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The Declaration of Sports or the Book of Sports


It was originally issued in consultation with Thomas Morton, bishop of Chester, to resolve a dispute in Lancashire between the Puritans and the gentry (many of whom were Roman Catholics). The initial declaration was just for Lancashire, but in 1618, James made the declaration national. The 1618 declaration has largely the same main text as the 1617 version, but with an additional paragraph at the beginning explaining that the king has decided to make the declaration applicable to the whole of England.

The declaration listed archery, dancing, "leaping, vaulting, or any other such harmless recreation" as permissible sports, together with "May-games, Whitsun-ales and Morris-dances, and the setting up of May-poles". Also allowed: “women shall have leave to carry rushes to the church for the decorating of it, according to their old custom.”

Amongst the activities that were prohibited were bear- and bull-baiting, "interludes" and bowling.

Charles I - King of England: 1625 to 1649
On the one hand, the declaration rebuked Puritans and other "precise persons", and was issued to counteract the growing Puritan calls for strict abstinence on the Christian Sabbath (Sabbatarianism). On the other, it condemned Catholics and others who did not attend church services in their parish, as the declaration specified that only people who had first attended divine service were entitled to participate in recreations afterward.

The declaration was reissued by Charles I on 18 October 1633, as The King's Majesty's declaration to his subjects concerning lawful sports to be used. It was claimed by William Prynne that the new declaration was written by Charles' new Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, but Laud denied this and there is only evidence that he supported and facilitated the reissue. Moreover, the 1633 declaration has the same main text as the 1617 and 1618 declarations of King James, with the primary differences an additional introduction and conclusion adding wakes and ales (countryside festivals) to the list of sanctioned recreations. Charles ordered that any minister who refused to read it would be deprived of position. As the Puritans gained power in Parliament in the lead-up to the English Civil War, hostility to the Book of Sports grew. Attempts to enforce the declaration came to an end with the fall of Archbishop Laud in 1640, and Parliament ordered the book publicly burned in 1643, two years before Laud was executed.

Following is a reprint (1862) of the Book of Sports which Charles I demanded be read and published in all parish churches. Clergy who refused were persecuted, imprisoned, and removed from office:




Lawful Sports









Second Issue of 100 Copies.

London, February, 1862





Declaration to

His Subjects,


lawfull Sports to

bee vsed.


Imprinted at London by

Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings
most Excellent Maiestie: And by
the Assignes of Iohn Bill.



By the King.

Vr Deare Father of blessed Memory, in his returne from Scotland, comming through Lancashire, found that his Subjects were debarred from Lawful Recreations vpon Sundayes after Euening Prayers ended, and vpon Holy dayes: And Hee prudently considered, that if these times were taken from them, the meaner sort who labour hard all the weeke, should haue no Recreations at all to refresh their spirits. And after His returne, Hee farther saw that His loyall Subiects in all other parts of His Kingdome did suffer in the same kinde, though perhaps not in the same degree: And did therefore in His Princely wisedome, publish a Declaration to all his louing Subiects concerning lawfull Sports to be vsed at such times, which was printed and published by His royall Commandement in the yeere 1618. In the Tenor which hereafter followeth.


By the King.


Hereas vpon Our returne the last yere out of Scotland, We did publish Our Pleasure touching the recreations of Our people in those parts vnder Our hand: For some causes Vs thereunto moouing, Wee haue thought good to command these Our Directions then giuen in Lancashire with a few words thereunto added, and most appliable to these parts of Our Realmes, to bee published to all Our Subiects.

Whereas Wee did iustly in Our Progresse through Lancashire, rebuke some Puritanes and precise people, and tooke order that the like vnlawfull carriage should not bee vsed by any of them hereafter, in the prohibiting and vnlawfull punishing of Our good people for vsing their lawfull Recreations, and honest exercises vpon Sundayes and other Holy dayes, after the afternoon Sermon or Seruice: Wee now finde that two sorts of people wherewith that Countrey is much infected, (Wee meane Papists and Puritanes) haue maliciously traduced and calumniated those Our iust and honourable proceedings. And, therefore, lest Our reputation might vpon the one side (though innocently) haue some aspersion layd vpon it, and that vpon the other part Our good people in that Countrey be misled by the mistaking and misinterpretation of Our meaning: We have, therefore, thought good hereby to cleare and make Our pleasure to be manifested to all Our good people in those parts.

It is true that at Our first entry to this Crowne, and Kingdome, Wee were informed, and that too truely, that Our County of Lancashire abounded more in Popish Recusants then any County in England, and thus hath still continued since to Our great regrett, with little amendmet, saue that now of late, in Our last riding through Our said County, Wee find both by the report of the Iudges, and of the Bishop of that diocesse, that there is some amendment now daily beginning, which is no small contentment to Vs.

The report of this growing amendment amongst them, made Vs the more sorry, when with Our owne Eares We heard the generall complaint of Our people, that they were barred from all lawfull Recreation and exercise vpon the Sundayes afternoone, after the ending of all Diuine Seruice, which cannot but produce two euils: The one, the hindering of the conuersion of many, whom their Priests will take occasion hereby to vexe, perswading them that no honest mirth or recreation is lawfull or tolerable in Our Religion, which cannot but breed a great discontentment in Our peoples hearts, especially of such as are peraduenture vpon the point of turning; The other inconuenience is, that this prohibition barreth the common and meaner sort of people from vsing such exercises as may make their bodies more able for Warre, when Wee or Our Successours shall haue occasion to vse them. And in place thereof sets vp filthy tiplings and drunkennesse, & breeds a number of idle and discontented speeches in their Alehouses. For when shall the common people haue leave to exercise, if not vpon the Sundayes & holydaies, seeing they must apply their labour & win their liuing in all working daies?

Our expresse pleasure, therefore, is that the Lawes of Our Kingdome, and Canons of Our Church be as well obserued in that Countie, as in all other places of this Our Kingdome. And on the other part, that no lawfull Recreation shall bee barred to Our good People, which shall not tend to the breach of Our aforesayd Lawes, and Canons of Our Church: which to expresse more particularly, Our pleasure is is, That the Bishop, and all other inferiour Churchmen, and Churchwardens, shall for their parts bee carefull and diligent, both to instruct the ignorant, and conuince and reforme them that are mis-led in Religion, presenting them that will not conforme themselves, but obstinately stand out to Our Iudges and Iustices: Whom We likewise command to put the Law in due execution against them.

Our pleasure likewise is, That the Bishop of that Diocesse take the like straight order with all the Puritanes and Precisians within the same, either constraining them to conforme themselues, or to leaue the County according to the Lawes of our Kingdome, and Canons of Our Church, and so to strike equally on both hands, against the contemners of Our Authority and aduersaries of Our Church. And as for Our good peoples lawfull Recreation, Our Pleasure like is, That after the end of Diuine Seruice, Our good people be not disturbed, letted, or discourged from any lawfull recreation, Such as dauncing, either men or women, archery for men, leaping, vaulting, or any other such harmlesse Recreation, nor from hauing of May-Games, Whitson Ales, and Morris-dances, and the setting vp of May-poles & other sports therewith vsed, so as the same be had in due & conuenient time, without impediment or neglect of Diuine Seruice: And that women shall haue leaue to carry rushes to the Churches for the decoring of it, according to their old costome. Butwithall We doe here account still as prohibited all vnlawfull games to bee vsed vpon Sundayes onely, as Beare and Bullbaitings, Interludes, and at all times in the meaner sort of people by law prohibited, Bowling.

And likewise We barre from this benefite and liberty, all such known recusants, either men or women, as will abstain from comming to Church or Diuine Seruice, being therefore vnworthy of any lawfull recreation after the said Seruice, that will not first come to the Church and serue God: Prohibiting in like sort the said Recreations to any that, though conforme inReligion, are not present in the Church at the Seruice of God, before their going to the said Recreations. Our pleasure likewise is, That they to whom it belongeth in Office, shall present and sharpely punish all such as in abuse of this Our liberty, will vse these exercises before the ends of all Diuine Seruice for that day. And We likewise straightly command, that euery person shall resort to his owne Parish Church to heare Diuine Seruice, and each Parish by it selfe to vse the said Recreation after Diuine Seruice. Prohibiting likewise any Offensiue weapons to bee carried or vsed in the said times of Recreations. And Our pleasure is, That this Our Declaration shall bee published by order from the Bishop of the Diocesse, through all the Parish Churches, and that both Our Iudges of Our Circuit, and Our Iustices of Our Peace be informed thereon.


Giuen at our Mannour of Greenwich the foure and twentieth day of May, in the sixteenth yeere of our Raigne of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the one and fiftieth.


ow out of a like pious Care for the seruice of God, and for suppressing of any humors that oppose trueth, and for the Ease, Comfort & Recreation of Our well deserving People, Wee doe ratifie and publish this Our blessed Fathers Declaration: The rather because of late in some Counties of Our Kingdome, Wee finde that vnder pretence of taking away abuses, there hath been a generall forbidding, not onely of ordinary meetings, but of the Feasts of the Dedication of the Churches, commonly called Wakes. Now Our expresse will and pleasure is, that these Feasts with others shall bee observed, and that Our Iustices of the peace in their seuerall Diuisions shall looke to it, both that all disorders there, may be preuented or punished, and that all neighbourhood and freedome, with manlike and lawfull Exercises bee vsed. And Wee farther Command Our Jusices of Assize in their seuerall Circuits, to see that no man doe trouble or molest any of Our loyall and duetifull people, in or for their lawfull Recreations, having first done their duetie to God, and continuing in obedience to Vs and Our Lawes. And of this Wee command all our Iudges, Iustices of the Peace, as well within Liberties as without, Maiors, Bayliffes, Constables, and other Officers, to take notice of, and to see observed, as they tender Our displeasure. And Wee farther will, that publications of this Our Command bee made by order from the Bishops through all the Parish Churches of their seuverall Diocesse respectively.

Giuen at Our Palace of Westminster the eighteenth day of October, in the ninth yeere of Our Reigne.


God saue the King.






For further information on the History of the Puritans under King Charles I, see Wikipedia article on the subject.




The Church of England is the established church in England. It is divided into two provinces, York and Canterbury, with 43 dioceses and approximately 27 million members. The monarch is technically at the head of the ecclesiastical structure, and the archbishops of Canterbury and York are next in line.

The beginnings of the Church of England date at least to the 2d century, when merchants and other travelers first brought Christianity to Britain. It is customary to regard St. Augustine of Canteebury's mission in 597 as marking the formal beginning of the church under papal authority, as it was to be throughout the Middle Ages. In its modern form, the church dates from the English Reformation of the 16th century, when royal supremacy was established and the authority of the papacy repudiated. With the advent of British colonization, the Church of England established churches on every continent and achieved international importance. In time, these churches gained independence, but retained connections with the mother church in the Anglican Communion.

The Church of England is identified by adherence to the threefold ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons and by a common order of worship found in the Book of Common Prayer. The church is also characterized by a common attitude of loyalty to Christian tradition, while seeking to accommodate a wide range of people and views. It holds in tension the authorities of tradition, reason, and the Bible, but asserts the primacy of the Bible. It thus seeks to comprehend Catholic, humanist, and reformed elements, historically represented by Anglo-Catholics (high church), Liberals (broad church), and Evangelicals (low church).




Mather, Richard, 1596-1669, English Puritan clergyman. He fled (1635) to Massachusetts because of his Puritan beliefs and was pastor of Dorchester until his death. His son, Increase Mather, 1639-1723, b. Dorchester, Mass., became (1664) pastor of North Church, Boston, where he was an outstanding upholder of the old Puritan theocracy. During the Restoration period he was a bitter opponent of Edward Randolph and Sir Edmund Andros over the withdrawal of the Massachusetts charter. He was president of Harvard College (1685-1701). His son, Cotton Mather, 1663-1728, b. Boston, assisted his father and succeeded him as pastor of North Church, Boston. By his writings he became one of the most celebrated New England Puritan ministers. Although his works helped stir up hysteria during the Salem witch trials of 1692, he was also a promoter of learning and a power in the state.




The Pilgrims were English Separatists who founded (1620) Plymouth Colony in New England. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans broke away from the Church of England because they felt that it had not completed the work of the Reformation. They committed themselves to a life based on the Bible. Most of these Separatists were farmers, poorly educated and without social or political standing. One of the Separatist congregations was led by William Brewster and the Rev. Richard Clifton in the village of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire. The Scrooby group emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape harassment and religious persecution. The next year they moved to Leiden, where, enjoying full religious freedom, they remained for almost 12 years.

In 1617, discouraged by economic difficulties, the pervasive Dutch influence on their children, and their inability to secure civil autonomy, the congregation voted to emigrate to America. Through the Brewster family's friendship with Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, the congregation secured two patents authorizing them to settle in the northern part of the company's jurisdiction. Unable to finance the costs of the emigration with their own meager resources, they negotiated a financial agreement with Thomas Weston, a prominent London iron merchant. Fewer than half of the group's members elected to leave Leiden. A small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they were to join another group of Separatists and pick up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth aboard the 180-ton Mayflower. It began its historic voyage on Sept. 16, 1620, with about 102 passengers--fewer than half of them from Leiden.

After a 65-day journey, the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod on November 19. Unable to reach the land they had contracted for, they anchored (November 21) at the site of Provincetown. Because they had no legal right to settle in the region, they drew up the Mayflower Compact, creating their own government. The settlers soon discovered Plymouth Harbor, on the western side of Cape Cod Bay and made their historic landing on December 21; the main body of settlers followed on December 26.

The term Pilgrim was first used by William Bradford to describe the Leiden Separatists who were leaving Holland. The Mayflower's passengers were first described as the Pilgrim Fathers in 1799.




Early in the 17th century some Puritan groups separated from the Church of England. Among these were the pilgrims, who in 1620 founded Plymouth Colony. Ten years later, under the auspices of the Massachusetts Bay Company, the first major Puritan migration to New England took place. The Puritans brought strong religious impulses to bear in all colonies north of Virginia, but New England was their stronghold, and the Congregationalist churches established there were able to perpetuate their viewpoint about a Christian society for more than 200 years.

Richard Mather and John Cotton provided clerical leadership in the dominant Puritan colony planted on Massachusetts Bay. Thomas HOOKER was an example of those who settled new areas farther west according to traditional Puritan standards. Even though he broke with the authorities of the Massachusetts colony over questions of religious freedom, Roger Williams was also a true Puritan in his zeal for personal godliness and doctrinal correctness. Most of these men held ideas in the mainstream of Calvinistic thought. In addition to believing in the absolute sovereignty of God, the total depravity of man, and the complete dependence of human beings on divine grace for salvation, they stressed the importance of personal religious experience. These Puritans insisted that they, as God's elect, had the duty to direct national affairs according to God's will as revealed in the Bible. This union of church and state to form a holy commonwealth gave Puritanism direct and exclusive control over most colonial activity until commercial and political changes forced them to relinquish it at the end of the 17th century.

Because of its diffuse nature, when Puritanism began to decline in America is difficult to say. Some would hold that it lost its influence in New England by the early 18th century, but Jonathan Edwards and his able disciple Samuel Hopkins revived Puritan thought and kept it alive until 1800. Others would point to the gradual decline in power of Congregationalism, but Presbyterians under the leadership of Jonathan Dickinson and Baptists led by the example of Isaac Backus (1724-1806) revitalized Puritan ideals in several denominational forms through the 18th century.

During the whole colonial period Puritanism had direct impact on both religious thought and cultural patterns in America. In the 19th century its influence was indirect, but it can still be seen at work stressing the importance of education in religious leadership and demanding that religious motivations be tested by applying them to practical situations.




1. A type of church government in which each local congregation is self-governing.

2. Congregationalism. The system of government and religious beliefs of a Protestant denomination in which each member church is self-governing.


VICAR:  In the Anglican Church, the priest of a parish who is not a rector; priest of a parish in which the tithes go to a layman or a religious corporation, the priest himself receiving only a salary.


DEACON:  A clergyman ranking just below the priest in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.


FIRST FRUITS:  The first new year's profit or income, fromerly paid by each new holder at a benefice or office to some superior. In this case, the taxes that had to be paid upon becoming a vicar.


MODERN CALENDAR:  Refers to the Gregorian Calendar which was adopted in England in 1752. Before its adoption in Engalnd, the new year began on March 25. Thus, for example, the difference between March 24, 1641 to March 26, 1642 is 2 days. Records which predate 1752 will often include the old and new years (Mar. 2, 1641/42 would mean 1642 in the modern or new calendar system).




The Abbey was founded in 655 by the Mercian nobleman, Peada, it was destroyed by the Danes in 870. Reconstructed in 972 and then burnt down by mistake in 1116. The present cathedral, started in 1118 took more than 120 years to build and was consecrated in 1238 by Bishop Robert Grosseteste of Lincoln. It is a superb example of Romanesque architecture. The Cathedral suffered badly at the hands of Cromwells soldiers, who in 1643 destroyed the majority of the stained glass and statuary, the choir stalls and the High Altar. The Apse ceiling was broken up with musket fire. As a result the interior of the Cathedral is uncluttered with monuments and light streams in through clear glass, creating an air of space and purity. Much work has been undertaken in recent years and more is now needed.
The Tomb of Katherine of Aragon After he divorced her, Henry VIII's first queen was sent to Kimbolton Castle, where she died in 1536. King Henry wishing to avoid the expense of a funeral in St Paul's, ordered that she was to be buried at the Abbey in Peterborough. It is unlikely that Henry's sentiment for his first wife influenced his decision to bestow Cathedral status on Peterborough Abbey, but Katherine is still greatly honoured here. The standard of Henry VIII over her tomb was given by the present Queen, Elizabeth II.
The Cathedral is still the seat of the Bishop of Peterborough, as it has been since the Diocese was created in 1541. Worship, enhanced and supported by a long choral tradition, still takes place every day; keeping alive all that is best in our Church Services, but adapting them to a modern day circumstances.

Visit Peterborough Cathedral at:
Visit the City of Peterborough at:



The English ship the Mayflower carried the Separatist Puritans, later known as Pilgrims, to Plymouth, Mass., in 1620. The 180-ton vessel was about 12 years old and had been in the wine trade. It was chartered by John Carver, a leader of the Separatist congregation at Leiden, Holland, who had gone to London to make arrangements for the voyage to America. The ship was made ready at Southampton with a passenger list that included English Separatists, hired help, and other colonists who were to be taken along at the insistence of the London businessmen who were helping to finance the expedition.

In the meantime the Leiden Separatists, who had initiated the venture, sailed for Southampton on July 22, 1620, with 35 members of the congregation and their leaders William Bradford and William Brewster aboard the 60-ton Speedwell. Both the Speedwell and the Mayflower, carrying a total of about 120 passengers, sailed from Southampton on August 15, but they were twice forced back by dangerous leaks on the Speedwell. At the English port of Plymouth some of the Speedwell's passengers were regrouped on the Mayflower, and on September 16, the historic voyage began.

This time the Mayflower carried 102 passengers, only 37 of whom were from the Leiden congregation, in addition to the crew. The voyage took 65 days, during which two persons died. A boy, Oceanus Hopkins, was born at sea, and another, Peregrine WHITE, was born as the ship lay at anchor off Cape Cod. The ship came in sight of Cape Cod on November 19 and sailed south. The colonists had been granted territory in Virginia but probably headed for a planned destination near the mouth of the Hudson River. The Mayflower turned back, however, and dropped anchor at Provincetown on November 21. That day 41 men signed the so-called Mayflower Compact, a "plantation covenant" modeled after a Separatist church covenant, by which they agreed to establish a "Civil Body Politic" (a temporary government) and to be bound by its laws. This agreement was thought necessary because there were rumors that some of the non-Separatists, called "Strangers," among the passengers would defy the Pilgrims if they landed in a place other than that specified in the land grant they had received from the London Company. The compact became the basis of government in the Plymouth Colony. After it was signed, the Pilgrims elected John Carver their first governor.

After weeks of scouting for a suitable settlement area, the Mayflower's passengers finally landed at Plymouth on Dec. 26, 1620. Although the Mayflower's captain and part-owner, Christopher Jones, had threatened to leave the Pilgrims unless they quickly found a place to land, the ship remained at Plymouth during the first terrible winter of 1620-21, when half of the colonists died. The Mayflower left Plymouth on Apr. 15, 1621, and arrived back in England on May 16.

ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE (Cambridge University):

The University of Cambridge has been in existence since the early thirteenth century when scholars moving from Oxford and from Paris formed a school here. The early students lived in private houses: not until later were they provided with communal hostels. There were a number of monastic houses in Cambridge at that time, including a Hospital of St John which was in existence by the early thirteenth century on the site of what later became St John's College. In 1280, Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, tried to introduce scholars into this foundation, but the monks and the academics did not get on together so the latter moved down the road to found Cambridge's first true college, Peterhouse. 
The hospital survived until the sixteenth century in a much dilapidated state: it the came to the attention of John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and a leading figure in the University. Fisher was a friend of and confessor to Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, who had already refounded God's House as Christ's College, and he persuaded her to refound the Hospital as a College. Unfortunately she died in 1509 before any progress had been made on this new plan: it took Fisher the next two years to obtain the necessary approval from the King, the Pope and the Bishop of Ely. The Charter of the College of St John the Evangelist was finally granted on 9th April 1511.

Vist St. John's College at:


Sizar. A student receiving a scholarship allowance at Cambridge University. (A relatively impoverished student who was required to work his way through college doing a variety of of more or less menial tasks - waiting on tables, etc.)


Literate. Competent in Latin.


Buckinghamshire - Warwickshire and Northamptonshire

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The hospital of the Savoy, dedicated to the honour of the Blessed Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and St. John the Baptist, was founded by King Henry VII in 1505 on the south side of the Strand,on the spot once occupied by the palace of Peter of Savoy, uncle of Eleanor of Provence. The king seems to have died before the workwas really begun, and the fulfilment of the scheme was left to his executors, who in 1512 obtained letters patent from Henry VIII empowering them to erect a perpetual hospital to consist of a master and four other chaplains who were to be a corporate body, with a common seal, and received licence to acquire in mortmainland to the annual value of 500 marks.  The buildings, for which Henry VII had bequeathed 10,000 marks,  and which were intended to accommodate 100 poor men every night, must have taken some time to complete, and this isprobably the reason why the first master, William Holgill, and the chaplains were not appointedbefore 1517. For further information on the Savoy, see


From Wikipedia - Sir John Lambe (1566?-1647) was an English jurist, closely associated with the ecclesiastical policy of William Laud.

He was probably born about 1566, graduated B.A. at St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1587, and M.A. in 1590.[1] In the interval he made a pilgrimage to Rome. On his return to England he was undermaster in a school, and studied the civil and canon law. In 1600 he purchased the registrarship of the diocese of Ely; in 1602 he was admitted a member of the College of Advocates. About the same time he was appointed co-registrar, and shortly afterwards chancellor of the diocese of Peterborough. Thomas Dove, bishop of Peterborough, made him his vicar, official, and commissary general, jointly with Henry Hickman, on 10 June 1615. In the following year he took the degree of LL.D. at Cambridge.

In 1617 he was appointed by the dean and chapter of Lincoln commissary of their peculiars in the counties of Northampton, Rutland, Huntingdon, and Leicester. He had now established a reputation as an ecclesiastical lawyer, and in 1619 he was consulted by John Williams, dean of Salisbury, in reference to some delicate cases. A strong supporter of the royal prerogative, he carried matters with a high hand against the Puritans in Northamptonshire, compelling them to attend church regularly on the Sunday, to observe holy days, and to contribute to church funds, imposing penances on recusants, and commuting them for fines, and holding courts by preference at inconvenient times and places, fining those who failed to appear. In 1621 the mayor and corporation of Northampton presented a petition to parliament complaining of these grievances, and the speaker issued his warrant for the examination of witnesses. The king, however, intervened to stop the proceedings, and during his progress through Northamptonshire knighted Lambe on 26 July at Castle Ashby. In 1623 Lambe was selected by Williams, now bishop of Lincoln, to be his commissary; but Williams in 1626 refused to sanction some proceedings proposed by Lambe against some Leicestershire conventiclers. Lambe secretly informed the privy council against him. No immediate steps were taken against the bishop, but Lambe's information and the evidence were preserved for possible future use.

Lambe was a member of the high commission court from 1629 until its abolition by the Long Parliament, and was one of Laud's most active supporters throughout that period. In the autumn of 1633 he succeeded Sir Henry Marten as dean of the arches in the court of Canterbury. On 25 February 1635 he was appointed commissary of the archdeaconries of Leicestershire and Buckinghamshire. In 1637 he was commissioned to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction within the county of Leicester during the suspension of Bishop Williams. On 26 January 1640 he was appointed chancellor and keeper of the great seal to Queen Henrietta Maria.

As the Long Parliament met, the parishioners of Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, whom he had compelled to maintain two organs and an organist, petitioned for redress, and on 1 February 1641 Lambe was summoned to appear before a committee of the House of Commons to answer the charge. He made default, was sent for 'as a delinquent,' and on 22 February was produced at the bar in a poor state. He made formal submission on 6 March, and was released on bail. At the same time he was harassed by proceedings in the House of Lords by the widow of one of the churchwardens of Colchester, whom he had excommunicated in 1635 for refusing to rail in the altar, and by a certain Walter Walker, whom he had unlawfully deprived of the office of commissary of Leicester. The house found both charges proved, and awarded £100 to the widow and £1,250 to Walker; and it was contemplated to impeach Lambe along with Laud. He fled to Oxford, where he was incorporated on 9 December 1643. His property was sequestrated. He died according to Anthony Wood in early 1647. Lambe had two daughters, both considered beauties, one of whom married Robert Sibthorpe; the other, Barbara, was second wife of Basil Feilding, afterwards Earl of Denbigh.


From Wikipedia - John Williams (22 March 1582 – 25 March 1650) was a British clergyman and political advisor to King James I. He served as Bishop of Lincoln 1621–1641, Keeper of the Great Seal also known as Lord Keeper or Lord Chancellor 1621–1625, and Archbishop of York 1641–1650. He was the last archbishop to serve as lord chancellor.

Early Life:

John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, and later Archbishop of York, was born in Aberconwy, Wales and attended Ruthin School before graduating from St John's College, Cambridge BA 1601, and MA 1605.[1] He entered the clergy and he first impressed the king by a sermon in 1610. He became the king's chaplain in 1617.

Political Career:

In 1620 he was made Dean of Westminster and was swiftly elevated by King James I to the Bishopric of Lincoln in 1621, as well as being made Keeper of the Great Seal (also known as Lord Chancellor). Throughout his political career Williams was identified as a strong supporter of King James, who, it has been said, valued him as a man " who knew his mind and would do his bidding[2] and with whom personally he had much in common. He alienated the Prince of Wales, the future Charles I by disapproving of his ill-fated expedition with the Duke of Buckingham to Madrid. When James I died and was succeeded by Charles I in 1625, Williams was quickly removed from the office of Lord Chancellor, and was prevented from attending Parliament. Though Williams managed to survive Buckingham, who was assassinated in 1628, he remained out of favour; he incurred the enmity of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 and his powerful ally Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, both of whom had great influence with Charles I.

William's liberal attitudes toward the Puritans led to a legal battle with the Court of the Star Chamber. Laud's biographer refers to the original charge against him, of revealing State secrets, as frivolous;[3] but Williams, in his efforts to clear himself, laid himself open to a charge of subornation of perjury, which was proved, and he was suspended from his benefices in 1636, fined, and imprisoned in the Tower until 1640.[4] Laud had assumed that the conviction would force Williams' resignation as Bishop of Lincoln; to his fury Williams refused to resign and no machinery existed to remove him.[5] Until his imprisonment, Williams remained defiantly at his episcopal palace, Buckden, lavishing hospitality on his neighbours. In 1640 the Lords forced the King to release him, and Williams resumed his offices and tried to steer a course between the extreme wings of the Church. He showed little pity for either Laud or Strafford, supporting the impeachment of both men. In the case of Laud there is no evidence that he approved of Laud's eventual execution; but it was otherwise with Strafford. He fatally weakened Strafford's cause in the House of Lords by arguing successfully that bishops should absent themselves in cases involving the death penalty,[6] and later specifically urged the King not to spare Strafford's life, arguing that in his public role he was discharged from his private promise to that effect.[7] He was re-imprisoned by Parliament in 1641, but was released on bail in 1642 and went to be with the King in Yorkshire, as well as be enthroned as Archbishop of York, a position to which he had been appointed the previous year. His stay in Yorkshire was brief, however, and he spent the last years of his life in his native north Wales, initially supporting the royalist cause, but eventually coming to an accommodation with the local parliamentarian commander in 1646. He died of quinsy in 1650 whilst staying with his kinsfolk, the Wynns of Gwydir, and was buried at the parish church of Llandygai.


The Lords' Journal : The Journals of the House of Lords are the official minute books of the House of Lords covering the different reigns of the Kings of England beginning in 1509 with the reign of Henry VIII.


The Calendar of State Papers: These are published in four seamless parts,  offering researchers online resource for understanding two hundred years of British and European history, from the reign of Henry VIII to the end of the reign of Queen Anne. The largest digital manuscript archive of its kind, State Papers Online gathers together 16th- and 17th- century British State Papers and links these rare historical manuscripts to their fully text-searchable Calendars. As such, it radically transforms and simplifies the process of research, offering Early Modern scholars unprecedented access to the behind the scenes workings of the Tudor and Stuart governments.


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