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

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 374



368 THE REFORMATIO LE GUM. [XIV. { we might almost say that whilst questions of application of law and procedure belonged to the lawyer, the interpretation was claimed for the divine. In cases of heresy, for instance, the theologians formulated the definition, whilst the canonists and civilians examined the teaching of the accused and determined how far he had contravened the definition. So in the question of Henry's divorce, the divines had been called on to define ' Can the pope dispense with a marriage with a deceased brother's wife ? ' the canonists had to determine whether the marriage between Arthur and Katharine was such a marriage as precluded the dispensation. This rule of combining theologians with canonists or civilians for commissions on ecclesiastical suits continued long after the Reformation, and ought never to have been disused. These measures of change, sufficiently drastic one would think, had in this department satisfied Henry VIII ; the scheme for revising the canon law hung fire; the powers granted to the king in 1534 were renewed for three years in 1536, and again for his life in 1544, but nothing was done in the matter during the remainder of the reign. But what had sufficed Henry VIII did not suffice Somerset or Northumberland, or the poor boy-king who succeeded "him. The second statute of the first year of Edward V I went as near as possible to extinguish the episcopate ; there were still to be bishops, but they were to be nominated by the king without any form of election ; they were as a matter of fact appointed during good behaviour; and their jurisdiction was henceforth to be exercised in the king's name. In him all ecclesiastical authority was vested, they were to be his ministers, their writs were to be issued in his name, their seals were to bear the royal arms; and it was only to such of them as he pleased that even such authority was to be intrusted. It was proposed, though not passed, that a Court


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