incumbent, having some respect in the inte­rim, in making some provision for the Cure, answerable to the profits of the vacant Benefice.

The Kings of England, and the Pope, have (of old) had many a shrowd and weary Tugg for the Profits in the Vacancies of Bishopricks, &c. But King Hen. 8. and his own Daughter Qu. Eliz. (that set the Pope at Defiance) made bold to keep the Profits of the vacan Bishopricks in their own hands, (righ and good reason), for by 35 Edw.. 1.1. the King of England are declared the sole & only founders of Bishopricks, and Archbishopricks, &c. as other great then of the Realm, and Lords of Mannors, &c. endow­ed the Parish-Churches; and therefore the custody of the Profits of the Benefice (in the Vacation) belongs to the Patrons, and of the vacant Bi­shopricks to the Kings (and not the Bishops) by 25 Edw. 3. Anno Dom. 1350, and by the Statute of Carlisle 35 Edw. 1.1.

How comes the Pope then, and Bishops, to be so busie in sending out Se­questrations in every Vacancy? why, some men love to be doing, if it be but at small games (they'l play) rather than stick out; and send out Se­questrations, if but for the see sake; come, come, something has some savour. For some men dare in dasiance of the said Statute, take upon them to Sequester the Profits of vacant Benefices, which the said Statutes do aver to belong to the Patrons, in these very words 25 Edw. 3. Kings, Earls, Barons, and other Nobles, as Lords and Advowees, have had and ought to have the custody of such voidances. Besides, men that love to be dubling, and have an Oar in every Boat, they think there is some sport in casting the Net, though it does not always bring of Fish in't.

But a main reason certainly is, That they cannot endure to hear that Ec­clesiastical Profits should come into (though they came out of) Lay-fingers.

And therefore a heavy-do they kept (the Bishops) with Q. Eliz for keeping [Page 7]the Bishoprick of Ely so long vacant, and sequenstring all the stately Man­nors, Rents, Revenues (one of the best in England at that time) and put­ting the moneys thereof. (as at this day) into (a place that often needs the same) the Exchequer.

Putting off the fretting-Bishops with a Complement, namely that she kept the said stately and rich Bishoprick vacant so long (as only) till she could find a man fit for it. And the man that fitted her pretensions (that is) would be content to part with the said rich Lordships, Rents and Reve­nues, and in lieu thereof take a Pension, was the man for her purpose, re­signing all to the Crown, (from whence they came, and that chang'd the rich Abbey of Ely into a Bishops-See, in the reign of Hen. 1.) and in ex­change, contented with a yearly Pension out of the said Exchequer in rea­dy money when he gets it.

Thus Hen. 1. kept the Archbishoprick of Canterbury by Sequestration, from the death of Anselm (five years) till Rodolph (a man for his turn) su­ceeded, that Rodolph that would not consecrate Thurstan Archbishop of York, except he would swear obedience to him in the See of Canterbury: Thurstan scorn'd the motion, and the Pope took part with Thurstan, and bid him not yield and inch; but Rodolph endeavour'd to be above him, and the King took part with Rodolph, but to no purpose; for, the King was glad (at length) to connive and submit.

Nay, that I'le say for the Clergy in Popish times, and foppish times, they shall justle for the place, and bustle for profit (where there's any to be got) as well as the best carnal Lay-man of them all.

And the true reason (in Law) why the King, Nobles, Patrons, &c. ought to have this Priviledg (which the Pope and Bishops have long usurpt), is (saith my Lord Cook) because the King is sole founder of Bishopricks,Instit. 1 Part: p. 344. and Patron of Benefices; and at this day, all Donatives (which the King creates) shall (for this reason) be visited by the Chancellor (not the Bi­shop nor Arch-deacon.) And if the King license a subject to erect and found a Church or Chappel, it is to be visited by the founder only, not by the Bishops; And by parity of reason, the Churches and Chappels of dissolved Monasteries are to be visited by the owners only, that bought and paid for them. And for like reason Kings of England (before the Pope's Usurpati­on) (as sole owners and founders of Bishopricks) did deliver to the Bishop-Elect the Crosier or Pastoratoral staff, and the Ring, whereby there was a wed­ding made betwixt him and his Church-Cathedral, or Mother-Church. And K. Hen. 1. (being requested by the Bishop of Rome to make the Bishopricks Elective) resused;Bak: Chross: but King John was glad to part with this choice flower of the Crown to preserve the Crown its self; or which otherwise that Bishop had made bold to deprive him.

'Tis true, at this day Bishops are (in effect) the Kings creatures, I mean of his creation only, and the Election (by the Chapter, &c.) is but meer fanm; but still the Chapter (at this day) does not part with this sha­dow; as neither with their grants of Sequestrations, Licenses to Preach, Ecclesiastical Court-keeping, demand of Synodals, Procurations, exacting Fees and Oaths from Churchwardens, (unconscionable Oaths like the &c. Oaths, and impossible to be kept) all, all shadows that still they dote on, how illegal soever, and ridiculous to all unbiast and knowing men.

One would think the Pope might be satisfied with St. Peter's Patrimony (as big and rich as all England) in Italy, at least with those may happy obventions for Indulgences, Jubilees, Miracles, Canonization, Annates, [Page 8]Installations, Pensions, Consecrations, &c. and not (as he does) claim and get the first-fruits also, and Tenths of every Benefice in Popedom.

And one would think that the magnificent and extravagant charity and benevolence of those that founded and endowed the Bishopricks in Eng­land with such large Immunities, Profits, Honours, Priviledges, Mannors, Pa­laces, Country and City-houses, &c. might content the greediest Bishop in Christendom, without shipping some part of the fleece of every flock.

Surely they do esteem themselves of another make, another temper, other mettal, and of another mould than other Priests; or, at least, that the Bi­shop is the man, and the Rectors and Vicars, but his Journey-men, or Curates; (for so it seems to be intimated by that passage, Send down upon our Bishops and [...]urates); and as if the Rectors and Curates in England has not as un­doubted a right and Freehold in their Benefices, as a Bishop in his Bishoprick; which (as they certainly have) so they cannot be deprived or lose the same, but by twelve men of their Peers, according to those Statutes (that one would wonder at the impudence of such as dare invade them), namely, 9 Hen. 3.29-25.25 Edw. 3.4-28 Edw. 3.3-36 Edw. 3.15. 17 Car. 1.10. And they will certainly come within the danger of those Statutes when­ever they are so venturous as to trust to their Sequestations as a Title in Law, Cook. Instit. part 1.344. a. or think it sufficient whereupon to ground an Ejectment▪ or dispossess any man of his Possessions; whether his Title to that Possession be good or bad, it is not of spiritual cognizance; for a Benefice, whether void or not void, shall be tried by the Common-Law. And God keep us all and our Freeholds from Arbitrary-sway, and out of the hands (shall I say?) clutches and paws of greedy dogs that can never have enough, I mean un­reasonable and wicked men, ‘who show their abilities in nothing more than being able to crush; the more's the pity, (I say again) that they should have more power than wit or grace.

‘Thus in the days of Popery, if there hapned to be in any part of the Land, a supereminent piece of good land, fat Meadows, pleasant and stately timber'd woods, a serene air, a rich soil, and a convenient situa­tion and habitation, then the Church-mens fingers itcht to be at it, and then—Hey—for St. Clare, St. Katharine, or St. Bennet. The good land was soon converted to Popery and Supersition, and became— the Holy land, and Church-land, belonging to an Abbey, Priory or Nun­nery of the Benedictines, Franciscans, Dominicans, Carthusians, &c.

‘And though this Spiritual Jingo Janutus is clear enough discovered in England, yet still the same itch sticks to some mens fingers; and they are still in defiance of Statutes, (mens Proprieties, Advowsons, and Lay-fees), scratching and clawing, fingering, and playing their tricks and their pranks with the Leiger-demain of a Sequestration; playing their Canons and Proclamations (as of old most Arbitrarily) against the Sacred and funda­mental Statutes of the Realm, and is it not high time then that they should be lookt after, what were the men that occasion'd (by evil coun­sel) the Veterane mischiefs?’

And if at this time of day they be so daring and bold, when their Juris­diction is so cripled, what would they do, nay, what would they not do, if they again retreive (as some men hope) their High-Commission Court? without which, what (ever did, or ever) can their inferiour Courts signi­fie, more than a May-game, or to be laught at? ‘But, if the Inquisition be set up again, then have, at the Naked Truth with fire and faggot, Bell, Book and Candle, and with a vengeance: But, Dat, Deus immiti cornua curta.—’

London, Printed for R. Janeway in Queens Head, Alley in Pater-Noster-Row, 1681.

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