May 1644: An Ordinance for the further demolishing of Monuments of Idolatry and Superstition.

Pages 425-426

Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.

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May 1644

[9 May, 1644.]

Representations of God, Angels, and Saints.; Copes, Surplisses, Roods, &c.; Orgaus.

The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, the better to accomplish the blessed Reformation so happily begun, and to remove all offences and things illegal in the worship of God, do Ordain, That all Representations of any of the Persons of the Trinity, or of any Angel or Saint, in or about any Cathedral, Collegiate or Parish Church, or Chappel, or in any open place within this Kingdome, shall be taken away, defaced, and utterly demolished; And that no such shall hereafter be set up, And that the Chancel - ground of every such Church or Chappel, raised for any Altar, or Communion Table to stand upon, shall be laid down and levelled; And that no Copes, Surplisses, superstitious Vestments, Roods, or Roodlons, or Holy-water Fonts, shall be, or be any more used in any Church or Chappel within this Realm; And that no Cross, Crucifix, Picture, or Representation of any of the Persons of the Trinity, or of any Angel or Saint shall be, or continue upon any Plate, or other thing used, or to be used in or about the worship of God; And that all Organs, and the Frames or Cases wherein they stand in all Churches or Chappels aforesaid, shall be taken away, and utterly defaced, and none other hereafter set up in their places; And that all Copes, Surplisses, superstitious Vestments, Roods, and Fonts aforesaid, be likewise utterly defaced; whereunto all persons within this Kingdome, whom it may concern, are hereby required at their peril to yield due obedience.

Who shall put this Ordinance in execution.

Provided, That this Ordinance, or any thing therein contained, shall not extend to any Image, Picture, or Coat of Arms, in Glass, Stone, or otherwise, in any Church, Chapel, Church-yard, or place of publique Prayer as aforesaid, set up or graven onely for a Monument of any King, Prince or Nobleman, or other dead person which hath not been commonly reputed or taken for a Saint: But that all such Images, Pictures, and Coats of Arms may stand and continue in like manner and form as if this Ordinance have never been made; And the several Churchwardens or Overseers of the Poor of the said several Churches and Chappels respectively, and the next adjoyning Justice of the Peace, or Deputy Lieutenant, are hereby required to see the due performance hereof. And that the repairing of the Walls, Windows, Grounds, and other places which shall be broken or impaired by any the means aforesaid, shall be done and performed by such person and persons as are for the same end and purpose nominated and appointed by a former Ordinance of Parliament of the Eight and twentieth of August, 1643, for the utter demolishing of Monuments of Superstition or Idolatry.