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Availing themselves of this proclamation, some of the leading clergy came forward with the following admirable protestation of allegiance, dated the 31st of the following January.
“ Whereas it hath pleased our dread sovereign lady to take some notice of the faith and loyalty “ of us, her natural born subjects, secular priests,
(as it appeareth in the late proclamation,) and “ of her princelike clemency, to give a sufficient " earnest of some merciful favour towards us, “ (being all subject by the laws of the realm unto “ death, by our return into the country after our “ taking the order of priesthood, since the first
year of her majesty's reign),—and only to de“mand of us a true profession of our allegiance,
thereby to be assured of our fidelity to her ma“ jesty's person, crown, estate, and dignity :-We, “ whose names are underwritten, in most humble
wise, prostrate at her majesty's feet, do acknowledge ourselves infinitely bound unto her majesty “ therefore, and are most willing to give such « assurance and satisfaction in this point, as any “ catholic priests can or ought to give unto their ' sovereign.
First, therefore, we acknowledge and confess “ the queen's majesty to have as full authority,
power, and sovereignty over us, and all the
subjects of the realm, as any her highness's pre“ decessors ever had : and further, we protest that
we are most willing and ready to obey her in “ all cases and respects, as far forth as ever chris( tian priests within this realm, or in any other
"christian country, were bound by the law of God "and christian religion to obey their temporal "prince; as to pay tribute, and all other regal "duties unto her highness; and to obey her laws "and magistrates in all civil causes, to pray to "God for her prosperous and peaceful reign, in "this life, according to his blessed will; and that "she may hereafter attain everlasting bliss in the "life to come.
"And this our acknowledgment we think to be grounded upon the word of God, that no authority, no cause or pretence, can or ought, upon any occasion, to be a sufficient warrant more "unto us, than to any protestant, to disobey her majesty in any civil or temporal matters. "Secondly,-whereas, for these many years past, divers conspiracies against her majesty's person and estate, and sundry forcible attempts "for invading and conquering her dominions, have "been made, under we know not what pretences, "and intendments of restoring catholic religion by "the sword, (a course most strange in the world, " and undertaken peculiarly and solely against her majesty, and her kingdoms, among other king"doms departed from the religion and obedience "of the see apostolic no less than she),-by reason of which violent enterprizes, her majesty, "otherwise of singular clemency towards her sub
jects, hath been greatly moved to ordain and "execute severe laws against catholics, (which by "reason of their union with the see apostolic in "faith and religion were easily supposed to favour
“ these conspiracies and invasions),-than perhaps “ had ever been enacted or thought upon, if such " hostilities and wars had never been undertaken;
we, to assure her majesty of our faithful loyalty, “ also in this particular cause, do sincerely pro“ test, and by this our public fact, make known to * all the christian world, that in these cases of con“spiracies, of practising her majesty's death, of in“ vasions, and of whatever forcible attempts which
may hereafter be made by any foreign prelate,
prince, or potentate whatsoever, either jointly or “severally, for the disturbance or subversion of “ her majesty's person, estate, realms, or dominions, “ under colour, show, or pretence, or intendment “ of restoring the catholic religion in England and
Ireland, we will defend her majesty's person,
estate, realms, and dominions, from all such “ forcible and violent assaults and injuries.
“ And, moreover, we will not only ourselves de“tect and reveal any conspiracies, or plots, which “ we shall understand to be undertaken by any pre
late, prince, or potentate, against her majesty's person or dominions, for any cause whatsoever,
as is before expressed, and likewise to the best “ of our power resist them; but also, will earnestly “persuade, as much as in us lieth, all catholics to 6 do the same.
Thirdly,—if, upon any excommunications de“nounced, or to be denounced, against her ma“ jesty, upon any such conspiracies, invasions, or “ forcible attempts, to be made, as before expressed, “the pope should also excommunicate every one
"born within her majesty's dominions, that would "not forsake the foresaid defence of her majesty, "and her realms, and take part with such conspirators or invaders; in these, and all other such "like cases, we do think ourselves, and all the lay σε catholics, born within her majesty's dominions, "bound in conscience not to obey this or any such "like censure; but will defend our prince and "country, accounting it our duty so to do; and, "notwithstanding any authority or excommuni"cation whatsoever, either denounced or to be "denounced, as is before said, to yield unto her "majesty all obedience in temporal causes.
"And, because nothing is more certain, than that, whilst we endeavour to assure her majesty “of our dutiful affection and allegiance, by this our "christian and sincere protestation, there will not "want such as will condemn and misconstrue our "lawful fact; yea, and by many sinister sugges❝tions and calumnies discredit our doings with the “christian world, but chiefly with the pope's holiness, to the greatest prejudice and harm of our good names and persons that may be; unless "maturely we prevent their endeavours therein:
we most humbly beseech her majesty, that in "this our recognizing and yielding Cæsar's due "unto her, we may also, by her gracious leave, "be permitted, for avoiding obloquies and calum"nies, to make known, by like public act, that, by
yielding her right unto her, we depart from no "bond of that christian duty, which we owe unto "our supreme spiritual pastor: and therefore, we
" acknowledge and confess the bishop of Rome to “ be the successor of St. Peter, in that see; and to “ have as ample, and no more, authority or juris“ diction over us and other christians, than had that
apostle by the commission and gift of Christ our “ Saviour; and that we will obey him so far forth
as we are bound by the laws of God to do, which " we doubt not but will stand well with the pers formance of our duty to our temporal prince, in “such sort as we have before professed. For, as
we are most ready to spend our blood in the des fence of her majesty, and our country, so we “ will rather lose our lives than infringe the lawful "authority of Christ's catholic church.” William Bishop,
Roger Cadwallader, This protestation was signed by the thirteen priests. It was framed by Mr. William Bishop, whose name stands first on the list of signatures. He was afterwards consecrated bishop of Chalcedon; and the
upon him episcopal jurisdiction over the catholics of England and Scotland. Two of the other priests by whom it was signed, Roger Cadwallader, and Robert Drury, afterwards suffered death, under the penal code of Elizabeth.
The subscribing clergymen had foreseen the