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"Undecimo præcipimus, sicut priscis temporibus a sanctis patribus traditum esse reperitur; ut nulli episcoporum liceat alterius parochiam invadere, vel etiam aliquid alterius ministerii ad se pertrahere in aliqua consecratione ecclesiarum, vel presbyterorum, diaconorumque, nisi solus archiepiscopus, quia caput est suorum episcoporum." In the year 1126, the tenth canon of a council at London. "Nullus episcoporum alterius parochianum ordinare, vel judicare præsumat."34
Lastly, the following provincial of archbishop Wethershed, in the year 1229, as given by Lyndwood. Quia quidem clerici desperantes ab episcopis suis ordinari propter imperitiam, aut ætatem minorem, extra provinciam suam a transmarinis episcopis ordinantur, vel ordinantur, vel ordinatos se mentiuntur, ignorata sigilla episcopis suis deferentes: statuimus talem ordinationem irritam esse habendam, sub interminatione anathematis inhibentes, ne a quoquam ad
31 Ibid. 171. 408. 609. xv. Among other privileges claimed by or allowed to monasteries, one frequently was, that their members might be ordained by any bishop, and not necessarily by the diocesan. In fact, to such an extent had the exemptions of many religious houses reached, that they acknowledged no diocesan, except the Pope. And the abuses to which this had led, and the frequent quarrels which took place between the monasteries and the bishops are so undeniable, that the necessity of some reformation was plain enough, long before the
sixteenth century. The chronicle of W. Thorn, an ardent partizan of the monks of S. Augustine of Canterbury, is not a little instructive upon this point. However, upon the privilege of that abbey, for example, as regards ordinations, I quote the following: "Præterea quod crisma, et oleum sanctum, consecrationes altarium, ordinationes monachorum et clericorum
quocunque voluerimus episcopo catholico poterimus suscipere, nec ea nobis audeat aliquatenus denegare." Script. X. Tom. 2. p.
sui officii executionem suscipiantur. Episcopum quoque nostræ jurisdictionis, qui talem sciens et perpendens ordinaverit vel susceperit, ab illius ordinis collatione, ad quem eum susceperit vel ordinaverit, usque ad condignam satisfactionem se noverit esse suspensum. And the dictum of the Pupilla oculi; "Episcopus non debet ordinare clericum alterius diœcesis præter licentiam sui superioris, id est, episcopi in cujus diœcesi iste qui ordinari vult fuit oriundus." 36
But as in the majority of these irregular ordinations, the persons receiving were, probably, oftener alone in fault, and always must have been themselves conscious of, even though the bishop might possibly have known also, the existence of some canonical impediment, we find very frequent penalties levelled against such
33 Lib. 1. tit. 4.
Pars vij.cap. 2. F. The same chapter specifies various other restrictions upon the power of conferring orders.
A remarkable mandate is extant, of a bishop of Bath and Wells, which deserves our attention. "Radulphus, episcopus Bath. et Well. archidiacono nostro Well. salutem, gratiam, et benedictionem. Abusionibus quorundam episcopos se dicentium qui licet non missi officium episcopale in nostra dioec. viz. primam tonsuram et minores ordines conferendo, calices et superaltaria consecrando, vestimenta ecclesiastica benedicendo,-ut lucrum extorqueant temporale, in nostrum opprobrium, et contemptum, et aliorum perniciosum ex
emplum, absque auctoritate seu licentia aliqua exercere præsumunt, occurrere cupientes, vobis -sub pœna excommunicationismandamus, quatenus nullum episcopum, præterquam fratrem Johannem de Langebrugge Buduen. episcopum, suffraganeum nostrum ad hujusmodi speciale officium exercend. sine nostris literis vobis ostensis-admittatis. Inhibeatis insuper omnibus rectoribus, vicariis, et capellanis-ne tales episcopos recipiant-Citetis insuper, seu citari faciatis peremptorie quemcunque hujusmodi episcopum prætensum, quod compareat coram nobis vel nostro commissario receptur. quod justitia suadebit. Dat. xvi. Jul. 1362." Wilkins. Conc. tom. 3. p. 49.
offenders. About the year 1173, a canon of Richard, archbishop of Canterbury: "Amodo officium suum non exerceant, qui in alienis episcopatibus furtive ordines susceperunt." Again, a synodal statute of the diocese of Chichester in 1246 thus concludes: "Si quis vero furtive vel simoniace fuerit ordinatus, vel alias contra canonicas sanctiones, non exequatur officium, quousque cum ipso fuerit dispensatum." And once more, the synod of Exeter, in 1287, bearing upon several points before noticed; " Quoniam quidam extranei se oriundos de nostra diœcesi, ac servi se liberos multotiens mentiuntur, ad quod probandum conductitios testes et falsos producunt; nos tam ipsos, quam testes eorum, pro hujusmodi fraudis commento excommunicationis vinculo innodamus." 37
37 Wilkins. Conc. tom. 1. p. 475. 689. Tom. 2. p. 137. Cf. Tom. 1. p. 581. 658. 706. 717.
We find very early in the councils of the English Church, orders as to the precedence of bishops; to be ruled by the dates of their consecrations. Thus in the above cited council at Hertford, in the seventh century; Octavum, ut nullus episcoporum se præferat alteri per ambitionem, sed omnes agnoscant tempus, et ordinem consecrationis suæ." But before the Conquest, privileges had been granted to some sees; for in a council under Lanfranc, A.D. 1075, we find it decreed, after examination, that according to ancient rule the archbishop of York should
sit on the right hand of the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of London on the left, and Winchester next to York. If the archbishop of York was not present, then the bishop of London took his place. Concil. tom. 1. p. 363. Thus Gervase in his chronicle, speaking of a council held under Henry II. says; "Ad dextram primatis sedit episcopus Londoniensis, quia inter episcopos Cant. ecclesiæ suffraganeos decanatus præminet dignitate. Ad sinistram sedit episcopus Wintoniensis, quia cantoris officio præcellit. Cæteri tam episcopi quam abbates secundum primogenita consecrationis suæ consederunt." Script. X. tom. 1. p. 1430. Com
I am not aware that if, in contradiction to these canons, a bishop ventured heedlessly or criminally to confer orders, he would incur the following penalty; but I mention it, as being worth notice, and having reference also to the solemnity with which, at his consecration, the proper vestments were put on by the newly elected bishop, and regarded in some degree as conveying a distinctive character. The two cases to which reference is made, are, neglect of consecrating churches, and of punishing criminous clerks: in the first, from the time that he has refused to perform it, being properly required, and not lawfully hindered, "a dalmaticæ, tunicæ, et sandaliorum usu, donec eam duxerit consecrandam, noverit se suspensum: quæ in
pare the " Ymagines historiarum”
of Ralph de Diceto, ibid. p. 671. And Gervase again, for an example, when the archbishop of York was present, and occupied his proper position in a procession. Ibid. p. 1587: and he adds; "Roffensis vero qui Cantuariensis archiepiscopi capellanus est, prope archiepiscopum subsequetur a tergo." The statement of the chronicler as to the office of the bishop of Rochester, and above, as to the office of the bishop of Winchester, is contrary to the rule laid down by Lyndwood, (and followed by archbishop Parker, De Ant. Brit. Ece. p. 32, and later authorities,) "Habet archiepiscopus Cant. in collegio episcoporum episcopos, Londinensem decanum, Wintoni
ipso consecrationis actu illico reassumat:" and the other is to the same effect. Both these are in the legatine constitutions of Otho.38
There was a facility which persons anciently might avail themselves of, surreptitiously to obtain orders, which has long been checked: this arose from the great number of persons who were ordained. I have unfortunately mislaid a reference to one of the Cotton manuscripts in the British Museum, in which I saw some long contemporary lists of ordinations, with names and other particulars, in the fourteenth century. But this is a point upon which easily ample information might be obtained, I doubt not, from existing records in the episcopal registers of the various dioceses: and I shall extract the following only from the Archæologia. "In the episcopate of bishop Brantyngham, at an ordination celebrated in Tiverton church by William Courtenay, bishop of Hereford, on the 8th June, 1370, there were ordained three hundred and seventy-four persons; of whom, one hundred and sixty-three received the first tonsure; one hundred and twenty were ordained acolyths; thirty, subdeacons; thirty-one, deacons; and thirty, priests."39
38 Tit. 3. and 8. There is nothing of importance in John de Athon's gloss upon these pas
39 Vol. 18. p. 414. Compare
some remarks in the dissertation on service books, as to the number of churches in this country, before the reformation. vol. 1. p. clxviij. note. 83.