[Offerings.] The SPIRITUAL GOVERNMENT.25

[Offerings.] The SPIRITUAL GOVERNMENT.

saide Innocent our Predecessour, and Thomas Archbysshop, contayninge the Constitucyon of the said Robert to bee obserued and kepte for euer.

And ouer that, by this Presentys, We will and ordaine, that all inhabitantys Houses, Hostryes, Shoppys, foure Yeres paste, and that after this shall inhabit, paye their Offryngys according to the rate aforesaid in the three Natiuites of St. Stephen, St. Johan, and the Innocentis, and as many Daies in Ester and Whitsontide, Circumcision, Epiphanye, and Ascencion of our Lord, Corpus Christi, foure of our Lady, and Philip and Iacob, and euery Dedicacion Daye, and euery Sonday, and the Festys of the Appostles whoos Vygyls ben fastyd, and other double and solempne Festys.

As more plainely apperyth in the Letters of Innocent and Thomas Archbysshope aforesaide, and in all Dayes they have vsed to offere foure Yeres past to the Parisshe Chyrche. Within the Bondys whereof the foresaid Houses, Hostryes, or Shoppes ben sette vpon the paine of Excommunicacion, contained in the Letters of the said Archbisshop, and of the which he shall not be assoiled, but yf hee satysfie the said Offrings, or elles friendly agree with his Curat, but yf it bee in the point of Dethe; so that yf it hapned him to live, or his Eyers make dew Satisfaction. And also we giue Power to the Ordinaryes of the said Chyrches where such Offryngys be not paid, that they may without Citacion summarily enquire of the said Offryngys; and yf they finde that be vnpaide, to accurse the Offenders, and them to punish according to this Ordinance; ony manner Bulle graunted, Writing generall or speciall, now knowen, or hereafter to be knowen, notwithstandinge.

BUT this Bull, which the Curates procured of the Pope for the ending of former Controversies about their Offerings, did not yet make an End. For tho' there was an Act of Common Council in the 14th of Edward IV. acquiescing in the Order of this Bull; yet afterwards out of this Papal Decision sprung another Doubt about these Offerings: viz. That in case any Citizen rented about 10s. a Year, and under 20s. as for Example, a Mark, or 15s. the Curate would then require more than a Farthing; and so if the Rent was upward of 20s. but not 30, they demanded a Halfpenny, and somewhat more proportionably. This the Citizens would not comply with; and it caused a great Disturbance. They urged, it was the Contents of the Bull, all Compositions laid apart; and that for mean Sums between ten and ten, there was no mention made thereof in the Bull. Only that he that paid 6s. 8d. Rent, or any higher Sum under 10s. used to pay his four Offering Days, and no more, according as every one that received the Communion was bound to do. And that he that sat at the Rent of a Mark, or any higher Sum under 20s. paid but after the rate of 10s. and that for the odd Money he was not chargeable by the Bull. And for the deciding this Difference, and any other that might arise hereupon, the Composition before mentioned was made.

Act of Common Council.

More Contest still concerning Offerings.

But to see what Value by means of the Offerings the Churches in London brought in to the Parish Priests in those ancient times, I shall set down here, for an Instance, the Value of the Benefice of St. Magnus at London Bridge, advanced yearly to the Parson, according to a Reckoning made thereof Decemb. 1. 1494. The Rents in this Parish amounted to 434l. 12s. 8d. the Offerings to 75l. 8s. 81/2d. The Rents and Offerings are set down distinctly against each Parishioner's Name in the old London Book of Customs, after this manner:

The Value of London Livings in former times.


Parishioners
Names.
Rent.Offerings.
 l.s.d.l.s.d.
Edward Bellow4000001400
Henry Somer8000010800
Thomas Cowper4060801502
---- Hyeman1130400510
Richard Arnold10000011500
John Ball2000000700
Herry Can2130400904
James Rustdon3030401108
William Gardyner2000000700
Roger Mayde5000001706
Thomas Faryng2060800802
---- Huntley2130400904, &c.

Besides, there were Offerings due from those that had Shops and no Houses, or in other Place than their Houses stood, and from such whose Rents amounted not to 10s. yearly, who were bound to offer only four times a Year.

So that to recollect and procede in this Account and History of the London Priests Subsistence, gained out of their respective Parishes.

The Tithes due to the Clergy of London (as appears by the old Book, called The Customs of London, and a Manuscript Treatise friendly communicated to me by Samuel Brewster, Esq;) consisted not in Glebe and Lands, as they pertained to the Churches in the Country, but of Payments by ancient Custom issuing out of the Houses of the Parishioners, according to the true Value of the Rents; which were called Oblations, because they were Offerings to God and the Church, each Parishioner offering a small Piece of Money according to the House he lived in, on certain Holidays. Which Custom was used for many Ages and time out of mind; and was afterwards confirmed and declared by Roger Niger Bishop of London, about the Year 1230, 15 H. III. or thereabouts. These Oblations amounted yearly to 3s. 6d. in the Pound. But by an Act of Parliament about 25 H. VIII. these Oblations or Tithes were altered and settled at 2s. 9d. in the Pound, to the great Disadvantage of the London Clergy; the Citizens also contending to pay after the old Rents, not according to present Improvements.

The Tithes of the Parish Priests of London.

Edward Brewster, Esq;

The foresaid Roger Niger's Constitution was this, That all and every the Citizens and Inhabitants of London, should pay or offer to God and the Church, and to the Rectors and Parsons of the same, upon every Sunday throughout the Year, and upon every solemn and double Feast, especially and by name upon the holy Apostles Days, whose Eves were fasted, for every 10s. Rent or Pension, one Farthing; for every 20s. one Halfpenny; and for every 30s. three Farthings; and for every 40s. one Penny; and so ascending after the rate aforesaid, as had been of long time accustomed, and lawfully prescribed. This Constitution is recited by Thomas Arundel Archbishop of Canterbury, remaining on Record, and in the Bulls of Innocent VII. and Nicolas IV. and in Linwood the great Canonist and Dean of the Arches, who lived in the time of Henry V. about the Year 1400.

Roger Niger's Constitution.

The Occasion of this Constitution was, to assist the Parish Priests that received great Damage by the Enchroachments of the Dominicans and Franciscan Friars, who being not long before come over, drew much People after them. Who, admiring them for their Strictness and seeming Sanctity of Life, thought all too little which they could confer upon them; and drawn in by the Doctrine of some of those Mendicants, that Tithes

The Occasion thereof.

Dr. Tildesly against Selden of Tithes, in Dr. Brian Walton's Treatise of Payment of Tithes.

were