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The Convocation of 1563 was a significant gathering of English and Welsh clerics that consolidated the Elizabethan religious settlement, and brought the Thirty-Nine Articles close to their final form (which dates from 1571). It was, more accurately, the Convocation of 1562/3 of the province of Canterbury, beginning in January 1562 (Old Style).
Matthew Parker who was Archbishop of Canterbury had prepared documents outlining further reform in the Church of England, as had other bishops. A more thorough-going reform agenda was supported by over 30 of the participants. A compromise version, the "six articles", was narrowly defeated on a vote. The result was that the momentum for reform of the Church by its constitutional procedures was halted. Parker steered the outcome towards the via media ."Swiss-inspired reformists" were headed off.
The Convocation restored the position of the Thirty-Nine Articles in the Church of England. More accurately said, the Forty-Two Articles of Edward VI were reduced to a draft at this point, which was widely supported, and eventually enforced after 1571. There were further proposals from reformers, in particular on canon law and liturgy, some of which originated from a group among the bishops. These, however, proved contentious, and did not pass. Subsequent contestation of the same issues made some of them a matter of authority.
Collinson comments that
Moves to improve the settlement in the convocation of 1563 were led by the bishops rather than by 'Puritans' in the lower house [...]
Dawley writes that probably the surprise of the Convocation
[...] was not the amount of support given to the Precisians but the unexpected extent of loyalty to the existing regulations,
"Precisian" being the term used by Parker for his opponents on the issue of clerical dress.
Of 20 bishops of the time (the see of Oxford being vacant), there were 12 who had left the Kingdom of England under Mary Tudor: the "Marian exiles". Of those who had remained, some had done so covertly.
|Gilbert Berkeley||Frankfurt||Bath and Wells|
|Richard Cheyney||No||Bristol, Gloucester||Did not subscribe the 39 articles (ODNB)|
|William Barlow||Germany, Poland, Emden||Chichester|
|Thomas Bentham||Zurich, Basle||Coventry and Lichfield|
|Richard Cox||Frankfurt||Ely||Probably a reforming bishop|
|Edmund Grindal||Frankfurt||London||Reformer, supported attempts to revise the Prayer Book rubrics.|
|Edmund Gheast||No||Rochester||drafting of article XXIX|
|John Jewel||Strasbourg, Zürich, Padua||Salisbury|
|Robert Horne||Zurich, Frankfurt, Strasburg||Winchester|
|Edwin Sandys||Frankfurt, Augsburg, Strasbourg, Zürich||Worcester||Draft on the sign of the cross in baptism (ODNB)|
|Hugh Jones, as proxy||No||Llandaff|
|Thomas Davies||No||St. Asaph|
|Richard Davies||Geneva||St. David's|
Of these bishops, 19 attended at the start—not Jones, who was acting as proxy for the aged Anthony Kitchin.
There were 27 in the Lower House of Convocation who had been émigrés of Queen Mary's time.An estimate of over 50 who had conformed in Mary's reign has also been given. Carlson argues for a definite group of 34 Puritan reformers in the Lower House.
|Name||Exile?||Standing in convocation||Comments|
|John Bale||Basel||Prebendary of Canterbury.|
|William Bradbridge||No||Chancellor of Chichester||Voted for the six articles.|
|William Day||Provost of Eton College||Supporter of the six articles.|
|Gabriel Goodman||Dean of Westminster (ODNB)||Against further reform.|
|Francis Mallett||Dean of Lincoln||Voted by proxy.|
|Alexander Nowell||Dean of St Paul's||Prolocutor on the nomination of Matthew Parker, reformer, drafted catechism|
|Laurence Nowell||Dean of Lichfield||Brother of Alexander; voted to change ceremonies (ODNB)|
|John Pedder||Frankfurt||Dean of Worcester||Supported 21 requests, voted for six articles, subscribed the 39 articles.|
|John Salisbury||Dean of Norwich||Subscribed to the 39 articles, signed the petition for discipline.|
|Thomas Sampson||Frankfurt, Zürich, Geneva, Lausanne (ODNB)||Dean of Christ Church, Oxford||Radical, opponent of ceremonial|
Nicholas Wotton, Dean of Canterbury, did not attend.(ODNB)
|Name||Exile?||Standing in convocation||Comments|
|John Aylmer||Switzerland||Archdeacon of Lincoln||Held back in debate,(ODNB) subscribed to the 39 articles.|
|Robert Beaumont||Geneva.||Archdeacon of Huntingdon||Among the 33 signatories.(ODNB) Supported the six articles.|
|John Bridgewater||No||Archdeacon of Rochester||Voted against the six articles. (ODNB)|
|Thomas Cole||Frankfurt||Archdeacon of Essex||One of the 34 proposing the seven articles; abstained on the six articles.|
|Robert Crowley||Archdeacon of Hereford?. Canon of Hereford.(ODNB)|
|Thomas Lever||Archdeacon of Coventry||reformer.|
|John Mullins||Archdeacon of London||Supported seven articles, abstained on six articles.|
|John Pullain||Geneva||Archdeacon of Colchester||Advocate of Calvinism.|
|Nicholas Robinson||Archdeacon of Merioneth|
|Richard Rogers||Frankfurt||Archdeacon of St Asaph||Reformer.|
|Thomas Spencer||Zürich||Archdeacon of Chichester|
|John Watson||Archdeacon of Surrey||Conservative.(ODNB)|
|Thomas Watts||Frankfurt (ODNB)||Archdeacon of Middlesex||Reformer.|
|Robert Wisdom||Frankfurt, Heidelberg (ODNB)||Archdeacon of Ely||Voted for six articles.|
|Name||Exile?||Standing in convocation||Comments|
|Thomas Bickley||France||Proctor for Coventry and Lichfield,||Reformer.|
|Walter Bower||Proctor for the clergy of Somerset|
|James Calfhill||Three votes; proctor for the London clergy and Oxford chapter||One of the 34 signing the seven articles. (ODNB)|
|Thomas Godwin||Proctor for Lincoln chapter (ODNB)||Voted for further reform.|
|Thomas Huet||No||??; precentor of St David's Cathedral (ODNB)||Signed the 39 articles.|
|Thomas Lancaster||??||Voted for six articles. (58/59 ODNB)|
|Robert Lougher||Proctor for the clergy of the diocese of Exeter (ODNB)||Opposed six articles.|
|Stephen Nevinson||Proctor for the clergy of the diocese of Canterbury (ODNB)||Reformer|
|Andrew Peerson||Proctor for Llandaff (ODNB)||Voted against six articles.|
|Michael Renniger||Proctor for Winchester chapter (ODNB)||Reformer.|
|Arthur Saul||Proctor for Gloucester chapter (ODNB)||Reformer.|
|John Walker||Not known (ODNB)||Proctor for the Suffolk clergy|
|Robert Weston||Proctor for the Lichfield clergy|
|Percival Wiburn||Proctor for Rochester chapter (ODNB)|
The Convocation was called simultaneously with a Parliament, and took place in London, in St Paul's Cathedral.Its sessions took place from 11 January to 14 April 1563 (N.S.). Robert Weston opened the Convocation on 12 January, formally, with a prorogation to the following day. The actual proceedings of Convocation opened on 13 January, when the Litany was sung, and a Latin sermon by William Day preached.
The subsequent passage of the 39 Articles into the orthodoxy of the Church of England was tortuous. There are various versions of the Articles: manuscript from the Convocation, printed in Latin (Reyner Wolfe) and English by John Cawood and Richard Jugge (1563); printed later.A bill in the Parliament of 1566 to confirm the articles from the Convocation was halted in the House of Lords, by pressure from the Queen.
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