Project Canterbury

Supplementary Appendix




By the Rev. Henry Barker

, M.A.

From Arthur Lowndes, Vindication of Anglican Orders. New York: J. Pott & Co., 1911

transcribed by Mr. Allan R. Wylie
AD 2000

In the foregoing text of the "Vindication" the Nag’s Head Legend is sufficiently discredited and denied.

It is shown that the legend is discredited at Rome; that its reality is denied and its falsity acknowledged in official quarters and the use of it is even apologized for by accredited writers in the "Civilta Cattolica," one of the official organs of the Roman Curia. In his Bull "ApostolicÊ CurÊ" Leo XIII. dismisses the legend in his argument in such a way that it can never again be relied on. The consecration of Archbishop Parker is admitted at Rome as a historical fact. The Romans themselves refer to Archbishop Parker’s own record of his consecration at Lambeth. All this is great gain. But there is not (so far as I am aware) available for popular use any adequate summary of the facts of and attendant on the consecration as recorded in Archbishop Parker’s own Register. This summary I have been asked by the learned author to supply. To this I add other particulars and also some account of the four bishops by whom Parker was consecrated with various details as to Barlow. The record of Barlow’s actual consecration has been lost. This has been made the ground of a gratuitous assertion that he never was consecrated and this has been used in its turn as an argument against the validity of Parker’s consecration.

Were we to admit as a matter of argument that Barlow had never been consecrated this would not affect the validity of Parker’s consecration, as without counting Barlow, we have three other bishops whose consecration is proved and admitted, taking part in the consecration, all joining in the imposition of hands and in the utterance of the solemn words of consecration. But the documents and records shortly cited below will sufficiently satisfy any reasonable mind that Barlow was duly consecrated even though the record of his consecration is lost.

My notes naturally arrange themselves in two divisions: (i.) As to Archbishop Parker’s consecration. (ii.) As to his consecrators.


The fraudulent Nag’s Head Fable was not known until 1604 (about 45 years after the consecration and near 30 years after Parker’s death) when one John de Sacrobosco or Holywood gave it out. The fable was distinctly denied and repudiated in 1616 by the Earl of Nottingham present at the actual consecration in 1559.

Of this public denial we have an interesting and valuable record written by the Rev. William Hampton, Rector of Worth. He had the facts from his grandfather, who was Chaplain to the Earl of Nottingham and also from the Earl of Nottingham himself. Mr. Hampton’s grandfather was Chaplain to the Earl’s eldest son and successor. Mr. Hampton says that his father often told him the same story. The following is an extract from Mr. Hampton’s narrative:

"In the beginning of King James his reigne there came out a book under the name of Sanders with the story of the Nagg’s head ordination. This book made a great noyse and was wonderfully cry’d up by the Roman Catholics as sapping the whole reformation at once by destroying the Episcopacy. This book was showed to King James and upon his reading of it it stratled (sic) him. Upon this he cald his Privy Council and showed it them and withal told em that he was a stranger among em and knew nothing of the matter, and directing himself to the Archbishop who was present My Lord, (says he) I hope you can prove and make good your ordination for by my Sol, marry (sayes he) if this story be true we are no church. The Archbishop replied that he had never heard the story before, but did not question but he could detect the forgery of it, and by examining the Lambeth register could prove Archbishop Parker’s ordination. Att another Privy Council upon the same account the old Earle of Nottinghame was present, and when ‘twas debated the old Earle stood up and told the King and Council he could give them full satisfaction as to that matter upon his own personal knowledge, for (says he) Archbishop Parker’s ordination made a great noyse about towne that he was to be ordained on such a day in Lambeth Chappel which drew a great deale of company thither, and out of curiosity I went thither myself and was present at his ordination, and he was ordained by the form in King Edward’s Common Prayer Book. I myself (said he) had the book in my hand all the time and went along with the ordination, and when it was over I dined with em, and there was an instrument drawn up of the form and order of it, which instrument I saw and read over. Some time after (I being acquainted with the Archbishop and being at Lambeth with him) he told me that he had sent that instrument to Corpus Christi College in Cambridge to be laid up in their Library in perpetuam rei memoriam, and sayes the old Earle, I believe it may be in the Library still if your majesty please to have it searched for.

By my Sol, man, (says ye King) thou speakest to the purpose; we must see this instrument, and this puts the thing out of dispute. Upon this a messenger was sent, the instrument found and brought to ye King, he showed it, and had it read in Council and desired the old Earle of Nottinghame to look upon it and see if he could remember whether it was the original instrument which was drawn up at the ordination.

The Earle perusing of it declared it was ye original he saw and read when Archbishop Parker was ordained. The King upon this addressing himself to several Popish Lords who were there present in Council. My Lords, sayes he, what do ye think of ye matter? they all declared their abhorrence of the forgery of ye Nagg’s Head ordination, and several of em upon it left the Popish Communion and came over to ye Church of England declaring that Church was not fitt to be trusted with their souls who would invent and abett such a notorious falsity. For truth of this I witness my hand, Win. Hampton, Rector of Worth, 1721."

It may be objected that Rector Hampton’s record comes about 160 years after the event, and that it is only a tradition reduced to writing after that interval. But we have the actual record of Archbishop Parker himself.

As part of the prefatory matter in connection with the Rev. Mr. Bailey’s work named below there is given an actual facsimile of Archbishop Parker’s record of his Consecration taken from his own MS. Register of 1559 (fos.

2 to 11 of Vol. I.) now preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth. The accuracy of this facsimile is certified under date of January 1, 1870, by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Tait), the Archdeacon of London and Hon. Curator of the Library (Hale), the Librarian (Kershaw), the Hon. Librarian (John Richard Green), the Director General of the Ordnance Survey (Col. James) and the Assistant Keeper of H. M. Records (Bassevi Sanders).

My notes are in the main drawn from the facsimile and from the "Defence," Most of the Documents named below are set out in full in the facsimile. Reference is also made to the "Rolls Patents" of 1 and 2

Eliz., to Rymer’s "Fœdera" vol. 15, and to Hook’s "Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury," vol. iv., N. S. The evidence now given in summary or outline is mainly documentary and official.

1559, July 8. CongÈ d’Èliro for the election of an Archbishop granted by Queen Elizabeth to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. This document recites the supplication of the Dean and Chapter stating the vacancy by the death of Cardinal Pole, the last Archbishop and then proceeds—" We favorably incline to your prayers in this matter have "thought fit to grant you this Licence requiring that you may elect such "a person Archbishop and Pastor who may be devoted to God and useful "and faithful to us and our Kingdom."

No letter Missive or recommendatory appears.

1559, August x. Matthew Parker, D.D., was elected Archbishop by the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. This is recited in the Letters Patent of September 9, 1559.


, September 9. Letters Patent granted by the Queen for the Confirmation and Consecration of "our beloved in Christ Matthew Parker as Archbishop and Pastor." directed to the Reverend Fathers in Christ Cuthbert, Bishop of Durham; Gilbert, Bishop of Bath; David, Bishop of Peterborough Anthony, Bishop of Llandaff; William Barlow, Bishop; and John Scory, Bishop. This document after reciting

1. Vacancy by reason of Pole’s death.


. CongÈ d’Èlire of July 18, 1559.

3. Petition of Dean and Chapter.

4. Election of Parker by Dean and Chapter duly certified.

5. Acceptance of election by Queen. concludes with Mandate for Confirmation and Consecration of Parker.

The Mandate was altered for all the six Bishops without any such words as "any four of you at least." This with what followed explains the necessity for the later Mandate of December 6,


Of the six Bishops named three (Durham, Bath and Peterborough) declined to consecrate Parker. Accordingly other Letters Patent were issued.


, December 6. Letters Patent granted by the Queen in much the same form as those of September 9 with similar statements and recitals directed to the Reverend Fathers in God Anthony, Bishop of Llandaff; William Barlow, sometime Bishop of Bath now Elect of Chichester; John Scory, sometime Bishop of Chichester now Elect of Hereford; Miles Coverdale, sometime Bishop of Exeter; John Sutter, Suffragan of Bedford; and John Bale, Bishop of Ossory.

The mandate or order for confirmation and consecration was to the seven Bishops named "or at the least four of them."

These Letters Patent were submitted to the opinion of six learned Doctors who certified that the Queen might lawfully authorize, and that the persons named might lawfully exercise, the acts of Confirmation and Consecration.

The Confirmation of Parker’s election took place at the Church of S. Mary le Bow, December 9,

1559. Parker was not present but was represented by William May, Dean of St. Paul’s, and Nicholas Bullingham as his Proxies.


, December 7. Proxy of the Lord Elect in favour of Dean May and Dr. Bullingham.


, August 3. Proxy of the Dean and Chapter in favour of William Darrell, Anthony Huse, John Clarke and John Incent.


, December 9. Official Record of the Confirmation and Consecration of Matthew Parker in the Parish Church of S. Mary le Bow, London, before the four Bishops Barlow, Scory, Coverdale and Hodgskin. This is very lengthy and in great detail and includes (i) The citation to all opposers. (ii) The first schedule against opposers. (iii) The summary petition of the Dean and Chapter to the Bishops for the Confirmation with their reasons. (iv) The process of Election. (v) The Consent of the Archbishop Elect. (vi) The attestation of due fulfilment of all matters named in the first schedule. (vii) The Deposition of John Baker and William Telwyn as witnesses. (viii) The Second Schedule against opposers. (ix) The Oath by the Elect of Allegiance to the Queen, and (x) The definitive Sentence of Confirmation.

Now comes from Archbishop Parker’s own Register.

"The Order of Rites and Ceremonies observed in the Consecration of the Most Reverend Lord Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Chapel within his Manor of Lambeth on Sunday, viz., the Seventeenth day of the month of December in the year of our Lord, 1559."

This document recites:

(a) In three sections the arrangements as to Altar, Seats, Faldstools and Throne.

(b) The entry by the west door early in the morning, about five or six o’clock, of the Archbishop, wearing a scarlet gown and hood, preceded by attendants, with four wax torches, William Barlow, sometime Bishop of Bath and Wells, now elect of Chichester, John Scory, sometime Bishop of Chichester, now elect of Hereford, and John, Suffragan of Bedford. All of whom in their several order took the seats prepared for them.

(c) The saying of Morning Prayer by Andrew Peerson, Chaplain to the Archbishop.

(d) The Sermon by Bishop Scory from the Text I. Peter v. i. (a).

(e) The exit of the Archbishop and of the four Bishops.

(f) Their return by the door on the North side vested as follows

The Archbishop in a Linen Surplice (as it is called). The Elect of Chichester in a silk cope ready to celebrate the Blessed Sacrament, who was served, and assisted by two of the Archbishop’s Chaplains, viz., Nicholas Bullingham and Edmund Gest, Archdeacons of Lincoln and Canterbury, vested in silk copes.

The Elect of Hereford and the Suffragan of Bedford, in Linen Surplices. Miles Coverdale used a woolen gown reaching down to his feet.

(g) Vested in this manner the Archbishop kneeling on the lowest step of the Chancel.

(h) The Gospel ended, the Elect of Hereford, the Suffragan of Bedford and Miles Coverdale presented the Archbishop to the Elect of Chichester with the words, "Reverend Father in God, we present unto you, etc."

(i) The reading of the Queen’s Letters Patent or Mandate for the Consecration.

(k) The administration of the Oath of the Queen’s supremacy to the Archbishop.

(I) The Bidding of the People for Prayer by the Elect of Chichester. who sang the Litany.

(m) Questions proposed to the Archbishop by the Elect of Chichester with prayers and Suffrages, etc., according to the rules provided and then records:

(n) The laying on of hands on the Archbishop by the Elect of Chichester and Hereford, the Suifragan of Bedford and Miles Coverdale with the words in English

"Take the Hollie Gost and remember that thou stirre upp the Grace of God which ys in the by the Imposicon of hands, for God hath not giuen us the spirite of Feare but of Power and Loue and Sobernes."

(o) The delivery of the Bible by them to the Archbishop with the words:

"Gyve hede unto thy readinge, exhortacons and Doctrine.

"Think uppon thes thinges conteyned in thys Booke, be diligent in them that the increase comminge therebye may be manifest unto all men. Take heed unto thyself and unto thy Teachinge, and be diligent in Doinge them for by doinge thys thou shalt saue thyself and them that hear thee through Jesus Xpe our Lord."

It will be noticed that only the first portion of the words of the office prescribed at this point in the three Prayer Books of 1549, 1552 and 1559 was used. The Archbishop’s record states that there was no delivery of the Pastoral staff to the Archbishop. Reference to the Ordinal as found in the first Prayer Book of 1549 will show that under these circumstances the words omitted were properly omitted in accordance with the ritual of that Book. It is interesting to note that while there was no delivery of the staff yet there the ritual of 1549 seems to have been followed, certainly in spirit if not in the full letter.

(p) The completion of the Communion Office by the Elect of Chichester with whom the Archbishop and the four Bishops and some others received the Holy Communion.

(q) The exit of the Archbishop by the North door at the East end accompanied by the four Bishops.


His return by the same door, attended by the same Bishops, "vested in a white Episcopal Surplice and Chimere (as they call it) of black silk and wearing round his neck a certain collar made of valuable sables." The Bishops Elect of Chichester and Hereford were vested in their Episcopal vestments, a Surplice and Chimere. Coverdale and the Suffragan of Bedford wore only woolen gowns.

(s) Going to the West door the Archbishop gave staves of office to his Steward, Treasurer and Comptroller.


The departure of the Archbishop by the \Vest door of the Chapel. All these things are certified to have been done in the presence of the Reverend Fathers in God Edmund Grindall, Bishop Elect of London, Richard Cockes, Elect of Ely, Edwin Sandes, Elect of Worcester, Anthony Huse, Principal and Chief Registrar of the Archbishop, Thomas Argall, Registrar of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Thomas Willett and John Incent, Notaries Public, and some others.

Grindal, Cox and Sandys (so Stubbs spells the names), the three Bishops Elect, who were present were along with Meyrick, of Bangor, all consecrated by Parker on December 21, 1559. The other witnesses mentioned were the regular officials of the archdiocese.

1559, December 21

. Mandate of Barlow, Bishop of Chichester-Scory, Bishop of Hereford (no longer "Elect" in either case) Miles Coverdale and John, Suffragan, of Bedford, to the Archdeacon of Canterbury for the enthronement of the Archbishop. The Archdeacon of Canterbury (Edmund Gest) being unable personally to conduct the enthronement issued his proxy dated

1559—60, January 1

. For the enthronement under which the Arch, bishop was in due course enthroned.

After the Election, Confirmation, Consecration and Enthronement come under date of


, March 21. The Queen’s Mandates for the restitution of the teinporalities of the See directed to her Escheators in the Counties of Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex, Oxford and Berkshire, York, Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertford and Norfolk and Suffolk and also to the Mayors and Escheators of London and County.

All these details as recorded in Parker’s Register agree entirely with the documents of the Rolls, or now at the Public Record Office.

Editor Bailey refers to the proof of the entire accuracy of the Archbishop’s Register to several points as named by the Rev. A. W. Haddam in his edition of Abp. Bramhall’s works and then proceeds as follows (page 5 of the English Section.)

"Moreover after the death of Parker his Registers were cited by many persons amongst others when they had been inspected by John Hart, forthwith he confessed ‘that he thought nothing of the kind could have been shown’ likewise also Richard Sheldon, a Roman Priest, in his book De Spiritibus Pondificiis, writes thus ‘I myself lately, for my own satisfaction, searched in the Registers and I found clearly that Archbishop Parker was sufficiently truly and canonically ordered and consecrated.’ Another, James Wadsworth, in a letter to a friend in England testifies that before his departure from England he read the consecration of Parker in the Registers. Afterwards on the 12th of May, 1614

, George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the presence of these famous Bishops. John (King) of London, William (James) of Durham, Lancelot (Andrews) of Ely, James (Montague) of Bath and Wells, Richard (Neyle) of Lincoln and John (Buckeridge) of Rochester, produced Parker’s Register and showed it to four Roman Catholics namely, Mr. Collington whom some people at that time called the Archpriest, Mr. Laithwaits, and Mr. Faircloth, Jesuits, and Mr. Leake, a Secular Priest, desiring them to carefully examine the same. ‘They’ as Bishop Godwin remarks in his book De Prœsulibus, ‘looked at the Book, handled it, turned it over, perused it, as much as they pleased, but the Consecration of Parker especially they read, and turned over again and again, and having accurately and carefully considered the book, the letter, the matter and all other things contained in it, they at length bear testimony to the truth and validity of it; confessing that it seemed to them to be a book beyond all exception’ (Godwin de Prœsul. p. 219, Edit. ‘743)."

In connection with this statement and quotation it may be well to refer to Dr. Lingard’s detailed statement in one of the numbers of the Birmingham (Roman) Catholic Magazine of 1834 which is given at length by Hook, page 251 et seq. Dr. Lingard alludes to the invitation by Archbishop Abbott to "Colleton" the Archpriest, and other Roman Catholics, and to their inspection of Parker’s Register. For details he refers to Dodd ii. 227, and to Godwin 219. Lingard is supported by Canon Tierney in his notes on Dodd and by Mr. Butler in his fourth letter to Bishop Philpotts. All these are well known and learned men of the Roman Communion. We have here all the stages:

1. The See vacant.

2. The petition of the Dean and Chapter.

3. The CongÈ d’Èliro.

4. The Election.


The acceptance of the Election by the Crown.

6. The Letters Patent for Confirmation and Consecration.

7. The Second Letters Patent for the same purpose.

8. The Confirmation of the Election with all the official documents.

9. The actual Consecration by the Four Bishops with the words used.

10. The official Acts of the Archbishop after Consecration as to the officers of his household.

11. The Mandate for the Enthronement.

12. The Mandate for the restitution of the temporalities.

All in a contemporary Record made by the proper officials under the superintendence of Parker himself, preserved in the Archiepiscopal Register, produced from the proper custody, the only link wanting being, the actual record of the enthronement. Of this contemporary official record we have a facsimile certified by Parker’s successor in the Archbishopric, and other proper officials so lately as Jan. I, 1870, as a true copy of the original and official record still preserved in the Archiepiscopal Register at Lambeth. Surely we can have no better evidence of the Consecration of Archbishop Parker than this. But this is not all. Parker’s Register of his Consecration made at the time and now preserved in the Lambeth Library does not stand alone. It is confirmed by many other records, among which may be named:

(a) A copy of Parker’s Record now preserved in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

(b) A personal book of Memorabilia in his Life owned and kept and entered up by the Archbishop himself in his own handwriting now preserved in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in which under date of December 17, 1559, there is an entry of his Consecration as Archbishop with a prayer for God’s assisting and enabling grace, etc.

(c) The Register of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury as Guardian of the Spiritualities of the Archbishopric during the vacancy of the Archiepiscopal See on the death of Cardinal Pole. There are many entries as to vacancies of Dioceses occuring during the vacancy of the Archiepiscopal See, of the action by the Dean and Chapter, of the issue by them of several commissions to different persons as commissioners or Vicars General and of the action of the Commissioners. These entries appear to commence November 25, 1558 and to terminate December 8, 1559. Pole died November 18, 1558. The election of Parker was confirmed December 9, 1559, and he was consecrated December 17, 1559. The dates of the first and last entries have a striking connection with the commencement and close of the vacancy in the See on Pole’s death which was practically terminated for many purposes by Parker’s Confirmation.

(d) The Register of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in the second book of Wills proved in the Court. The vacancy in the See is recorded up to December 9, 1559; all Wills are proved by the authority of the Dean and Chapter, but later by the authority of

" The Most Reverend Father in Christ, Matthew, by Divine Permission Archbishop Of Canterbury Elect and Confirmed." Wills are recorded as proved by the authority of the Lord Elect on December 11, December 13, and December I5, 1559. After this the entries run in the ordinary way under the authority of the Lord Archbishop.

(e) The Register of the same Court as to Grants of Administration of the estates of intestates by the authority of Parker, as Archbishop, with grants under dates of December 13 and December 19, 1559, etc.

(f) Parker’s own Register with entries as under:

1559, December 12. Institution by Parker, Elect and Confirmed, of Christopher James to the Parish Church of St. Mary in Marisco.

1559, December 18. Commission for Confirmation of Grindall issued by Parker "in the first year of our Consecration."

(g) Transcript in MS. of old statutes and ordinances of the Metropolitan Court of Canterbury, the Arches Court. London, together with rescripts and constitutions of several Archbishops of Canterbury with reference to contingencies in the said Court, etc., in which occurs the following entry:

"Dec. 17th (xvi. Kal. Januar.) Consecration of Matthew Parker Archbishop of Canterbury."

(h) A Book entitled "De Antiquitate EccleskÊ AnglicanÊ" of which a copy (edition of 1572) was given by Parker to his son John and is still preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth. This book contains the lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, from Augustine to Parker inclusive, which were written by Parker himself, subject to the query whether he wrote his own life or procured his Chaplain John Josseline to write it. In this book we have the statement of Parker’s election by the Dean and Chapter in 1559, of his Consecration December 17, in same year by four Bishops naming them, the Imposition of Hands, Prayers, Invocation of the Spirit and Reception of the Holy Eucharist by a large Congregation being all named.

(i) A MS. note in the last named book by John Parker, son of the Archbishop, as follows

"This Matthew was born on the 6th August. 1604 (sic.? 1504) is consecrated Archbishop December 17th. 1559. His last will made April 5th, 1575. Dies at Lambeth (where he is buried) May 17th, 1575. His funeral in Lambeth Church. His will ruled by his Executors October 1st, 1575."

(k) Extracts from Letters included in the "Zurich Letters" (published by the Parker Society).

1559, July 20. Jewel to Peter Martyr. Mention is made of some who "Are marked out for Bishops. Parker for Canterbury, Cox for Norwich, Barlow for Chichester, Scory for Hereford, and Grindal for London."

1559, November 2. "Same to same." ‘I have heard from the Archbishop of Canterbury.’

1559, November 16. "Same to same." ‘The Bishops are as yet only marked out and their estates are in the meantime gloriously swelling the Exchequer.’

1559, December 20. Parkurst to Simler. Speaks of "Parker, the Archbishop of Canterbury."

1560, January 6. Sampson to Peter Martyr. "The Consecration of some Bishops has already taken place. I mention as being known to you by name, Dr. Parker (Archbishop) of Canterbury, Dr. Cox (Bishop) of Ely, Dr. Grindal of London, Dr. Sandys of Worcester, etc., etc.

(1) "Historiola," a life of Parker translated into English by a Puritan, one of his determined enemies. It states: "He was consecrated December 17th, 1559." A copy of this book is now preserved in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in which John Joscelyn chaplain of the Archbishop has written with his own hand "The day of the consecration of Parker that is December 17th, 1559."

(m) The diary of Henry Machyn Citizen and Merchant Taylor of London 1550—1563, in which there are the following entries "The xxiii day of June, 1559, were elected vi new Byshopes corn from beyond the See. Master Parker, Bysshope of Canterbere, Master Gryndalle, Bysshope of London, Dockur Score, Bysshope of Harfford, Barlow (of) Chochestur, doctur Bylle of Salysbere, doctor Cokes of Norwyche."

(Park)er elected Byshope of Canturbere.

The xvii of Desember was the nuw Byshope of (Canterbury) Doctor Parker was mad(e) ther at Lambeth.

"The xx day of Desember a-fornon was St Tomas Evyn my Lord of Canterbure whent to Bow Chyrche and ther were V new Bysshopes mad(e)."

(n) Archives and State Papers preserved in the Rolls Chapel or Record office. Here are

1. A Commission constituting Matthew Parker Archbishop Nominate of Canterbury, Edmund Grindal Bishop Nominate of London, and others Commissioners for carrying into effect the acts of Uniformity. Dated July ‘9, 1559.

2. The first mandate of September 9, 1559 for Parker’s Confirmation and Consecration.

3. The second mandate of December 6, 1559 for the same purpose.

4. Memorandum of Parker’s Consecration December 17, 1559.

It is quite impossible that all these thirteen independent and separate records should agree with or at least be consistent with each other and with Parker’s record if the Consecration had not taken place as recorded. To suggest fraud would be to suggest a deliberate conspiracy by a multitude of people which it is impossible even to imagine, On this point Haddan in his work on "Apostolic Succession" says (Edition of 1869 p. 198).

"The forger must have been so marvelous a conjurer that he first of all invented half a dozen complicated series of documents all minutely tallying both with each other and with all known history on the subject; and then inserted all of them utterly unsuspected by anybody into every one of their several repositories (over no one of which had he the slightest control, and of one or two of which he could not know the existence) at Canterbury, Lambeth, London, Cambridge, Zurich and the great episcopal and capitular archives all over the Kingdom: and that he did this with such exquisite jugglery as e. g., to insert large portions into Parker’s Register at different places, and yet to have made them exactly fit in with all the rest as if they had been there from the beginning."

Then we have the historic acts and acknowledgments of Parker as Archbishop without even a breath of protest or remonstrance, such as his Consecration of Bishops, his ordinations of Clergy, his rule and administration as Archbishop of the Diocese of Canterbury and of the Province. The issue of the writ empowering him to Summon Convocation and his summons of same thereunder. His seat and presence and presidency and vote in Convocation. His writ of summons to the House of Lords. His seat and presence and vote in the House of Lords. His issue of the "Advertisements." His labours as to the "Bishop’s Bible." His correspondence with the Secretaries of State and his presence in the Privy Council.

These acts and proceedings are all utterly impossible if Parker had not been duly nominated, elected, confirmed and consecrated.

We may take it as an act of proven historical fact that Matthew Parker was duly and legally consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on December 17th, 1559.


Parker’s Consecrators were, as we have seen, four in number.


William Barlow, sometime Bishop of Bath and Wells and then Elect of Chichester.

2. John Scory, sometime Bishop of Chichester and then Elect of Hereford.

3. Miles Coverdale, sometime Bishop of Exeter.

4. John Hodgskin Bishop Suffragan of Bedford.

Of these, Barlow and Hodgskin, were consecrated in the time of Henry VIII., and Coverdale and Scory were consecrated during the reign of Edward VI., so we have here both Henrician and Edwardian Bishops consecrated under the Roman and Reformation Rituals respectively.

All the regular records and evidence as to the consecrations of Scory, Coverdale and Hodgskin are in existence and of record. I take these three first in their order.

John Scory. Consecrated Bishop of Rochester August 30, 1551, in the Chapel of the Manor of Croydon by Cranmer, Ridley, and Hodgskin. (See Cranmer’s Register, folio 323.) On the same day the usual mandate for investment, induction and enthronement was decreed by Archbishop Cranmer addressed to the Archdeacon of Canterbury.

1552, May 10. Nominated as Bishop of Chichester.

May 23. Royal Letters Patent for translation granted. July 23. Installed and enthroned by proxy.

1554, deprived under Mary.

1554, July 14. Entry in Register of Bonner, Bishop of London, recites that John, lately Bishop of Chichester, then residing within Bonner’s Diocese and Jurisdiction had entered upon marriage rendering himself unworthy and deserving to be deprived, etc., and then records his restoration to the exercise within the Diocese of London of his ecclesiastical ministry and pastoral office. His restoration by Bonner under Queen Mary is abundant evidence of his due Consecration.

1559, June 2. CongÈ d’Èliro for See of Hereford.

July 15. Elected Bishop of Hereford.

December 18. Commission to confirm election.

December 18. Confirmation of election.

1559—1560, March 23. Restitution of temporalities.

Miles Coverdale, Consecrated Bishop of Exeter at same time and place and by same Bishops as Scory. August 30, 1551. (Cranmer’s Register fol. 334.) The mandate of Archdeacon (Edmund) Cranmer for Coverdale’s installation and enthronement dated August 31, 1551, recites his Consecration.

1551, September 11. The Chapter of Exeter Cathedral certified to Archdeacon Cranmer the installment and enthronement of Coverdale on the previous day.

Acts of Bishop Coverdale appear in the Register of the Dean and Chapter and in Coverdale's own Register which commences September 11, 1551, the day of his enthronement. Entries in various other official Records and Registers might be cited.

1554, Deprived under Mary.

John Hodgskin. Consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Bedford under the Act 26 Henry VIII., cap. 14. December 9, 1537, according to the Roman Rite by Stokesley, Bishop of London, Hilsey, Bishop of Rochester, and Parfew, Bishop of St. Asaph.

The record of the letters patent for the consecration of Hodgskin on the nomination of the Bishop of London, dated December 3, 1537, and of his consecration December 9, 1537, appear in Cranmer’s Register, folio 204 (a) and (b).

1540, December 19. Hodgskin joins with Bonner and Heath in the consecration of Thirlby, Bishop of Ely, who was in his turn one of the consecrators of Cardinal Pole.

Hodgskin joined in many other consecrations of Bishops.

1554. Deprived under Mary.

Various entries in Bonner’s Register and in Grindal’s Register show that Hodgskin was accepted and recognized until his deprivation under Mary as Bishop Suffragan of Bedford.

These three Bishops, Scory, Coverdale and Hodgskin, along with Barlow were the consecrators of Parker, Barlow presiding. All the four Bishops joined in the laying on of hands and in the words of consecration.

William Barlow. Dealing with Barlow it must be admitted that there is no actual record of his consecration. On this ground some have taken exception to the consecration of Parker. But taking for granted that Barlow was never consecrated, even then we have three Bishops, without Barlow, joining in Parker’s consecration against whose episcopal Orders no voice has ever been raised. This in accordance with the ancient usage and practice of the Church is ample and sufficient. I propose to show that Barlow must have been consecrated in due course during the year 1536, temp., Henry VIII. The maintenance and proof of Parker’s consecration is supremely important as the due and regular succession of the English Episcopate turns on the reality and validity of his consecration. But any defect in Barlow’s consecration, or the fact that he was never consecrated, would not invalidate Parker’s consecration.

The only objection to Barlow’s consecration is that no record of it is found. In Cranmer’s Register the record of his confirmation appears and the half page following has been left vacant, presumably for the entry of the act of consecration. Passing this by, Barlow’s episcopal life was spent as follows:

1535-1536, January 16, Bishop-elect of St. Asaph.

1536-1549, Bishop of St. Davids.

1549-1554, Bishop of Bath and Wells.

1554, Deprived under Mary.

1559-1568, Bishop of Chichester, until his death.

Subject to his deprivation under Mary, his episcopal life and acts run in the reign of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Elizabeth without contradiction, protest or opposition.

Stubbs in his "Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum" has this item in due order of date:

"A. D., I 536, June. William Barlow, S. Davids. Bath, 1549-1554. Chichester, 1559, d. 1569, December 10, Record not forthcoming. The date is fixed by collateral proof to June 11, 18 or 26. Barlow’s precedence is between Norwich (Repps) and S. Asaph (Parfew.) See Wilkins Conc. iii., 809, 822, 831. Bramhall, Ed. Haddan iii., 138-143 and preface."

The details of the collateral evidence mainly taken from Cranmer’s register are:

1535-6, January 7. CongÈ d’Èliro to Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph.

January 16. Election by Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph.

February 22. Royal assent to election.

February 22. Archbishop’s commission to confirm.

February 22 or 23. Confirmation.

It is to be noted that Barlow was absent in Scotland on royal business from February to May, 1536.

February 18. Rawlins, Bishop of St. Davids, died. The Dean and Chapter of St. Davids made petition for CongÈ d’Èliro, and the same was issued.

1536, April 10. Barlow elected Bishop of St. Davids.

April 20. Royal assent to eleetion.

April 21. Confirmation of election.

April 21. Certificate of the same to the King.

June. (actual date not certain.) Consecration by Cranmer, Voysey and Clerk.

Clerk (Bath and Wells) had been consecrated in Rome by Roman Bishops.

April 25 (on and after) Barlow signs his letters as "Win. Menevensis," though in March, when confirmed to St. Asaph, he signs simply "Wm. Barlow."

April 26. Restoration of temporalities.

May 29. Petition of Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph for CongÈ d’Èliro in consequence of Barlow’s translation.

June 24. Commission to consecrate Wharton as Bishop of St. Asaph.

April 27. Barlow named last in order as Bishop of St. Davids in Writ of Summons to House of Lords. Bishop of St. Davids (Barlow) named in Royal Writ as one of the Guardians of the Spiritualites of the Diocese of Winchester in Bishop’s absence.

June 30. In the Journal of the House of Lords is found the Record of Barlow appearing as Bishop of St. Davids, with his Writ of Summons and taking his seat. He is named last in the record of prelates present.

All these events appear in due order in the year 1536 reckoning from Jan. 1

. Other details of Barlow’s life and acts appear as follows:

His presence as a Peer of Parliament is recorded ten times in July, 1536, and on July 14 Wharton’s name as Bishop of St. Asaph follows next after that of Barlow. In the next Parliament which commenced April 28, 1539

, the presence of the Bishops of St. Davids, St. Asaph and Llandaff is recorded in the order named. Barlow’s presence is recorded on more than twenty-four occasions. His presence is also recorded in the Parliaments of 1541, 1542 and 1543. In the first Parliament of Edward VI. Barlow appears first as Bishop of St. Davids, and then in the same place in order of seniority, as Bishop of Bath and Wells. As Bishop of Bath and Wells he was present in the Parliaments of 1548, 1549, 1551, 1552 and 1553. He was not only summoned as Bishop to the House of Lords but was called by the Archbishop to Provincial Synods in which he sat and acted.

He subscribed (inter alia) to the book of The Institution of a Christian Man (See Preface) To the Judgment against the King’s marriage with Anne of Cleves and to the Articles of Religion. As Bishop of St. Davids he was one of the consecrators of Skip, Bishop of Hereford, November 23, 1539, and of Bulkley, Bishop of Bangor, February 19, 1541-1542.

1547-48, February 3. Barlow was translated to the See of Bath and Wells by letters patent.

1548, May 20. As Bishop of Bath and Wells he assigns on an exchange certain manor, etc., to the King, and the document is ratified later by the Dean and Chapter. The details of the exchange, the record of the Royal Grant by way of exchange, and a recital of the conveyance of May 20 appear from three separate Royal Documents now in the Rolls Register.

The temporalities of the Diocese of Bath and Wells must have been restored before the royal grants were made as otherwise Barlow could not have granted the manors to the King without trespassing on the royal prerogative. Barlow’s grant or conveyance was accepted as valid for it was the foundation of the royal grants in exchange, and this was done with the advice of the Protector and the rest of the King’s Counsellors specially summoned. Ergo, Barlow must have been duly consecrated and translated.


November. Temp. Queen Mary. Barlow was thrown into the Fleet Prison. He appeared some time later before the Royal Commission of which Gardiner was President, and so pleaded his cause that he was returned to prison and only deprived of his Bishopric.


March 13. CongÈ d’Èliro by Queen Mary to Dean and Chapter of Bath and Wells to elect another Bishop, followed by the election of Bonner as Bishop.


March 28. Queen Mary’s mandate for the consecration of Bonner, "The episcopal throne within our Cathedral Church of Wells being vacant by the deprivation and removal of the last Bishop thereof." That Bishop being Barlow.

This would never have been so stated had there been any absence of or defect in Barlow’s consecration. Gardiner calls him at an earlier date, "My Lord of St. Davids" and "My Brother of St. Davids." When before the Commissioners he was treated as a Bishop and deprived of his Bishopric. This course would never have been taken had not the Commissioners been satisfied as to his consecration and translation. In 1558 on the death of Queen Mary, Barlow returned to England and was, as we have seen, one of the four consecrators of Parker. In his first year as Archbishop, Parker consecrated eleven Bishops and confirmed two. He consecrated, as he himself says


Edmund Grindall (London).


Richard Cox (Ely).

3. Edwin Sandys (Worcester).

4. John Jewel (Salisbury).


Gilbert Berkeley (Bath and Wells).

6. Thomas Bentham (Lichfield and Coventry).

7. Roland Mericke (Bangor).

8. Thomas Young (St. Davids).

9. Richard Davycs (St. Asaph).

10. Nicholas Bullingham (Lincoln).


Edmund Guest (Rochester).

Parker in the same year confirmed

1. William Barlow, Bishop of Bath and Wells, in the time of King Edward, translated to the Bishopric of Chichester.


John Scory from the Bishopric of Chichester which he had held under King Edward to the See of Hereford.

Camden in his Annals, edition of 1615, p. 38, says that Parker, "Consecrated Edmund Grindal, but he confirmed William Barlow (who in the reign of Henry VIII., has been Bishop of St. Davids and afterwards of Bath) to Chichester, and John Scory, a man of some learning, who had formerly been Bishop of Chichester to Hereford."

The royal mandate for the confirmation of Barlow as Bishop of Chichester was dated December 18, 1559

. The temporalities of the Diocese of Chichester were restored to Barlow by the Queen’s mandate to her Escheator of the County of Middlesex. Such matters as proof of wills before the Commissary General of Barlow as Bishop of St. Davids and confirmation of a lease granted by the Archdeacon of Bath by Barlow as Bishop of Bath and Wells, April 24, 1558 in the first year of his translation, appear in the proper record.

Several original letters are in existence from Barlow as Bishop of St. Davids, between 1536 and 1540

. Other original letters may be named: From the Dean of Wells as to charges against Barlow as Bishop of Bath and Wells.

From the Marquis of Brandenburg to Queen Elizabeth, January 31, 1558—59, as to Barlow, Bishop of Bath and Wells with the Queen’s reply stating that she had nominated him as Bishop of Chichester. From Barlow, as Bishop of Chichester, to Cecil, February 1560—61.

A letter to Cecil dated August 14, 1568, informing him of the death of Barlow on the previous day.

A letter to Cecil to the same effect from the Archbishop of Canterbury dated August 19,


A curious item is a writ under the privy seal dated 1560, November 12, as to a royal pardon issued to William, Bishop of Bath and Wells, for an offence against the Prœmunire Acts. There is a statement in Machyn’s Journal under date of 1559, June 14th, as to the election of six new Bishops including "Barlow (of) Chechastur."

Reference may be made to Jewel’s letter of July 20, 1559, to Peter Martyr (see above) as to some who are "Marked out for Bishops" including "Barlow for Chichester." It is somewhat interesting to note the words, "for Bonner is ordered to vacate his See. When they will take possession I know not."

There is another entry in Machyn’s Journal as to the funeral service for Henry, the late French King, under date of September 9, 1559.

King Henry II. died July 10, 1559. The journal mentions those who conducted the services which were held on two consecutive days. "A fore-none they cam to the Chyrche from the Byshope Palles—My Lord of Canterbure, the Menyster, the Bysshope of Hereford, Skore did pryche, and the Bysshope Barlow."

Heylyn says for the same occasion:

"The divine offices were performed by Doctor Matthew Parker, Lord Elect of Canterbury, Doctor William Barlow, Lord Elect of Chichester, and Doctor John Scory, Lord Elect of Hereford, all sitting in the throne of the Bishop of London. No otherwise at that time than in Hoods and Surplices by whom the Dirige was executed at that time (September 8) in the English language. The funeral sermon preached the next morning (September 9) by the Lord of Hereford, and a Communion celebrated by the Bishops, then attired in Copes upon their Surplices."

Machyn records that "Bysshope Barlow did Pryche at the Burial of Master Day the cheyffe chaffer of wax unto My Lord Chanseller of England at Saint Edmondes’ in Lumbard street. In the Episcopal Register of Chichester there are records of many ordinations held by the Reverend Father William by divine permission Bishop of Chichester. Barlow’s grand-nephew, who was a great opponent of his uncle, said in his "Spiculum Protestanti":

William Barlowe, my grandfather’s youngest brother, Canon Regular and Prior of Bisham, afterwards Bishop of St. Davids, Bath and Wells and Chichester—from whom all Protestant Bishops derive their Consecration and Mission—was not at any time Bishop of St. Asaph." (p. 124b


"In time of King Henrie the 8th he was Bishop of S. David’s in King Edward 6th’s time, Bishop of Bath and Wells, in Queen Mary’s time he fled the realm, and in Queen Elizabeth’s time Bishop of Chichester, where he lies buried in the Cathedral Church." (p. 124.)

"See the fruits of the new Gospel. In S. David he rased down the great Hall of the Palace in Lanhaddon Castle, one of his houses of access the leads whereof he sold; and the Mannor of Lamphrey he passed away to Walter Earle of Essex, his Godson, being the chief house of the bishopric." (pp. 125-6.)

"Dr. Barlow consecrated Bishop of S. Davids, 1536, and sat there about thirteen years." (p. 131.)

In the records of the Diocese of St. Asaph there is no register of Barlow’s, but he did nothing as Bishop Elect of St. Asaph, which would be entered in a register. In the Diocese of St. Davids there are the registers of some Bishops but the greater part of the Bishops’ registers perished long since, and among them Barlow’s Register was destroyed. Farrar, Barlow’s successor as Bishop of St. Davids, did by the King’s authority burn the ecclesiastical books of his See. (See Wharton Mss. p. 239.)

In the Archdiocese of Canterbury where it might have been expected that a record of the Commission for the Consecration of Barlow might have been found we are told that "Some registers have escaped diverse ruins and a late fire, but from the year 1531 to 1541 all the Acts are lost." (See Courayer. Appendix p. 372.)

In Cranmer’s Register there is no record of the consecration of Fox of Hereford, but he was consecrated on September 26th, 1535, as is recorded in his own register. In Cranmer’s Register there is no record of the consecration of Sampson of Chichester, Latimer of Worcester, Hillsey of Rochester, or Reppis of Norwich, but their consecrations are fully proved from other sources and are accepted by all. As to Reppis though Cranmer does not record the act of consecration it is certain that he was consecrated by Cranmer himself, as in Cranmer’s Register there is Cranmer’s certificate to the King and the testimony of the notary public present at the consecration. Then, in Archbishop Warham’s Register, there is no record either of the confirmation or of the consecration of Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester. Learned men differ even as to the year of Gardiner’s consecration, but the fact of his consecration is never doubted. Stubbs gives the date of consecration as December 3, 1531, citing Gardiner’s own Register as his authority. Gardiner presided at Bonner’s consecration. If Parker was not duly consecrated because no record can be found of the act of Barlow’s consecration then Bonner was not duly consecrated because there is no record of Gardiner’s consecration in the Archbishop’s Register or anywhere else than in Gardiner’s own Register, which contains an entry of the consecration as a memorandum by Gardiner. This is an entirely different matter to the record of the act of consecration in the Register of the consecrating Archbishop or Bishop. As to the omission in the entry of important "Acts" in episcopal registers of the time I have dealt with, it may be remarked that, as to Cranmer’s Register, the Registrar’s papers have been very carelessly prepared or preserved. It consists of a bundle of parchments of different sizes, bound together after date, and often misplaced as to date. It omits about one-fourth of the consecrations or translations which should have been recorded. All records of five cut of eleven translations, and of nine out of forty-five consecrations, (in all fourteen missing out of fifty-six,) are missing. Of the nine omitted consecrations three are ignored. Five, of which Barlow’s is one, are entered so far as the confirmation, and one is broken off in the middle of a page and in the middle of a sentence.

In Archbishop Warham’s Register six out of twenty-nine consecrations are omitted and two consecrations are omitted in Pole’s Register. There is no record of the consecration of Edward Lee, Archbishop of York, who was consecrated as Archbishop in 1531 beyond the bald statement in the York Register that he was consecrated December 10, 1531


Far too much has been made of omissions from ecclesiastical registers. The habits of our ancestors were not as precise and as businesslike as those of our modern Bishops.

On all grounds we may take it as a proved fact of history that William Barlow was duly consecrated Bishop of St. David’s in the year 1536 and most probably in June of that year.

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