The Reformation of the Ecclesiastical Laws of England, 1552

James C. Spalding

This title is OUT OF PRINT.

During the English reformation, Thomas Cranmer and some of his colleagues attempted to reform Canon Law to the needs of the newly emerging Church of England. (SCE&S 19)


Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies, Vol. 19

During the English reformation, Thomas Cranmer and some of his colleagues attempted to reform Canon Law to the needs of the newly emerging Church of England. A manuscript was produced with the reforms outlined; before it could be adopted, Edward VI died and so did the efforts at reform when the Catholic Queen, Mary Tudor, came to the throne. Over the years, the “reform” was available in a Latin form. Here, for the first time, it has been carefully translated, edited, and introduced by one of the key English Puritan scholars in . And although Canon law is a difficult reading, Spalding gives us a clear and well-presented introduction that places the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum in context.



In Appreciation

Tabula Congratulatoria



Editorial Symbols, Abbreviations, and Notes

Editor's Introduction

Concerning the Highest Trinity and the Catholic Faith
Concerning Heresies
Concerning Judgments Against Heresies
Concerning Blasphemy
Concerning Oaths and Perjury
Concerning Preachers
Concerning Matrimony
Concerning Degrees Prohibited in Marriage
Concerning Adultery and Divorce
Concerning Those to be Admitted to Ecclesiastical Benefices
Concerning Commerce in Ecclesiastical Offices is to be Punished
Concerning the Celebration of Divine Offices
Concerning Sacraments
Concerning Idolatry and Other Crimes of this Kind
Formula for Reconciliation of the Excommunicated
Concerning the Church and teh Ministers and their Duties
Concerning Wardens of the Church
Concerning Parish Boundaries
Concerning Schools
Concerning Universities and Especially Heads of Colleges
Concerning the Crime of Forgery
Concerning Striking Clerics
Concerning Witnesses and their Statements
Concerning Presumptions
Concerning Tithes
Concerning Visitations
Concerning Trials
Concerning Possessions
Concerning Custom
Concerning the Contesting a Suit
Concerning the Oath of False Accusation
Concerning Delays
Concerning Judgements and when Anyone Ought to Begin or Agree on Them
Concerning Credibility of Documents
Concerning Exceptions
Concerning Prescriptions
Concerning Appeals
Concerning the Duty and Juristiction of All Judges
Concerning Sentence and Judgment
Concerning Rules of Law
Concerning Defamation
Concerning Dilapidations
The Alienation and Renting Out of Ecclesiastical Goods
Concerning Elections
Concerning Wills

Appendix I—Preface of John Foxe
Appendix II—Unsigned Letter of Henry VIII
Appendix III—Edward VI, Authorization of Committee of Thirty-Two





For any scholar concerned with the history of ministerial development this text is essential reading. For anyone wishing to touch the temper of the times, the Reformation will not disappoint.

—Kevin Eastell, Moreana

[This book] reveals the collaborative and painstaking labors of its translators and the scholarship of Spalding, its editor. Because of its excellent translation, its editorial observations, and its superb Introduction, this monograph should be of interest to scholars of Church law, religious history, and Reformation studies.

—Brian W. Connolly, Manuscripta

It is easy, on balance, to recommend this volume since it makes a text of enormous importance easily available to everyone interested in the English Reformation. It can now also be put to use by students, who…have too little access to primary sources for this period of English history.

—Eric Josef Carlson, Albion

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