INTRODUCTION. 37 sovereignpleasure.. Thiswas the royal ladywho renounced the infallibility of the Pope of Rome. In these exercises, the clergy were divided into classes, and each, class was under the direction of a moderator appointed by the bishop of the diocese. They were held once a fortnight, when a portion of scripture formed the subject of discussion. They were holden publicly in the churches ; and besides exposing the errors of popery, they were of unspeakable service in promoting a knowledge of the scriptures among the people. But the jealous archbishop looked upon them as the nurseries of puritanism, calling them vain prophe- syings.+ They tended, in his opinion, to promote popu- larity, insubordination, and nonconformity. But the arch- bishop did not long survive. For he died May 17, 1575 ; when he was succeeded by Dr. Edmund Grindal, Arch- bishop of York. He was a prelate of rigid and cruel principles, and much concerned to establish an exact uniformity in outward things, to the neglect of more important matters$ - During this year, a congregation of Dutch anabaptists was discovered, without Aldgate, London ; twenty-seven of whom were apprehended and cast into prison, and four bearing fa,(_,ots at Paul's cross, recanted their opinions. Eight were banished from the kingdom, and two were con- demned to the flames, and burnt in Smithfield. The Dutch congregation in London interceded for their pardon, as did Mr. Fox, the martyrologist ; but the queen remained in- flexible, and the two poor men perfumed Smithfield with their ashes.§ The puritans, under all their hardships, had many able friends at court, who stood firm in the cause of religious liberty. Therefore a committee was this year appointed by parliament to draw up a bill ,4 For the Reformation of Church Discipline." But, as before, the house most probably received a check for attempting to interfere in religious matters.11 In the year 1576, many learned divines felt the vengeance of the ruling prelates. Mr.-Harvy and Mr. Gawton, iii Strype's Grindal, Appen. p. 85, 86. + Strype's Parker, p. 961. t Though a late writer affirms that Archbishop Parker " was prudent, gentle, and patient ;" Hume says " he was rigid in exacting conformity to the established worship, and in punishing, by fines or deprivation, all the puritanical clergymen, who attempted to innovate any thing in the habits, ceremonies, or liturgy of the church."-Churton's Life of Nowell, p. 113. -Hume's Hist. ofEng. vol. v. p. 188. § See Art. Fox. II MS. Remarks, p. 463.