|The Life of JOHN STOW. ||xxij
Altar; a Confutation of a Book called, A Defence of the true and Catholick
against the late Archbishop of Canterbury. All by the same Author. The
Protestants, by Miles Huggerd: A Brief Shew of false Wares, by Rastal: The Copy
Challenge, taken out of the Confutation of Mr. Juell's Sermon: The Tryal of the
Supremacy: Wherein is set forth the Unity of Christ's Church; and that there
ought to be
one Head, Bishop, &c. These Popish Books, with divers more, which have been
Notice of, besides a Mass-Book, were found in his House; a Catalogue whereof was
taken, and sent to the Bishop; and he, according to Order, sent it to the
we may conclude which Way Stow stood inclined.
And, perhaps, being a Lover of Antiquity, and the old Religious Buildings and
Monuments, he was the more prejudiced against the Reformed Religion, because of
Havock and Destruction those that pretended to it, made of them in his Days.
And I suspect his Religion to be the Ground of the Troubles he underwent, either
Ecclesiastical Commission Court, or Star-chamber, when his own Servant and
were his main Accusers, and laid many dangerous Things to his Charge; but
falsly, as we
have told before.
His Religion the Ground of his Troubles.
And, indeed, it might render him the less affected to the Religion in his Time
while he took notice, how ignorantly, nay, ridiculously, some that professed it,
preached it, shewed their Zeal for it. One of these was the Curate of Cree-Church (in
which Parish Stow then lived) commonly called Sir Stephen) who in a Sermon
less an Auditory than at St. Pauls, inveighed fervently against
a long Maypole,
called a Shaft, in the next Parish to his, named thence St. Andrew Undershaft;
and calling it
an Idol: Which so stirred up the Devotion of many of the Hearers (since all
Idols were to be
taken away by Order from above) that many of them in the Afternoon went and with
Violence pulled it down from the Place where it hung upon Hooks; and then sawed
divers Pieces, each Housholder taking his Piece, as much as hung over his Door
and afterwards burnt it: This Sermon Stow heard, (as he tells us himself) and
Effect of it.
A Preacher at St. Pauls inveighs against the
Shaft in St. Andrews Parish.
The same Preacher taking occasion from that Church's Name, viz. Undershaft, as
superstitiously given to it, Stow observed another Instance of his Zeal, in
Judgment, that the Names of Churches might be altered; nay, and that the Names
Days in the Week might be changed; and that Fridays and Saturdays should be no
Fish Days; but the Fish Days to be on other Days of the Week. And further, that
Lent, it should be kept any other time, than between Shrovetide and Easter.
Practice of this Sir Stephen was, that he would oftentimes go out of the Pulpit
Church-yard, and get up into a high
Elm that grew there, and preach to the People from thence; and then go into the
and say or sing the English Service, not at the Altar, as was usual, but upon a
towards the North.
A Curate of Creechurch's ignorant Zeal.
And further, Stow was an Eye Witness of the Mischief of the hot misguided Zeal
Preacher, who was the Cause of the wrongful putting to Death of one by Martial
all Probability innocent; executed before his Door within Aldgate, as a Traitor,
concerned in a Rebellion; who protested his Innocency upon the Gallows, in
Hearing. Such Principles and Practices as these, in such a Man of the Reformed
might create some Prejudice in Stow against it.
But he seemed at length to have a good Opinion of the Doctrine of the Church of
For in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, he hath somewhere this Expression, That
more pure now, than it was in the Monkish World: But whether he spake it
Ironically, or in
earnest, I do not dispute.
Stow calls the present Doctrine Pure.
But whatever Respect he might secretly have for the old Religion, he could not
Priests that were vitious and unchast; and was for severe Punishment to be laid
and that by the Secular Hand, without staying for Justice from the Ordinary, or
Spiritual Superior, on Pretence of their Privilege of Exemption from the
Magistrate: And he blamed them for their Covetousness and Partiality in
Commutations. Thus in a certain Place of his Survey, he praised the City for
exemplary Punishment of Fornication, tho' they took the Office sometimes out of
of the Bishops, who claimed the Cognizance thereof to belong to them: Shewing,
put both lewd Women, and Priests too, into the Prison, called the Tun in
were guilty in that respect. And he praised a certain Way, anciently used in
the City for
Punishment of light Females, by causing their Heads to be shaven, after the
Thieves, and to be led about the City with Trumpets and Pipes sounding before
their Persons might be the more known.
"Nor did they (addeth he) spare an
Priest a whit the more because of his Office, but used such as hardly; saying,
abhorred the Negligence of their Prelates, and detested their Avarice; that for
omitted the Punishment limited by Law; and permitted those they found guilty, to
favourably by their Fines: Wherefore they would themselves, they said, purge the
from such Filthiness, lest through God's Vengeance, either Pestilence of Sword
happen to them; or that the Earth should swallow them up."
Hated Immorality in Priests.
And elsewhere he speaketh of the Punishment of a Chauntry Priest, as his just
St. Michael's Cornhill, that had Twenty Nobles a Year, as the Salary of his
was too familiar with a Shopkeeper's Wife there; a Woman too that seemed the
among a Con-
A loose Priest exemplary Punishment.