Page images

rors and other sovereigns of the respective kingdoms of Europe took the appointment in some degree into their own hands; by reserving to themselves the right of confirming these elections, and of granting investiture of the temporalties, which now began almost universally to be annexed to this spiritual dignity; without which confirmation and investiture, the elected bishop could neither be consecrated nor receive any secular profits. This right was acknowleged in the emperor Charlemagne, A. D. 773, by pope Hadrian 1, and the council of Lateran', and universally exercised by other christian princes : but the policy of the court of Rome at the same time began by degrees to exclude the laity from any share in these elections, and to confine them wholly to the clergy, which at length was completely effected; the mere form of election appearing to the people to be a thing of lits tle consequence, while the crown was in possession of an absolute negative, which was almost equivalent to a direct right of nomination. Hence the right of appointing to bishopricks is said to have been in the crown of England * (as well as other kingdoms in Europe) even in the Saxon times; because the rights of confirmation and investiture were in effect (though not in form) a right of complete donation's But when, by length of time, the custom of making elections by the clergy only was fully established, the popes began to except to the usual method of granting these investitures, which was per annulum et baculum, by the prince's delivering to the prelate a ring, and pastoral staff or crofier; pretending, that this was an encroachment on the church's authority, and an attempt by these symbols to confer a fpiri. tual jurisdi&tion : and pope Gregory VII, towards the close of the eleventh century, published a bulle of excommunication against all princes who should dare to confer investic tures, and all prelates who should venture to receive them, This was a bold step towards effecting the plan then adopted

i Durret. i dift. 63. 6. 22. “ culum regis curia pro sua complacentia k Palm. 28.

conferebat." Penes clericos et monacbos 1. Nulla elcctio praelatorum (lune fuit eleftio, fed ele&tum a rego poftulabant, «verba Ingulobi Jerat mere libera et cano- Selden. Jan. Ang. l. 1. §. 39. “ nica; fed omnes dignitates tam epifcopo. m Decret. 2 cauf. 16. q%. 7. c. 12. « yumi, quam abbatum, per annulum et ba. & 13.

by the Roman fee, of rendering the clergy entirely independent of the civil authority: and long and eager were the contests occasioned by this papal claim. But at length, when the emperor Henry V agreed to remove all suspicion of encroachment on the spiritual character, by conferring investitures for the future per fceptrum and not per annulum et baculum; and when the kings of England and France confented also to alter the form in their kingdoms, and receive only homage from the bishops for their temporalties, instead of investing them by the ring and crosier; the court of Rome found it prudent to suspend for a while it's other pretensions ?..

This concession was obtained from king Henry the first in England, by means of that obstinate and arrogant prelate, arch-bishop Anselmo : but king John (about a century afterwards) in order to obtain the protection of the pope against his discontented barons, was also prevailed upon to give up by a charter, to all the monasteries and cathedrals in the kingdom, the free right of electing their prelates, whether abbots or bishops : reserving only to the crown the custody of the temporalties during the vacancy; the form of granting a licence to elect, (which is the original of our conge d' aslire ) on refusal whereof the electors might proceed without it; and the right of approbation afterwards, which was not to be denied without a reasonable and lawful cause P. This grant was expressly recognized and confirmed in king John's magna carta”, and was again established by statute 25 Edw. III. ft. 6.. 3.

But by statute 25 Hen. VIII. c. 20. the antient right of nomination was, in effect, restored to the crown : it being enacted that, at every future avoidance of a bishoprick, the king may send the dean and chapter his usual licence to proceed to election; which is always to be accompanied with a letter mislive from the king, containing the name of the perfon whom he would have them elect: and, if the dean and chapter delay their election above twelve days, the nominar

Mod. Un. Hift. xxv. 363. xxix. 115. P M.Paris. A.D.1214.1 Rym. Foed. 198.
M. Paris. A. D. 1107,

4 cap. I. edit. 0.xon, 1759.

tion shall devolve to the king, who may by letters patent appoint such person as he pleases. This election or nomination, if it be of a bishop, must be fignified by the king's letters patent to the arch-bishop of the province ; if it be of an arch-bishop, to the other arch-bishop and two bishops, or to four bishops; requiring them to confirm, invest, and con. secrate the person so elected: which they are bound to pere form immediately, without any application to the fee of Rome. After which the bishop elect shall sue to the king for his temporalties, fhall make oath to the king and none other, and shall take reítitution of his secular posesions out of the king's hands only. And if such dean and chapter do not elect in the manner by this act appointed, or if such arch-bishop or bifnop do refuse to confirm, invest, and confccrate such bishop elect, they shall incur all the penalties of a praemunire.

An arch-bishop is the chief of the clergy in a whole province; and has the inspeclion of the bishops of that province, as well as of the inferior clergy, and may deprive them on notorious caufe'. The arch-bishop has also his own diocese, wherein he exercises episcopal jurisdiction; as in his province he exercises archiepiscopal. As arch-bishop, he, upon receipt of the king's writ, calls the bishops and clergy of his province to meet in convocation : but without the king's writ he cannot affemble them. To him all appeals are made from inferior jurisdictions within his province; and, as an appeal lies from the bishops in person to him in person, so it also lies from the consistory courts of each diocese to his archiepiscopal court. During the vacancy of any fee in his province, he is guardian of the spiritualtics thereof, as the king is of the temporaltics; and he executes all ecclefiaftical jurifdi&tion therein. If an archiepiscopal see be vacant, the dean and chapter are the spiritual guardians, ever since the office of prior of Canterbury was abolished at the reformation. The arch-bishop is entitled to present by lapse to all the ccclefiaftical livings in the disposal of liis

i z Roll. Abr. 22.

i Lord Raym. 541. • 4 Init. 322, 323.


diocesan bishops, if not filled within six months. And the arch-bishop has a customary prerogative, when a bifhop is consecrated by him, to name a clerk or chaplain of his own to be provided for by such suffragan bifhop; in lieu of which it is now usual for the bishop to make over by deed to the arch-bilhop, his executors and assigns, the next presentation of such dignity or benefice in the bishop's disposal within that see, as the arch-bishop himself shall choose; which is therefore called his option 4; which options are only binding on the bishop himself who grants them, and not on his fucceffors. The prerogative itself seems to be derived from the legatine power formerly annexed by the popes to the metropolitan of Canterbury". And we may add, that the papal claim itself (like most others of that encroaching see) was probably set up in imitation of the imperial prerogative called primae or primariae preces; whereby the emperor exercises, and hath immemorially exercised *, a right of naming to the first prebend that becomes vacant after his acceffion in every church of the empire Y. A right, that was also exercised by the crown of England in the reign of Edward I ?; and which probably gave rise to the royal corodies which were mentioned in a former chapter a. It is likewise the privilege, by custom, of the arch-bishop of Canterbury, to crown the kings and queens of this kingdom. And he hath also by the statute 25 Hen. VIII. c. 21. the power of granting difpensations in any case, not contrary to the holy scriptures and the law of God, where the pope used formerly to grant them: which is the foundation of his granting special licences, to marry at any place or time, to hold two livings, and the like: and on this also is founded the right he exercises of conferring degrees, in prejudice of the two universities b. " Cowel's interp. tit. op:ion. berto conceffit, de caetero folvat; et de w Sherlock of options. 1.

proxima ccciefia vocatura de collatione * Goldalt. conftir. imper. tom. 3• page praedicti episcopi, quam ipse Robertus ace' 406.

copeuverit, refpiciat. Brev. 11 Edw. I. y Dufresne. V. 806. Mod. Univ. 3 Pryn. 1264. Hift. xxix. 5.

a ch. 8. page 284. z Rex, &c. Jalutem. Scribatis episcopo . See the bishop of Chester's case.' Kari quod- Roberto de Icard per fiorcm Oxon. 1721. fuam, quam ad preces regis praedicto RoVOL. I.


... THE The power and authority of a bishop, besides the adminiftration of certain holy ordinances peculiar to that facred order, conGft principally in inspecting the manners of the people and clergy, and punishing them in order to reformation, by ecclefiaftical censures. To this purpose he has se'veral courts under him, and may visit at pleasure every part of his diocese. His chancellor is appointed to hold his courts for him, and to allift him in matters of ecclefiaftical law; who, as well as all other ecclesiastical officers, if lay or mar

ried, must be a doctor of the civil law, so created in some 'university c It is also the business of a bishop to institute, and to direct induction, to all ecclesiastical livings in his diocese.

· ARCHBISHOPRICKS and bishopricks may become void by

death, deprivation for any very gross and notorious crime, and also by resignation. All resignations must be made to some superior d. Therefore a bishop must resign to his metropolitan ; but the arch-bilhop can resign to none but the king himself.

II. A Dean and chapter are the council of the bishop, to aslist him with their advice in affairs of religion, and also in the temporal concerns of his fee When the rest of the clergy were settled in the several parishes of each diocese (as hath formerlyf been mentioned) these were reserved for the celebration of divine service in the bishop's own cathedral; and the chief of them, who presided over the rest, obtained the name of decanus or dean, being probably at first appointed to superintend ten canons or prebendaries.

All antient deans are elected by the chapter, by conged eflire from the king, and letters missive of recommendation; in the same manner as bishops: but in those chapters, that were founded by Henry VIII out of the spoils of the diffolved monasteries, the deanery is donative, and the installation

c Stat. 37 Hen. VIII. 6, 17.

Gibr. cod. 822.

• 3 Rep. 75. Co. Litt. 103. 300. f page 113, 114.


« PreviousContinue »