Religious Controversies of the Elizabethan Age: A Survey of Printed Sources

By Peter Milward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Presbyterian Discipline

a) Subscription v. Discipline

UNDER the mild rule of Edmund Grindal as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1576 till his death in 1583 -- though he spent much of this period under the Queen's displeasure for having reprimanded her -- the Puritan movement in England made considerable progress. The Advertisments of Archbishop Parker largely became a dead letter, and the prescriptions of the Book of Common Prayer were widely ignored by ministers in the Church of England. When John Whitgift, therefore, succeeded Grindal to the See of Canterbury in 1583, his first concern was to reinstate uniformity of liturgical observance in the Church. For this purpose he drew up a number of Articles, variously given as 12 (by Strype) and 16 (by a contributor to The Seconde Parte of a Register), which he presented to the Queen for her approval. The last, and most controversial, of these Articles was the following:

That none be permitted to preach, read or catechise, to minister the Sacraments, or exercise any ecclesiastical function, unless he first subscribe to the following articles -- in the meantime all licences to preach being suspended:
1. That the Queen has supreme authority -- ecclesiastical and temporal;
2. That the Book of Common Prayer and of Ordering contains nothing contrary to the word of God; that it may be lawfully used; and that he will use it in public prayer, and none other;
3. That he allows the Articles agreed on in the Convocation of 1562, and believes them to be agreeable to the word of God.

These Articles were formally drawn up and approved at a Convocation of the Province of Canterbury held in London in November 1584, and were published in the same year.

280. Articuli per Archiepiscopum, Episcopos & reliquum Clerum Cantuariensis Provinciae in Synodo inchoata Londini, vicesimo quarto die Mensis Novembris, Anno Domini 1584. Regnique serenissimae in

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Religious Controversies of the Elizabethan Age: A Survey of Printed Sources
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Chapter 1 Anglican Challenge 1
  • Chapter 2 Puritan Admonition 25
  • Chapter 3 Catholic Reasons 39
  • Chapter 4 Presbyterian Discipline 77
  • Chapter 5 Appellant Considerations 108
  • Chapter 6 Protestant V. Papist 127
  • Chapter 7 Puritan V. Protestant 157
  • Index 175
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