The King’s Proclamation for the abolishing of the usurped power of the Pope, 9 June 1535.

[ Acts
and Monuments, John Foxe, Ed G Townsend, Seeley Burnside, London (1844) vol
v p 69-70.]

Trusty and well beloved we greet you well. And whereas not only upon good, and just, and virtuous grounds and respects, edified upon the laws of holy Scripture, by due consultation, deliberation, advisement, and consent, as well of all other our nobles and commons temporal, as also spiritual, assembled in our high court of parliament, and by authority of the same, we have, by good and wholesome laws and statutes made for this purpose, extirped, abolished, separated, and secluded out of this our realm, the abuses of the bishop of Rome, his authority and jurisdiction of long time usurped as weupon us and our realm, as upon all other kings and princes and their realms (like as they themselves have confessed and affirmed), but also, forasmuch as our said nobles and commons, both spiritual and temporal, assembled in our high court of parliament , have, upon good, lawful, and virtuous grounds, and for the public weal of this our realm, by one whole assent, granted, annexed, knit, and united to the crown imperial of the same, this title, dignity, and style of supreme head or governor in earth, immediately under God, of the church of England, as we be, and undoubtedly have hitherto been: which title and style, both the bishops and clergy of this our realm have not only, in convocation assembled, consented, recognised, and approved lawfully and justly to appertain unto us, but also, by word, oath, profession, and writing under their sign. and seals, have confessed, ratified, corroborated and confirmed the same, utterly renouncing all other oaths and obedience to any other foreign potentates, and all foreign jurisdiction, and powers, as well of the said bishop of Rome, as of all other whatsoever theybe, as by their said professions and writings corroborated with the subscription of their names, and appension of their seals more plainly appeareth: we let you to wit, that calling to our remembrance the power, charge, and commission given unto us of Almighty God, and upon a vehement love and affection toward our loving and faithful subjects, perceiving right well what great rest, quietness, and tranquillity of conscience, and manifold other commodities might insurge and arise. unto them, If the said bishops and others of the clergy of this our realm should set forth, declare, and preach to them, the true and sincers wond of God; and without all manner of colour, dissimulation, and hypocrisy, manifest and publish the great and innumerable enormities and abuses which the said bishop of Rome, as well in the title and style, as also in authority and jurisdiction, of long time unlawfully and unjustly hath usurped upon us and our progenitors, and also other christian princes; have therefore addressed our letters unto the bishop of the diocese, straightly charging and commanding him in the same, that not only he, in his own proper person, shall declare, teach, and preach unto the people, forthwith upon the receipt of our said letters unto him directed, every Sunday and other high feasts through the year, the true, mere, and sincere word of God; and that the same title, style, sod jurisdiction of supreme head appertaineth only to our crown and dignity royal; likewise, as the said bishop and all other the bishops of our realm have by oath affirmed, and confirmed by subscription of their names, and setting to their seals, but also have given warning, monition, and charge, to all manner of abbots, priors, deans, archdeacons, provosts, parsons, vicars, curates, and all other ecclesiastical persons, within his said diocese, as well to teach, preach, publish, and declare, in all manor of churches, our aforesaid just title, style, and jurisdiction, every Sunday and high feast through the year: and further to admonish and command all other schoolmasters within his said diocese, to instruct and teach the same unto the children committed unto them; as also to cause all manner of prayers, orisons, rubrics, canons of mass books, and all other books in the churches, wherein the said bishop of Rome is named, or his presumptuous and proud pomp and authority preferred, utterly to be abolished, eradicated and rased out, and his name and memory to be never more (except to his comtumely and reproach) remembered, but perpetually suppressed and obscured: and finally, to desist and leave out all such articles as be in the general sentence which is usually accustomed to be read four time, in the year, and do tend to the glory and advancement of the bishop of Rome, his name, title, and jurisdiction.

Whereupon we, seeing, esteeming, and reputing you to be of such singular and vehement zeal and affection towards the glory of Almighty God, and of so faithful, loving and obedient heart towards us, as you will not only do and accomplish, with all power, wisdom, diligence, and labour, whatsoever should or might be to the preferment and setting forward of God’s word, but also practise, study, and endeavour yourself, with all your policy, wit, power, and goodwill, to amplify, defend, and maintain all such interest, right, title, style, jurisdiction, and authority as is in any wise appertaining unto us, our dignity and prerogative, and the crown imperial of this our realm, have thought good and expedient, not only to signify unto you, by these our letters, the particulars of the charge, monition, and commandment given by us unto the said bishop, as before is specified; beat also to require, and straightlycharge and command you, upon pain of your allegiance, and as ye shall avoid our high indignation and displeasure, at your uttermost peril, laying apart all vain affections, respects, or other carnal considerations, and setting only before your eyes the mirror of truth, the glory of God, the dignity of your sovereign lord and king, and the great concord and unity, and inestimable profit and utility, that shall, by the due execution of the premises, ensue to yourself and all other faithful and loving subjects, ye make or cause to be made diligent search and wait, and especially in every place of your shirewick, whether the said bishop do truly, and sincerely, and without all manner of cloak, colour, or dissimulation, execute and accomplish our will and commandment, as is afore said. And in case ye shall hear, perceive, and approvably understand and know, that the said bishop, or any other ecclesiastical person within his diocese doth omit and leave undone any part or parcel of the premises; or else in the execution and setting forth of the same, do coldly and feignedly use any manner of sinister addition, wrong interpretation, or painted colour : then we straightly charge and command you, that forthwith upon any such default, negligence, or dissimulation of the said bishop, or any other ecclesiastical person of his diocese, contrary to the true tenor, meaning, and effect of the said charge by us to him appointed aforesaid, ye do make indelayedly, and with all speed and diligence, declaration and advertisement to us and our council, of the said default, and of the behaviour, manner, and fashion of the same.

 And forasmuch as we, upon singular trust and assured confidence which we have in you, and for the special love and zeal we suppose and think ye bear toward us, and the public and common wealth, unity and tranquillity of this our realm, have specially elected and chosen you among so many, for this purpose; and have reputed you such men as unto whose wisdom, discretion, truth, end fidelity, we might commit a matter of such great weight, moment, and importance, as whereupon the unity and tranquillity of our realm do consist if ye should, contrary to our expectation and trust which we have in you, and against your duty and allegiance towards us, neglect or omit to do, with all your diligence and wisdom, whatsoever shall be in your power for that due performance of our mind and pleasure to you before declared in this behalf, or halt or stumble at any part or specialty of the same, be ye assured that we, like a prince of justice, will so extremely punish you for the same, that all the world besides shall take by you example, and beware, contrary to their obedience, to disobey the lawful commandment of their sovereign lord and prince In such things, as, by the faithful execution thereof; ye shall not only advance the honour of AImighty God, and set forth the majesty and imperial dignity of your sovereign lord, hut also bring an inestimable weal, profit, and commodity, unity and tranquillity to all the common state of this our realm, whereunto, both by the laws of God, nature, and man, ye be utterly bound.

Given under our signet, at our palace at Westminster, the 9th day of June, A.D. 1535.