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A copy of thacte made for thabrogacion of certayne holydayes, according to the transumpte late sent by the kyngs hyghnes to all bisshops with his graces strayght commaundment, to signifie his farther pleasure to all Colleges, Religious houses and Curates, within theyr diocesse for the publicacyon, and also effectual and universal observacion of the same. An. 1536.
OR AS MOCH as the nombre of holy-dayes is so excessyuely grown and yet dayly more and more by mens deuocyon, yea rather supersticyon was like further to encrease, that the same was and sholde be not onely preiudiciall to the common weale, by reason that it is occasion as well of moche slouth and ydleness, the very nourishe of theues, vacaboundes, and of dyuers other unthriftynesse and inconuenyences, as of decaye of good mysteryes and artes, utyle and necessary fort the common welthe, and losse of mans fode many tymes, beynge clene destroyed through the supersticious obseruance of the said holy-dayes, in not taking thoportunitie of good and serene wheather offered upon the same in time of harvest, but also pernicyous to the soules of many men, whiche beyng entysed by the lycencyous vacacyon and lybertye of those holydayes, do upon the same commonly vse and practise more excesse ryote and superfluitie than upon any other dayes. And sith the Sabboth-day was ordeyned for mans use, and therefore ought to gyue place to the necessitie and behove of the same whan soever that shall occurre: mouch rather any other holy day institute by man. It is therefore by the kyngs hyghnes auctority, as supreme head in earth of the Church of Englande, with the Common assent and consent of the prelates and clergy of this his realme in Convocacyon laufully assembled and congregate, among other thyngs decreed, ordeyned and established.
Fyrst that the feest of Dedicacyon of the church shall in all places throughout this realm be celebrated and kepte on the first sonday of the moneth of Octobre for ever, and upon none other day. ¶ Item that
the feest of the patrone of every church within this Realm, called commonly the Church-holy-day, shall not from henceforth be kepte or observed as a holy-day, as heretofore hath been used, but that it shall be lauful to all and singular persons, resydent or dwelliynge within this realme to go to their work, occupacyon or mystery, and the same truely to exercyse and occupy upon the said feest, as upon any other workeyday, excepte the said feest of the Church-holy day be such as must be ells universally observed, as a holy-day by this ordynance following.
Also that all those feests or day holy-days which shall happen to occurre, eyther in the harvest time which is to be compted from the fyrst day of July unto the xxix. day of Septembre, or elles in the terme time at Westmynster, shall not be kepte or observed from henceforth as holy dayes, but that it may be lauful for every man to go to his work or occupacyon upon the same as upon any other workyeday, excepte alwayes the feests of the apostles, of our blessed lady, and of saynt George. And also such feestes as wherein the Kings Judges at Westminster-hall do not use to sytte in Judgment, all which shall be kepte holy and solempne of every man, as in tyme past have been accustomed. Prouyded alwayes, that it may be laufull unto all preests and clerkes, as well secular as regular in the foresayd holy dayes now abrogate, to synge or saye their accustomed seruyce for those holy dayes in their churches: so that they do not the same solempnely, nor do rynge to the same after the manner vsed in hygh holy-dayes, ne do commaunde or indict the same to be kepte or observed as holy, dayes.
Finally, That the feest of the Nativitie of our lord, of Easter, of the Nativitie of saynt John the baptiste, and of Saynt Michaell, shall be from henceforth compted, and accepted and taken for the iiii. general offering days.
And for further declaracyon of the premysses, be it known that Easter terme begyneth alwayes the xviii. day after Easter, reckoning Easter-day for one, and endeth the monday next after thascencyon day. Trinitie terme begynneth alwayes the wednesday next after thoctaues of Trinitie sonday, and endeth the xi. or xii. day of July, Myghelmas terme beginneth the ix. or x. day of October, and endeth the xxviii, or xxix. day of Nouember.
Hillary terme begynneth the xxiii. or xxiiii. day of January, and endeth the xii. or xiii. day of February.
In Easter terme upon thascension daye. In Trinitie terme upon the Nativity of saynt John Baptist. In Mighelmas terme upon Alhollen day. In Hillary terme upon Candlemas day, The Kings Judges at Westminster do not use to syt in Judgment, nor upon any sondayes.
¶ Imprynted at London in Fletestrete, at the sygne of the Sonne,
By the Queen,
A Proclamation against the Despisers or Breakers of the Orders prescribed in the Book of Common-prayer.
HE Queens Majesty being right sorry to understand that the order of Common-prayer, set forth by the common consent of the Realm, and by authority of Parliament, in the first year of her Reign, wherein is nothing contained but the Scripture of God, and that which is consonant unto it, is now of late of some men despised, and spoken against, both by open preachings, and writings, and of some bold and vain curious men, new and other Rites found out and frequented, whereupon contentions, sects and disquietness doth arise among her people and for one godly and uniform order, diversity of Rites and Ceremonies, Disputations, and Contentions, Schisms and Divisions already risen, and more like to ensue. The cause of which disorders, her Majesty doth plainly understand to be the negligence of the Bishops and other Magistrates, who should cause the good Laws and Acts of Parliament made in this behalf to be better executed, and not so dissembled and winked at, as hitherto (it may appear) that they have been.
For speedy remedy whereof, her Majesty straightly chargeth and commandeth all Archbishops and Bishops, and all Justices of Assises, and Oyer and Terminer, and all Mayors, head Officers of Cities and Towns Corporate, and all other who have any authority to put in execution the Act for the Uniformity of Common-prayer, and the Administration of the Sacraments made in the first year of her gracious Reign, withal diligence and severity, neither favouring nor dissembling with one person nor other, who doth neglect, despise, or seek to alter the godly Orders and Rites set forth in the said Book: But if any person shall by publick preaching, writing, or printing, contemn, despise, or dispraise the Orders contained in the said Book, they shall immediately apprehend him, and cause him to be imprisoned, until he hath answered to the Law, upon pain that the chief Officers, being
present at any such preaching, and the whole Parish, do answer for their contempt and negligence. Likewise, if any shall forbear to come to the Common-prayer, and receive the Sacraments of the Church, according to the Order in the said Book allowed, upon no just and lawful cause all such persons they shall enquire of, present, and see punished, and ordered according as is prescribed in the said Act, with more care and diligence than heretofore hath been done: the which negligence hath been cause why such disorders have of late now so much and in so many places encreased and grown.
And if any persons shall either in private houses, or in publick places make assemblies, and therein use other Rites of Common-prayer and Administration of the Sacraments than is prescribed in the said Book, or shall maintain in their houses any persons being notoriously charged by Books or Preachings to attempt the alteration of the said Orders, they shall see such persons punished with all severity, according to the Laws of this Realm, by pains appointed in the said Act.
And because these matters do principally appertain to the persons Ecclesiastical, and to the Ecclesiastical Government, her Majesty giveth a most special and earnest charge to all Archbishops, Bishops, Archdeacons, and Deans, and all such as have ordinary jurisdiction, in such cases to have a vigilant eye and care to the observation of the Orders and Rites in the said Book prescribed, throughout their Cures and Diocess, and to proceed from time to time by ordinary and Ecclesiastical jurisdiction, as is granted them in the said Act, with all celerity and severity against all persons who shall offend against any of the Orders in the said Book prescribed, upon pain of her Majesties high displeasure, for their negligence, and deprivation from their Dignities and Benefices, or other Censures to follow, according to their demerits.
Given at Greenwich the 20 day of October, 1573. In the fifteenth year of the Queens Majesties Reign.
God save the Queen.
Imprinted at London by Newgate-Market, next unto Christs Church, by
Cum privilegio Regiæ Majestatis.