Download PDF by H. Maynard Smith D.D. Oxon (auth.): Pre-Reformation England

By H. Maynard Smith D.D. Oxon (auth.)

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In consequence it became necessary to farm out the tithe to some layman on the spot. Peterborough had six rectories, Tewkesbury sixteen, but they both farmed out all but one. 6 Cirencester had eleven livings, and farmed out all of them. There is a petition to John XXIII in 1412 from Norwich complaining that these laymen took the 1 Phillimore, Eccles. Law, 220. • Maitland, Canon Law, 63. 3 15 Richard II, cap. 6; 4 Henry IV, cap 4· 4 Offer, The Bishop's Register, 14. s Hartridge, Vicarages, 193. 6 Ibid.

3 The same suspicion is aroused by Skelton's verses: Yet take they care of souls And wotteth never what they read, Paternoster, Ave, nor Creed, Construe not unto a whistle Neither Gospel nor Pistle, Their matins madly said, Nothing devoutly prayed: Their learning is so small, Their Primes and Houres fall And leap out of their lips Like sawdust on dry chips. • Skelton is not the only scholar, accustomed to courts and polite Rashdall, Universities, ii. 626. Cf. Emden, An Oxford Hall, 209. z Rashdall, ii.

702. The king's reply is printed i. 735· 24 THE CONDITION OF PRE-REFORMATION ENGLAND PT. I conquer Ferrara. 1 No one understood papal policy better than Henry VII, so we need not take his proposals too seriously. His letter was a move for position in the diplomatic game. The unity of Christendom was about to be shattered : and it was shattered because of weakness at the centre. The Papacy had for the time ceased to be religious, and no well-informed man trusted the Pope, while the scandals at the Roman Court were a byword.

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