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HISTORY O. ENGLAND. A.C. 1439. chancellor of Lincoln ; Robert Barton, precentor
of Lincoln; John Salisbury, doctor of divinicy ; and John Simon Desborough, bachelor in common law, were chosen for this purpose, and received instructions to act againft all papal dispensations and other abuses which had crept into the church of Rome; especially that of providing livings for unqualified persons. Pope Martin would have avoided convening this council, if it had been in his power, but finding himself strongly pressed by the emperor and other powers in Chriltendom, he ordered car
dinal Julian to open and preside in the assembly. A. C. 1441. Since the council of Constance, the Hussites of Bo
hemia had been created with such rigour, as served only to confirm them in the belief of their tenets, which they resolved to maintain in spite of the decrees of the council. The principal article on which they insisted, was the communion in boch species ; and their resolution, in this particular, was opposed by the pope and the catholics in such a manner, as filled Bohemia with civil war and confusion. On the death of their king Winceslaus, his brother, Sigismund the emperor, claimed the succession; but was rejected by the Hussites, as a perfecutor of their sect, and a notorious faith-breaker. Martin V. espousing the cause of Sigismund, and publishing crusades against the Hussites, they found themselves obliged to stand in their own defence, and chose for cheir general one Zifca, who defeated the emperor in several engagements. This war continued till the meeting of the council at Basil ; which, considering the bad success of Sigismund, resolved to make peace with the Husires. With this view the fathers invited them to send deputies to the coun-' cil, who, being sent accordingly, presented four articles; to which, should the council agree, they offered to reunite themselves with the church. They demanded, that the communion should be admini
stered in both species to the laity in Bohemia : that A. C. 1446. finners should be corrected according to the law of God, by those to whom such correction properly belonged : that the word of God should be preached by well qualified paftors : and, that the clergy should have no jurisdiction over temporalities. The fathers of the council exhausted all their art and eloquence in persuading the Bohemians to submit to the church at discretion; but, finding them inflexible, resolved to grant their demands, on condition that they should be previously explained, in order to avoid new disputes. They accordingly explained them in their own way, and the Concordat was settled, to the satisfaction of all parties. This affair being accommodaxed, Sigismund was acknowledged king of Bohemia, after having approved of the Concordat, and subscribed fome other condi. tions : but he had no sooner mounted the throne, than he broke his promise; and the pope refused to sign the Concordat. The troubles of Bohemia were renewed; and, being fomented by the court of Rome, continued till the Huffites were entirely ruined.
Though the council of Basil had been convoked Pifference by pope Martin V. that pontiff died before the council and meeting of the assembly, and was succeeded in the pope Eugepapacy by Eugenius IV. who took umbrage at the invitation which had been sent to the Hussites; al. ledging, that as they were heretics who had been already condemned in the council of Conítance, they deserved no indulgence; and on that pretence he published a bull to diffolve the council. The fathers, far from submitting to this mandate, resolved by a majority to continue the seslions : and this dispute produced a real schism; some acknowledging the authority of the council, and others adhering to the pope. Several decrees were made to exalt the authority of the council above that of
230 HISTORY OF ENGLAND
did his holiness cancel and annul; affirming that
The council was supported by the Germans, Spa,
with them a good number of bishops to the pope's A, C, 1441. council, which acquired ftill more reputation and authority from the arrival of the Greek emperor with a numerous train of his prelates at Ferrara; from which place, in the succeeding year, Eugenius translated the council to Florence, where it formed a sort of union between the Greek and Latin churches, though this was of very short duration.
In the midst of these transactions, Chicheley The convoarchbishop of Canterbury dying, was succeeded by Englanul peJohn Strafford, son of the earl of Strafford bishop titions the of Bath and Wells, and lord high treasurer of Eng: the Salute land. Soon after his elevation to the metropolitan of Premusee, the clergy, in convocation, complained that the act of premunire was, by the chicanery of the common lawyers, turned into an engine of oppression, which subjected them to vexatious suits : they therefore moved that either application might be made to parliament for repealing the statutes of provisor and premunire, or for fettling the true sense and meaning, so as that the clergy might not suffer by the arts of quibbling lawyers.
But these were deemed, by the majority, points of too delicate a nature for them to discuss, and the motion was laid aside. This grievance, however, becoming more and more intolerable, the bishops afterwards took it into consideration; and, after various debates, both houses of the convocation resolved to address his majesty, and petition that the clause " Or Else“ where"? in the itatute of premunire should be expunged. It was enacted in the statute, · That • if any purchase, or pursue, or cause to be pur• chased or pursued, in the church of Rome,
66 Or • Elsewhere, any such translations, processes, sen
tences of excommunication, bulls, inftruments, ‘or any thing affecting the king's rights, &c.' And common lawyers, disposed to harrass the clergy, used to put such construction upon the words. Or
pope by the
A.C.1441. " Elsewhere," as brought them within the ftatute,
even when they prosecuted any matter of ecclesiastical right before the ecclefiaftical courts within the kingdom They therefore observed that those words, " Or Elsewhere," referred only to the place in which the pope might chance to preside ; and prayed that some remedy might be applied to this evil : but the times were too unsettled for them
to expect immediate satisfaction, The duke of During these efforts of the clergy in England, the Savoychosen council of Bafil continued to proceed against pope
Eugenius, whom they at length deposed, and chose Bafil.
in his room Amadeus, duke of Savoy, who had resigned the administration of his dominions, and retired to a life of solitude at Ripale. This new pontiff assumed the name of Felix V. and now a double schism was formed in the church between two general councils and two popes, who condemned and excommunicated one another, and all their adherents mutually. In order to terminate this fcandalous, contention, an assembly was held in Germany by the princes and prelates of the empire, who could find no other expedient for that purpose than the convocation of a new council, till the meeting of which they should remain neuter. -This proposal was confirmed by the diet of Frankfort; and the council of Bafil afsented to it, though with reluctance. Mean while pope Felix, being discontented at the proceedings of the fathers at Bafil, who he thought acted with too high a hand, retired to Lausanne, on pretence that the air of this place was more healthy than that of Basil; and Eugenius translated his council from Florence to Rome, where the feffion was held in the church of St. John of Lateran.
Ac length, the German princes, assembling at Frankfort, unanimously resolved that if Eugenius Mould refuse to give them fatisfaction with respect
A, C. 1442,