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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 371



XIV.] THE REFORMATION. complaints that sound like echoes beforehand of voices with which in these days our ears are too familiar. I must, however, now proceed to the Reformation, and endeavour to determine, as strongly and as clearly as I can, the bearing of that most critical era on our subject. Henry VIII had, as early as 1515, seen a struggle between the secular and ecclesiastical jurisdictions in Standish's case, in the course of which he is said to have expressed himself as determined to endure no division of sovereignty in his own realm. Whether that was really said or merely put into his mouth afterwards, I cannot say ; but certainly no scheme of change in the relation between Church and State was set on foot for nearly seventeen years. Then the business of the divorce at Rome, and the discontent of the king with the V half-hearted support of the clergy at home, completed his disgust, and he set out in the course of radical change. Having in 1531 compelled the clergy by the threat of praemunire to recognise him as supreme head 'quantum per Christi legem licet,' he induced the Commons in 1532 to present a petition or remonstrance against the whole theory and practice of the canon law. They attacked the power of the clergy to make canons in convocation, they protested against the exaction of fees and mortuaries, and deliberately impugned the honesty and purity of the episcopal courts in all their branches and with reference both to jurisdiction and to procedure. This petition had two results; the parliament passed bills to limit the benefit of clergy and forbid feoffments to the use of churches. An earlier session in 1529 had attempted to deal with probate and mortuaries ; this, by the Statute of Citations, cut down the power of the Archbishop of Canterbury to entertain suits from other dioceses except by appeal or on request, and so struck at the root of the universal jurisdiction enjoyed by the Court of Arches and its advocates. The same term—the second result of the


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