Queen Elizabeth's Proclamation
to Forbid Preaching
Gee, Henry, and William John Hardy, eds.,
Documents Illustrative of English Church History
(New York: Macmillan, 1896), 416-7.
Hanover Historical Texts Project
Scanned and proofread by Heather Haralson, April 1998.
Posted by Heather Haralson, May 1998, and Raluca Preotu, July 1999.
Proofread and pages added by Jonathan Perry, March 2001.
THE following proclamation was issued by the queen at Westminster, December 27, 1558, and has reference to the mitigation of religious acrimony pending the formulation of her religious policy which appeared in the Supremacy and Uniformity Acts of the following April.
[Transcr. H. Dyson's Collection of Proclamations, A.D. 1618, f. 3.]
By the Queen.
The queen's majesty understanding that there be certain persons having in times past the office of ministry in the Church, which now do purpose to use their former office in preaching and ministry, and partly have attempted the same, assembling specially in the city of London, in sundry places, great number of people, whereupon riseth among the common sort not only unfruitful dispute in matters of religion, but also contention and occasion to break common quiet, hath therefore, according to the authority committed to her highness for the quiet governance of all manner her subjects, thought it necessary to charge and command, like as hereby her highness doth charge and command, all manner of her subjects, as well those that be called to ministry in the Church as all others, that they do forbear to preach, or teach, or to give audience to any manner of doctrine or preaching other than to the Gospels and Epistles, commonly called the Gospel and Epistle of the day, and to the Ten Commandments in the vulgar tongue, without exposition or addition of any manner, sense, or meaning to be applied and added; or to use any other manner of public prayer, rite, or ceremony in the Church, [Page 417] but that which is already used and by law received; or the common Litany used at this present in her majesty's own chapel, and the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed in English; until consultation may be had by Parliament, by her majesty and her three estates of this realm, for the better conciliation and accord of such causes, as at this present are moved in matters and ceremonies of religion.
The true advancement whereof to the due honour of Almighty God, the increase of virtue and godliness, with universal charity and concord amongst her people, her majesty most desireth, and meaneth effectually, by all manner of means possible, to procure and to restore to this her realm. Whereunto as her majesty instantly requireth all her good, faithful, and loving subjects to be assenting and aiding with due obedience, so if any shall disobediently use themselves to the breach hereof, her majesty both must and will see the same duly punished, both for the quality of the offence, and for example to all others neglecting her majesty's so reasonable commandment. Given at her highness's palace of Westminster the twenty-seventh day of December, the first year of her majesty's reign.
God save the queen.
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