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see a wider range of success than his boldest hopes could have anticipated *.'
"But to return to my narration. No punishment appears to have been more frequently inflicted by the clergy, than that of public penance; and as a curious instance of it occurs in this century, in the reign of Henry the Fifth, I shall give you the particulars.
"In the afternoon of Easter day, a time which required devotion, at a sermon in the east of London, a great fray arose in the said church, between the Lord Strange and Sir John Trussel, on account of some misunderstanding subsisting between their wives. Many of the spectators interfering, in order to appease, if possible, the tumult, they were not only several of them badly wounded, but one man, named Thomas Petwardine, killed on the spot. The gentlemen were in consequence apprehended and committed to the Tower, and the service suspended.
"When information reached the archbishop of Canterbury respecting this outrageous profanation of the church, he caused the offenders to be excommunicated in St. Paul's, and all other churches in London; and shortly after
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he sat at St. Magnus, in order to enquire into the authors of the offence, who were principally discovered to be Strange and his wife. On the following first of May, the offenders submitted themselves to do penance, and swore to do it agreeably as was enjoined, which was as follows: That, immediately, all their servants should, in their shirts, go before the parson of St. Dunstan's, from St. Paul's to the said St. Dunstan's seat, and the Lord Strange and his lady bare-footed ; Reginald Henwood, archdeacon of London, following them. Also it was appointed, at the consecrating or hallowing the said church, which they had profaned, the lady should fill all the vessels with water, and offer likewise to the altar an ornament often pounds; and the lord, her husband, a pix (or chest in which the Host is kept) of silver, value of five pounds: which done, by way of satisfactory expiation, they were absolved; but Lord Strange had first made the wife of the said Petwardine, killed in the fray, large amends.
"But, in the midst of this papal tyranny, loud complaints began to be heard; and, towards the latter end of this century, attempts were made to reform them. Thomas Bradwardine, archbishop of Canterbury, who devoted himself to the study of the Holy Scriptures, and whose writings display the soundness of his doctrines, flourished in this age. He may be justly termed one of the morning stars of the Reformation.
"About the year 1440, the art of printing was introduced; and this, under the divine blessing, opened the way for the promulgation of the sacred volume, with a rapidity unknown to manuscript editions. The first printed book with moveable types, was a copy of the Bible, which made its appearance between the years 1450 and 1452. This discovery is certainly to be attributed to the Germans, whether it consisted in printing with blocks of wood, or types moveable at pleasure. John Guttenburgh, of Mentz, has the best claim to the honour of this invention. The introduction of this invaluable art into this country, in 1447, is justly ascribed to William Caxton, a merchant of London, who acquired a knowledge of it in his travels abroad. He is said to have been a native of Caxton, a village near Cambridge, towards the latter end of the reign of Edward the Fourth. The first book printed in the English tongue was 'The Recuyell of the History of Troy;' and is dated September the nineteenth, 1471, at Cologne. The 'Game of Chess,' dated in 1474, is allowed, by all typographical antiquaries, to have been the first specimen of the art among us. Mr. Caxton died in 1486, or, according to other accounts, in 1491.
"In this century, viz. in 1428, the bones of John Wickliffe, the rising sun of the Reformation, were taken up and burnt, by an order of the council of Constance; and his works were thrown publicly into the flames, at Oxford.
"This great man was born at Richmond in Yorkshire, in the year 1324. He was presented to the rectory of Lutterworth in Leicestershire, through the influence of his friend the duke of Lancaster; and, in spite of the machinations of the priests, he not only preached with great success, but his doctrines became extremely popular, and he expired in peace, on his living, in the year 1384.
"The event of his death was hailed with triumph by the popish faction. But in vain did tyranny or artifice strive to stop the progress of truth: his followers rapidly increased; and, under the name of Lollards, we find them enduring, in the fifteenth century, a furious persecution. Yet, in spite of all that cruelty could devise, the doctrines of Wickliffe were not only maintained, but, one hundred and fifty years afterwards, we find that they had made great progress through all ranks in the nation.
"It was at this period that the Reformation from popery and its errors commenced, under the reign of Henry the Eighth; and it was instigated, in a great measure, by the resistance of the pope to the divorce of this monarch, from the widow of his brother Arthur, to whom he had been married several years, and by whom he had one daughter, afterwards queen Mary. Religious scruples respecting the validity of this union, were the ostensible motives given by the capricious king; whilst a passion for Ann Boleyn, a celebrated and accomplished beauty, was the real motive which led to a step so wonderfully over-ruled for good.
"That Henry, previous to this time, had been a devoted papist, may be inferred from a book which he wrote in defence of popery, against Martin Luther, the celebrated Saxon reformer; for which the pope had bestowed on him the title of 'Defender of the Faith,' still retained by our monarchs. During this period many persons suffered persecution; and though it is far from my intention to enter into an account of many of the 'noble army of martyrs,' yet, to render you thankful for the mercies you enjoy in this privileged land, I will just mention, that, in 1519, six men and a woman were burnt at Coventry, for teaching the Lord's prayer, the