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JOAN SUDBURY, descended from an ancient and opulent family, was born in 1604, at St. Edmund's-Bury, in the County of Suffolk *. He was educated at Emanuel College in Cambridge, being admitted to his first degree in 1624, and to that of Master of Arts in 1628 t. Though the historian of The Sufferings of the Clergy of the Church of England in the late times of the Grand Rebellion' has not recorded him among those venerable ecclesiastics who were then harassed with relentless persecution, it appears from the best authority that he sustained many grievous oppressions with the most exemplary patience and magnanimity. His erudition, his piety, his unshaken fidelity to his Sovereign, and the natural munificence of his temper exercising itself in the support of the royal cause, could not fail of exposing him to severe trials.
* He was probably of the same family with Simon Theobald, aliàs Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was cruelly murthered in the rebellion of Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, and others their lawless companions.
+ Emanuel College, distinguished by the learning and loyalty of it's members, became particularly obnoxious to the ruling party, which during the Grand Rebellion endeavoured to subvert the Established Church. In this college, they made their first attempt to introduce into the University their gothic plans of reform and regulation. This circumstance unfolds the cause, why in this single society more puritans and nonconformists were educated, than perhaps in any seven of the other colleges or halls either at Oxford or Cambridge. (Kennelt's Register, p. 933.) In the annals of Emanuel College we observe the names of Dr. Lazarus Seaman, Mr. Antony Burgess, Mr. William Jenkin, Dr. William Spurstow, Dr. William Bate, Mr. Samuel Hildersham, &c. &c.
The strict bond of affectionate friendship, which subsisted between him and Dr. John Barwick one of his contemporaries in the University, and afterward the good Dean of St. Paul's, affords a strong presumptive proof that they were both influenced by the same honourable principles of attachment to our civil and religious constitution.
The period of the Restoration presents us with a pleasing scene.
The Church of England, no longer overwhelmed with desolation,
Mr. Sudbury was ordained Deacon, May 31, 1629, and Priest on the ensuing day, by the Bishop of Peterborough; and was instituted May 27, 1646, to the Rectory of Coyd Church, aliàs Llangraels, in the county of Glamorgan. In the Catalogue of the Lower House of Convocation, 1660, occurs For the Col., Westminster,
John Sudbury, Doc. Div. Proctor for the Chapter.
gradually recovered her pristine lustre. The crown resumed it's splendor, the laws regained their energy, and prosperity and peace seemed to secure the establishment of national happiness.
The Cathedral Church of Durham had suffered her full share of calamity during the preceding troubles. At the era of the Reformation, she had undergone a considerable change. Her gilded images, her costly altars dedicated indiscriminately to real and to fictitious saints *, her magazines of relics deemed more valuable than gems and precious stones, her superb rood, all her gaudy pomp and pageantry disappeared. Still she maintained her majestic aspect The spectator still beheld with silent admiration
... ... the high embowed roof
Her choir still chaunted the songs of praise ; and her lengthened ailes resounded with the voice of the organ. The prayers offered to the Supreme Being were no longer unintelligible to the common people. The Scriptures were expounded to them: a pure and rational Liturgy was introduced, and many useful institutions enforced, which tended to banish the horrors of superstition and idolatry.
* Within the church, altars were erected to St. Cuthbert, St. Bede, St. Oswald, St. Lawrence, St. Thomas of Canterbury, &c. &c.
The images of saints are placed on niches around the high tower of the Church. Are not these the Protectors, the Mahuzzim, mentioned in the Scriptures? (Dan. xi. 38.) Their elevated situation preserved them from destruction.
But in the middle of the seventeenth century, a total subversion of all order and decorum took place. Her revenues were seized, her ministers imprisoned or driven into exile, the sacred monuments of her dead defaced, and her religious services entirely abolished. To complete all, after the signal defeat of the Scotch army at Dunbar * in 1650, the prisoners were sent to Durham by the command of Cromwell, and had lodgings assigned to them in this august sanctuary. The lawless band abstained from no act of devastation. They destroyed the fine paintings, with which Hugh Pusac or Pudsey, the eleventh Bishop of Durham, had embellished the windows of his cathedral. They despoiled the internal structure, and to preserve themselves from the
*“ Præter commune Anglorum enthusiastarum sacrilegium, quo ecclesiæ ferè omnes, præsertim verò Cathedrales fatiscebant, Dunelmensis insuper Scotorum manus non semel senserat, gravius, etiam à devictis quàm à triumphantibus multata. Captivos enim Scotos à cæde Barodunensi superstites Cromwellus in hoc augustissimo sacrurio stabulari jussit ; donec quicquid ibi inerat lignere materiæ quod dirui potuit, igni mandássent aliàs hyberno frigore perimendi.” (Vita Johannis Barwick, S. T. P. p. 209.)