LONDON, Printed for Francis Constable. 1641.

Mr BAGSHAW'S SPEECH In Parliament Febr. 9th 1640. Concerning EPISCOPACY And the LONDON PETITION.

Mr. Speaker,

I Was yesterday and the time be­fore, for the retaining of the London Petition, and am in the same minde still; and therefore doe now rise up against the pro­posall of that question which is now called for; Whether Episcopacy it selfe bee to bee taken into consideration by the Commit­tee: wherein I doe distinguish of a twofold Episcopacy, the first, in Statu puro, as it was in [Page 2]the Primitive times: the second, in Statu corrup­to, as it is at this day, and is so intended and meant in the London Petition. Now I hold that Episcopacy in this later sense is to be taken into consideration as a thing that trencheth not only upon the right and liberties of the subject, of which I shall have occasion to speak here­after. But as it is now, it trencheth upon the Crowne of England in these soure particulars, wherein I know, this House will willingly heare me.

First, it is maintained by the Bishop of Ex­eter in a book which he hath writ to this purpose, that Episcopacy it selfe both in the office and in the jurisdiction is do Iure Divino, of divine right; which position is directly contrary to the lawes of England, of which I will cite but two or three in stead of many more. The Sta­tute of Carlisle 35 Ed. 1. mentioned in Caudries case, in the fifth Report, saith, that the Church of England is founded in the state of Prelacy by the Kings of England and their Progenitors. Which likewise appeares by the first Chapter in Magna Charta, in these words, Concessimus Deo & Ecclesiae Anglicanae omnes libertates, &c. and in the twenty fifth yeare of Edward the third, in the French Roll which I have seene, there the Archbishop and Clergy petition the King for their liberties, in these words, thus englished, That for the Reverence of God and holy Church, and of his grace and bounty, he will confirme [Page 3]all those liberties, priviledges, and rights, granted and given by him and his noble Progenitors, to the Church by their Charters: which plainly sheweth, that they have their Episcopall Jurisdiction from the Kings of England, and not Iure divino by divine right: and this likewise is acknow­ledged by themselves in the Statute of 37 H. 8. cap. 17. that they have their Episcopall Jurisdiction, and all other Ecclesiasticall Ju­risdiction whatsoever solely and only, by, from, and under the King.

The second thing that is trenching upon the Crowne is this, that it is holden at this day, that Episcopacy is inseparable to the Crowne of England; and therefore it is commonly now said, no Bishop, no King; no Miter, no Scepter: which I utterly deny; for it is plaine and apparant, that the Kings of England were long before Bishops, and have a subsistence without them, and have done and may still de­pose them.

The third is likewise considerable, as trench­ing upon the Crowne, which is that was said under the Gallery, that Episcopacy was a third estate in Parliament, and therefore the King and Parliament could not bee without them; this I utterly deny, for there are three estates without them, as namely, the King, who is the first estate; the Lords Temporall the second, and the Commons the third; and I know no fourth estate. Besides, the Kings of England [Page 6]have had many Parliaments wherein there have beene no Bishops at all: as for example, Ed. 1.24. of his Reigne, held his Parliament at Ed­mundbury, excluso Clero; and in the Parliament 7. R. 2. cap. 3. and 7. R. 2. cap. 12. it doth ap­peare that they were enacted by the King with the assent and agreement of the Lords Tem­porall, and Commons, where the estates of Parliament are mentioned, and not the Clergy. Divers other Statutes might likewise be named to this purpose, which I omit.

The fourth and last thing is of the Bishops holding of the Ecclesiasticall Courts in their owne names, and not in the name of the King, nor by Commission from him, contrary to the Statute of 1 Ed. 6. cap. 2. and contrary to the practice of Bishop Ridley, Coverdale, and Ponnet, who took Commissions from the King for holding their Ecclesiasticall Courts, as may be seene at this day in the Rols.

And although it will be objected, that by a late Proclamation in 1637. wherein the opi­nion of the Judges is mentioned, it is declared upon their opinion, that the Act of the 1 Ed. 6. was repealed, and that Bishops may now keep Courts in their owne names, and send processe under their owne seales; yet it is well known, that the Statute of 1 Q. Mary, which repealed the Statute of 1 Ed. 6. was it selfe repealed by the Statute of 1 Iac. cap. 25. whereupon it was holden upon a full debate of this point in [Page 7]Parliament 7 Iac. which I have seene, that upon consideration of the Statutes of 1 Iac. and 1 Eliz. cap. 1. and 8 Eliz. cap. 1. that the Statute of 1 E. 6. was revived, and that Bishops ought not to keep Courts in their owne names: So that for these Reasons so neerly concerning the right of the Crowne of England in the point of Episcopacy, I am against the proposall of that question, and am for the retaining of the London Petition, and for a thorough reformation of all abuses, and grievances of Episcopacy mentioned in the Ministers Remonstrance, which Reformation may perhaps serve the turne without alteration of the Government of England, into a forme of Presbytery, as it is in other Kingdomes of Scotland, France, Geneva, and the Low Countreys, which for mine owne part, had I lived in these Kingdomes, I should have beene of the opi­nion of the Protestant party in point of Pres­bytery, because those Kingdomes are governed by the Civill Law, which maintaines the Ju­risdiction of the Pope and Papall Episcopacy, which the ancient Lawes of England condemne, being likewise in themselves opposite to the Civill and Canon Lawes. And if not withstan­ding all the Reformation that can be made by the Lawes of this Land, a better forme of govern­ment may evidently appeare to us, concerning which there is no forme now before us; it is to be taken by us into consideration, according [Page 8]to that imperiall Constitution in these words, In rebus nobis constituendis evidens utilitas esse debet, ut ab eo jure recedatur quod diu equum visum est.

And so Mr. Speaker, I shortly conclude, that for these Reasons, omitting divers more, the London Petition is to bee retained.


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