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of the whole college, and therefore we can only conjecture from the remains of those British bishops which continued in Wales after the Saxon conquests, and were there at the coming of Austin into England. Bede41 takes notice of seven of those, who came to the synod of Worcester, or Austin's Oak, to confer with Austin about the settlement of the Church. And over these was also a metropolitan, to whom they professed subjection in the Council, which was the archbishop of Menevia, or St. David's, or, as they term him, the archbishop of Caer-Leon upon Uske, because that was the ancient metropolitical see, before it was translated to St. David's. The names of the other suffragans, as some of the British historians 42 record them in Latin, were then Herefordensis, Tavensis, Paternensis, Banchorensis, Elviensis, Vicciensis, Morgarensis, that is, Hereford, Landaff, Lan-Patern, Bangor, St. Asaph, Worcester, and Morgan. Now if the number of bishops in other provinces were answerable to this, we may conclude, there were more bishops before the invasion of the Saxons than there are at this day. But when Austin came into England, he found none except the forementioned. However Gregory the Great gave him orders 43 to settle twenty-six bishops, twelve bishops suffragans to the bishop of London, and as many subject to the metropolitan of York, and reserve

41 Hist. I. 2. c. 2. (p. 79. 12.)... sola missarum solemnia agenda conAugustinus, adjutorio usus Ædil. cedimus: ita ut per loca singula duobercti regis, convocavit ad suum col- decim episcopos ordines, qui tuæ loquium episcopos sive doctores subjaceant ditioni, quatenus Lundoproximæ Britonum provinciæ, in niensis civitatis episcopus semper in loco qui usque hodie lingua Anglo- posterum a synodo propria debeat rum Augustines Ac, id est, Robur consecrari, atque honoris pallium ab Augustini, in confinio Huicciorum hac sancta et apostolica, cui Deo et Occidentalium Saxonum, appella- auctore deservio, sede percipiat. Ad tur ... Venerunt, ut perhibent, sep- Eburacam vero civitatem te volumus tem Britonum episcopi et plures episcopum mittere, quem ipse judiviri doctissimi, &c.

caveris ordinare; ita duntaxat, ut si 42 Galfrid, Monument. Hist. 1.8. eadem civitas cum finitimis locis verC. 4. ap. Powel. Annot. in Girald. bum Dei receperit, ipse quoque duoCambrens. Itinerar. Cambriæ. 1. 2. decim episcopos ordinet, et metroc. 1. (p. 179.) Quorum tunc erant politani honore perfruatur ... Tua nomina, Henfordensis [leg. Here- vero fraternitas non solum eos epifordensis ? ] Tavensis, &c.

scopos quos ordinaverit, neque hos 43 Ibid. 1. 1. c. 29. (p. 70. 18.) Et tantummodo, qui per Eburacæ epiquia nova Anglorum ecclesia ad Om- scopum fuerint ordinati, sed etiam nipotentis Dei gratiam, eodem Do- omnes Britanniæ sacerdotes habeat, mino largiente, et te laborante per- Deo domino nostro, Jesu Christo ducta est, usum tibi pallii in ea ad auctore, subjectos.

to himself the primacy over the whole nation. Yet this was rather a scheme laid for future ages, when the whole nation should be converted, than any present settlement or constitution of the Church: for above fifty years after this, there were not above seven bishops in all the Heptarchy, or seven Saxon kingdoms, as appears from the account which Bede++ gives of the Council of Herudford, anno 673, where were present, Theodore, archbishop of Dorovernia, or Canterbury ; Bisi, bishop of the East Angles ; Wilfrid, bishop of the Northumbrians ; Putta, bishop of Rochester; Leutherius, bishop of the West Saxons; and Winfrid, bishop of the whole province of the Mercians. In which Council 45 a canon was made, that the number of bishops should be augmented, as the number of converts should increase.' But nothing was done for the present, save that Bisi, or Bifus, bishop of the East Angles, being grown old, two others, Ecca and Badwin were consecrated in his room; and from that time to the age in which Bede lived, that province had two bishops, as our author notes in the same place. These were the bishops of Elmham and Dunwich, which were afterwards united, and the see removed to Thetford, and from thence to Norwich, whose bishops succeeded to the whole kingdom of the East Angles. So that in that age a kingdom and a diocese were almost commensurate.

In the kingdom of Northumberland there were at first but two bishops, whose sees were York and Lindisfarne. But not long after, anno 678, Egfrid, king of Northumberland, having expelled Wilfrid, bishop of York, from his see, four or five bishops were ordained in his room, one in the province of Deira ; another in the province of Bernicia; a third at Hagulstade or Hexham in Northumberland ; a fourth in the province of the Picts, which


44 Ibid. 1.4. c. 5. (p. 147. 38.) episcopus, per proprios legatarios Convenimus autem die vigesima affuit. Affuerunt et fratres ac conquarta mensis Septembris, indictione sacerdotes nostri Putta, episcopus prima, in loco, qui dicitur Herutford. Castelli Cantuariorum, quod dicitur Ego quidem 'l'heodorus, quamvis Hrofescæstir; Leutherius episcopus indignus, ab apostolica sede desti- Occidentalium Saxonum, "Uynfrid natus Doruvernensis ecclesiæ epi- episcopus provinciæ Merciorum. scopus, et consacerdos ac frater 45 Ap. Bed. Hist. ibid. (p. 149. 3.) noster reverentissimus Bisi, Orienta- Nonum capitulum in commune traclium Anglorum episcopus; quibus tatum est, ut plures episcopi, cresetiam frater et consacerdos noster cente numero fidelium, augerentur, Uilfrid, Nordanhymbrorum gentis sed de hac re ad præsens silemus.


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was then subject to the English; and a fifth in the province of Lindissi, as Bede 46 calls it, which was lately taken out of the diocese and kingdom of Mercia, and not long after laid to it again. The great kingdom of Mercia, comprehending the counties of Gloucester, Hereford, Worcester, Warwick, Leicester, Cambridge, Rutland, Northampton, Lincoln, Nottingham, Bedford, Buckingham, Oxford, Derby, Stafford, Shropshire, Cheshire, and part of Hertfordshire, was at first but the diocese of one bishop, whom Bede commonly calls the bishop of the Angli Mediterranei, or Mercians, whose see was Litchfield, the royal seat and metropolis of the kingdom of Mercia ; till, about the year 678, a new see was erected at Sidnacester in Lincolnshire, and sometime after another at Dorchester in Oxfordshire, which were afterwards united and removed to Lincoln. Out of this large diocese also the sees of Worcester and Hereford were taken, as Ely was out of that part which fell to Lincoln : not to mention the dioceses of Chester, Peterborough, Oxford, and Gloucester, which had their rise out of the same at the Reformation. The diocese of Winchester was also very large at first, containing all the kingdoms of the West Saxons, till it was divided by King Ina between Winchester and Sherborn, anno 705. The latter of which was afterward subdivided into the dioceses of Cornwall, Devonshire, Somersetshire, Wiltshire, and Dorsetshire, some of which being

46 Ibid. c. 12. (p. 155. 7.) Quo Ædiluini; tertium Eadgarum; quaretiam anno [678], orta inter ipsum tum Cyniberctum, quem in præsenti regem Ecgfridum et reverentissimum habet. Habebat enim ante Eadantistitem Uilfridum dissensione, hædum, antistitem Sexuulfum, qui pulsus est idem antistes a sede sui etiam Merciorum et Mediterraneoepiscopatus, et duo in locum ejus rum Anglorum simul episcopus fuit. substituti episcopi

, qui Nordanhym- Unde, et expulsus de Lindissi, in brorum genti præessent: Bosa vide- illarum provinciarum regimine perlicet, qui Deirorum, et Eata, qui mansit. Ordinati sunt autem EadBerniciorum provinciam gubernaret. hæd, Bosa, et Eata Eboraci ab archiHic in civitate Eboraci, ille in Ha- episcopo Theodoro, qui etiam post gustaldensi sive in Lindisfarnensi tres abscessionis Uilfridi annos hoecclesia cathedram habens episco- rum numero duos addidit antistites ; palem, ambo de monachorum col- Tunberctum ad ecclesiam Hagustallegio in episcopatus gradum adsciti. densem, remanente Eata ad LindisCum quibus et Eadhæd in provincia farnensem, et Trumvini ad provinLindisfarorum, quam nuperrime rex ciam Pictorum, quæ tunc temporis Ecgfrid, superato in bello et fugato Anglorum erat imperio subjecta. Ulf here, ohtinuerat, ordinatur epi- Eadhædum de Lindissi reversum, eo scopus : et hunc primum eadem pro- quod Ædilred provinciam recepisset, vincia accepit præsulem ; secundum Hrypensi ecclesiæ præfecit. BINGHAM, VOL. III.


account confirmed

united again made up the dioceses of Exeter, Wells, Salisbury, and Bristol, as they now stand in the present frame and constitution of the Church.

I think it needless to carry this inquiry any further, since what has been already suggested sufficiently shews, that the dioceses in England were anciently much larger than they are now, and that it has ever been the wisdom of the Church to multiply and contract them. Though many of them still remain so large, that if they be compared with some of the ancient Italian dibceses, one of them will be found to be equal

to ten or twenty of those which lay round about Rome. The whole 21. I shall conclude this chapter with a few ancient canons,

which confirm the account that has been given of episcopal from some dioceses throughout the world, as supposing them generally

to have country-regions and country-parishes belonging to the Church. them. The Council of Neocæsarea 46, which was held some

years before the Council of Nice, makes express mention of πρεσβύτεροι επιχώρισι, country-presbyters, who are forbidden to officiate in the city-church, save only in the absence of the bishop or city-presbyters. The Council of Antioch has two canons of the same import: the one 47 describes a bishop's diocese to be “a city and all the region that was subject to it, wherein he might ordain presbyters and deacons, and order all things according to his own judgment without consulting his metropolitan:' the other 48 is a provision concerning the chorepiscopi, who were seated in the villages and regions about the city, that they should govern the churches committed to them, and content themselves with that care, ordaining readers,


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47 C.

46 C. 13. (t. 1. p. 1484 b.) 'Επι- 48 C. το. (ibid. p. 565 c.) Τους χώριοι πρεσβύτεροι έν τώ κυριακό εν ταις κώμαις, ή ταϊς χώραις, ή τους της πόλεως προσφέρειν ου δύνανται, καλουμένους χωρεπισκόπους, ει και παρόντος επισκόπου η πρεσβυτέρων χειροθεσίαν είεν επισκόπων ειληφότες, πόλεως, ούτε μην άρτον διδόναι έν έδοξε τη αγία συνόδω ειδέναι τα εαυευχή, ουδε ποτήριον. Εάν δε απώσι, των μέτρα, και διοικείν τας υποκεικαι εις ευχήν κληθη μόνος, δίδωσιν. μένας αυτοις εκκλησίας, και τη τού

. 9. (t. 2. p. 565 b.) "Εκαστον των αρκείσθαι φροντίδα και κηδεμονία, γάρ επίσκοπον εξουσίαν έχεις της καθιστάν δε αναγνώστας, και υποδιεαυτού παροικίας, διοικείν τε κατά την ακόνους, και εφορκιστάς, και τη τούεκάστω επιβάλλουσαν ευλάβειαν, και των αρκείσθαι προαγωγή μήτε πρεσπρόνοιαν ποιείσθαι πάσης της χώρας βύτερον, μήτε διάκονον χειροτονείν της υπό την εαυτου πόλιν, ώς και χει- τολμάν, δίχα του εν τη πόλει επισκόροτονείν πρεσβυτέρους και διακόνους, που, ή υπόκεινται αυτός τε και η και μετά κρίσεως έκαστα διαλαμ- χώρα. βάνειν.

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subdeacons and exorcists; but not presbyters or deacons, unless commissioned to it by the city-bishop, to whom both they and their region were subject. A like provision is made

' by the Council of Nice 49, in case a Novatian bishop should return to the unity of the Catholic Church, that then the Catholic bishop might provide him the place of a chorepiscopus in some part of his diocese, that there might not be two bishops in one city. And indeed all the canons that mention the chorepiscopi are full proof that a diocese was not only a city, but a countryregion, over which those chorepiscopi presided, under the inspection of the city-bishop, to whom they were accountable. The canons of Sardica 50 and Laodicea 51 do plainly suppose the same thing, when they prohibit bishops to be ordained in small cities or villages, because a presbyter or itinerant visitor might be sufficient to take care of them. So in the African Canons, one 52 orders the same as the Council of Toledo, “that every presbyter throughout the diocese, who has the care of a church, shall have recourse to his own bishop for chrism to be used at Easter :' and another 53 says, “No bishop shall leave his principal church, to go to reside upon any other church in the diocese.' Which canons speak plain nonsense, unless it be supposed that there were then other churches in the diocese beside the mother-church. 22. The bishop's obligation to visit his diocese is a further And from

the bishop's proof of the same thing; for this was a necessary consequent

obligation of having several churches at a distance under his jurisdiction : to visit his such as he could not personally attend himself, he was obliged to visit, and see that they were provided of a proper in- and con


diocese once a year,


49 C. 8. (ibid. p. 33 b.) ο δε "Οτι ου δεί εν ταις κώμαις, και εν ονομαζόμενος παρά τοις λεγομένοις ταϊς χώραις, καθίστασθαι επισκόπους, Καθαροίς επίσκοπος της του πρεσβυ- αλλά περιοδευτάς. τέρου τιμήν έξει πλήν ει μη άρα δο- 52 C.' Carth. 4. c. 36. (t. 2. p. koin tỘ ÉTTLOKÓW rñs Teuns toù óvó- 1203 b.) Presbyteri, qui per diæceses ματος αυτόν μετέχειν ει δε τούτο ecclesias regunt, non a quibuslibet avrợ un åpéokoi, etrivonoet TÓTOV episcopis, sed a suis ; nec per juniχωρεπισκόπου η πρεσβυτέρου, υπέρ orem clericum, sed aut per ipsos, Toù év to klúpu ölws dokeiv civai, aut per illum, qui sacrarium tenet, ίνα μη εν τη πόλει δύο επίσκοποι ante Paschæ solemnitatem chrisma ώσιν.

petant. 50 C. 6. (ibid. p. 632 c.) Mņétei- 53 C. Carth. 5. c.5. (ibid. p. 1216 vai and@s kadiotậv émio Kotov év b.) Placuit, ut nemini sit facultas, κώμη τινί ή βραχεία πόλει, ή τινι και relicta principali cathedra, ad aliείς μόνος πρεσβύτερος επαρκεί. quam ecclesiam in diæcesi constitu51 C. 56. [al. 57.] (t. 1. p. 1505 e.) tam se conferre.

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