Maurice Faulkner

Maurice Faulkner was rector of Eversholt from 1576 to 1578. He was a very learned man and might have made a great career, but he fell out with John Still, Master of his college, and was thrown into jail by a church court. He appealed to Lord Burghley, but the outcome of this is not clear. He died in 1578, but whether he was still in jail is not known.
provides the record of Faulkner’s arrival in and departure from Eversholt. He was appointed because the previous incumbent, John Wickham, wasn’t doing his job.
A.D. 1575. 
Maurice Faukner,’* cl., presented 15 July, 1575, 17 Eliz., to the rectory of  Eversholte. P. — the queen, by lapse, on the petition and recommendation of  the master of St. John’s College, Cambridge. (Lansdowne MS. 443, folio 228d)
* He compounded 6 Nov., 1576 (Comp.). The benefice was vac. 12 July, 1578 by his death (see below).
A.D. 1578. 
Martin Williams, cl., presented 12 July, 20 Eliz., 1578, to the eh. of Eversall, vac. by the death of Maurice Fawkener. P. — Charles Morisin, esq., and Dorothy his wife, p.j. Admitted 17 July.*
(P.D., 1578, no. 27).
Mandate to A., Bedf.
MAURICE FAULKNER, a native of London, B.A. 1564-5, was admitted a fellow of S. John’s college on Dr. Thimbleby’s foundation 10 April 1568, in which year he commenced M.A. He was one of the numerous subscribers against the new statutes of the university 1572, and in July 1573 ho concurred with certain other fellows of S. John’s in the removal of Mr. Shepherd from the mastership of that society, and the inoperative attempt to reappoint Dr. Richard Longworth to that office. Mr. Faulkner was elected one of the preachers of S. John’s college on the feast of S. Mark 1574. He proceeded B.D. 1575, in which year he was presented by the queen to the rectory of Eversholt Bedfordshire, and had a preacher’s licence from the university. A sermon by him in S. John’s college chapel 24 July 1576 gave great offence to Dr. Still the master and the senior fellows, as containing reflections on the college government. He was reprimanded and fined 4s. He preached at Great S. Mary’s 16 December the same year. Dr. Still complained of being attacked in this sermon, and Mr. Faulkner was thereupon committed by the ecclesiastical commissioners to prison, whence we find him writing to lord Burghley 25 Jan. 1576-7. We are unacquainted with his subsequent history. He is author of:
1. Notes of his Sermon at S. John’s college chapel Cambridge 24 July 1576. MS. Lansd. xxiii. art. 45. Printed in Heywood and Wright’s Cambridge Univ. Trans, i. 197—201.
2. Sermon preached at Great S. Mary’s
Cambridge 16 Dec. 1576. MS. Lansd. xxiii. art. 46.
3. Latin letter to lord Burghley 25 Jan. 1576-7. MS. Lansd. xxiv. art. 19. Printed in Heywood and Wright’s Cambridge Univ. Transactions, i. 202.
Raker’s Hist. S. John’s, 349, 363. Rynier, xv. 742. Strype’s Annals, ii. 302. Lamb ft Camb. Doe. 358. Cooper’s Ann. of Camb. ii. 302. Heywood & Wright’s Univ. Trans, i. 61, 107—203. Cat. of Lansd. MSS. i. 47, 48. Ms. Baker, xxiv. 164.

Here, from Cambridge University transactions during the Puritan controversies …, Volume 1 By Thomas Wright, James Heywood, is the sermon preached by Maurice Faulkner in St John’s college chapel, Cambridge, on 24 July 1576. This is an account which he seems to have prepared, so may be biassed – despite his protestations. It’s quite hard to understand, being spelt in an antiquated fashion, and with some latin phrases. On the whole, it seems a bit bumptious, but not the sort of thing to cause incarceration. This one caused him to be fined four shillings.

[From MS. Lansd. no. 23, art. 45.]
The contentes of a sermon made by Mr. Faulkener in the chappel, the 24 of Julye, by occasion wherof the master D. Still findethe himselfe greaved, and woulde have the partye punnished.
The texte, ad Roma. 12, Ne sitis prudentes apud vosmetipsos.
After I had spoken of great abuses and faultes comitted in doctrine and religion, alleaginge the cause of them to be wisdome in our owne conceytes, I saide I woulde not travell further in them, for that I had more necessarye thinges to speake; for as by the reason hereof it hathe byn greatlie offended in doctryne, so have there byn, and are, great offences made and committed in manners; and that I seeke not to speake of other men, let us examyne our owne doinges. From whence have byn, ar, and wilbe (excepte it be warelye and wiselye prevented), so manye broyles, suche strife and contentions, but that we ar leade with our owne wisdome? All with Abraham saye (Gen. 13), I praye you let their be no strife betwene us. The master he will saye to the seniours, I praye you; and the seniours they will saye, We beseache you; and thus either part with Abraham is contente to saie, I praye you: but for to cut of thoccasyon they strayne courtesye who shoulde begine; neither will willinglie with Abraham yelde. We reade that Abraham yelded to Lott; but, on the contrarye parte, if Lott be contented to yelde muche of his righte to Abraham, excepte he will gyve more then he thinkethe by right and conscience he maye, Abraham will not be contente.
Thucidides, non est turpe domesticos domesticis cedere, nec amicum amico, vicinum vicino, propter tranquillitatem; plus enim saepe commodi affert cessio, quam stricti juris persecutio. We have good ordinances and statutes, which oughte to rule and overrule us all; and by them it is carefullye provided that our strifes and controversyes shoulde be wiselye ordred and taken up at home. But we will not be counseled at home by statute; but, evin to our owne discredytt, we will disclose and uncover our broyles to others, and we nothinge care or regarde howe manye be made privye to our doinges. We use the matter so that men rather pittye us then envye us. I maye saye unto you, thoughe not in suche brode speache and plaine maner as the apostle speakethe to the Corynthians, Is there not anye wise man amongst you to take up your controversyes, but that you muste goe to others? But here some man may saye unto me, that I speake more boldelye then wyselye. Trulie, I easely graunte and confesse it, if tyme be as it hathe byn, and men be as thei have byn; but if tyme be as it oughte to be, and men reformed as men shoulde be, then I nothinge doubte but that I speake no less wyselie then boldelie; and I truste I shall easelie finde pardon: si hominibus placere studerem, etc. I speake as a frende, and not as an ill-willer; therfore to be borne with. Plinius junior hathe this sayinge: Apud amicos aeque grata esse debet simplicitas dissentientis, quam auctoritas probantis. It is recorded of Augustus Casar, that on a tyme he satt in judgment seate, and, beinge moved with coller and anger, was aboute to condemn manye: quod cum animadvertisset Maecenas, nec posset ad eum accedere, he tooke a peece of paper, and wrote these twoe wordes, surge, carnifex! the which when the good emperour had reade, not beinge carryed with the wisdome of his owne conceyte (for then woulde he never have considered that thei had proceded from a frende, but from a malitious and hatefull mynde, and so have bine more kindled), but patientlie accepted of them, and immediatelye rose from judgment and departed, and after better advice altered his mynde and purpose. *Nowe, I praye you here consyder my mynde and intente, and judge you whether of that which goethe before I did not alleage in my apoligie and defence for to be borne with; for here I call heaven and earthe to witnesse, had not my memorye failed me, I woulde have stoode longer, and have delated, after my homelye maner, this doinge of Maecenas and Augustus; and have requested you, that if an emperoure who shoulde have stode muche of his estimation and credytt, and therefore hardelye shoulde have digested so rude a cutt, yet layde aside his owne wisdome, and toke his credytt not to be impaired to followe the advyce of his frende, howebeit it was verye homelye; that I, speakinge with no lesse frendlye mynde, might not be accused, or, at the hardest, be so delte with as I shoulde be arreigned for geveing, as I then was, and yet am, inwardlie perswaded, as profitable warninge (yt followed). Unde apud homines, so faire and smoothe wordes, and so small performance of dedes; a great poynte of worldlie wisdome to speake faire, and promise muche, and performe nothinge. A heathen man saide, worldlie wiselye, thoughe heathenlye folishelye, qui nescit dissimulare nescit vivere; a lesson practised of dyvines. It was wonte to be called courte hollye water: I would it were further removed from colledges. There ought to be no diffidence, mistruste, or suspicion in [suche]. And we are here joyned together in a verye streight societye; but he which will live here must put in practise the verse wlnch is fayned of Esoppe to have byn songe of the birde when she escaped the snare of the fowler. The verse is this:Crede parum, tua serva, et quae periere relinque. Antigonus the kinge is reported, that with a lowde voyce he prayed God dailie that he mighte be defended agaynste his frendes; and beinge demaunded whie he did not rather praye to be protected againste his enemyes, ab illis, inquit, qui palam hostes sunt, possum ipsemet mihi mediocri diligentia cavere; sed ab amicis fucatis et perfidis non possum mihi ipse cavere, sed Deo protectore est opus. Our tyme is answerable to the dayes of Mycheas, and to the tyme wherein Jeremye lyved. Thone, namelye Mycheas in his 7 chap., saithe, Noli credere amico, et ab ea quae est in sinu tuo caveto. Jeremye, in the 9th, Unusquisque a proximo suo se custodiat, etc. And there, accordinge to the phrase of the prophet, I saide that we taughte our tonges to speake lyes; nay, we ar so farr proceded that we nede not to learne. Trajanus the emperoure was founde so juste and true in all his doinges, that it is geven unto him for his praise that he never promised thinge which he did not performe, and hereuppon he was called verissimus; but if our deedes be examined by our wordes, I assure you, that as he was in the superlatyve degree called verissimus, so some of us in the superlative degree maye be called falsissimi. Heavenlye wisdom hathe willed us to speake the truthe one man to another. What is the cause whie some men doe now alowe that which before they have greatlye disalowed and misliked? Wisdome in their owne conceyte. You are not ignorant, obsequium amicas, veritas odium parit. It is not the leaste poynte of wisdom with them scire uti foro. These fellowes ar like unto Tullye, who beinge demaunded why, when Pompey had the government, he defended the authoritie of him and the senate, and when Caesar bare rule, he likewise defended his dictatorship, answered: Prudentis est, mutata velificatione, non semper idem dicere seu sentire. These seame wise to themselves; but howe soever thei seame to be wise, and manye are so accompted, they are, in deede and in respecte of heavenlie wisdom, starke fooles. Wooe be to you that saye good is evill, and evill is good: it is the greateste poynte of wisdome that maye be to beware of suche.
Whence is it that the schollers, etc.: but of that, or anye thinge ells spoken in the treatise before more to that is set downe ut supra, no offence was taken, and therefore not written.
This is the trew copye of those wordes spoken in the chaple in a private exercise about the moneth of July last past, for the which the master found himselfe greaved, and convented me before the seniors of our house; who (as they have sayed it, with the same treuth I hope that they stand redy to depose it) for quietnes sake, and to pacifye the master, rather then for any offence by me commytted, did agree to punish me iiijs.; and for shew of offence declared in ther decree, that for naming estates by the name of master and seniors, not esteming the trespas done unto them, I was to be reproved for offending him: how justly, I leave it to your lordshipes consideratione.
Your lordshipes ever,
Mauryce Faukner. [Endorsed.] Jul. 1576.
* Theis words are here put as recorded by the seniours from my mouth, for further declaration of speches going before, which they required an interpretatione of, because the master toke himselfe discredited by that I sayed, surge, carnifex, etc.

Faulker’s 16 Dec 1576 sermon isn’t on the web, as far as I can see. Pity! It caused him to go to jail.

From the same source as above, here is is the letter from Maurice Faulkner to Lord Burghley, who seems to have had oversight over the university. He’s pleading that Burghley read the text of his 16 Dec 1576 sermon and make up his own mind whether he should be in jail. He’s been locked up over a month, this is 25 Jan 1576 (which, since this was the Julian calendar, was more than a month after 16 Dec 1576.)

[From MS. Laiwd. no. 24, art. 19.]
To the ryght honorable my good lord, lord Burley, lord treasurer of
Non essem vobis (honoratissime domine) scriptis meis molestus, si non eo me dura cogeret necessitas, praesertim quum non sim nescius quantis semper reipublicae curis premeris. Urgente tamen me mea miseria, concedas quaeso ut inter caeteras curas locum apud vos habeat causa nostra, quam hujusmodi esse paucis accipies. Concionem habui (honoratissime domine) decimo sexto Decembris in ecclesia Beatae Mariae, cujus ratione ex jussu et mandato commissionariorum in carcerem seu custodiam sum detrusus et adhuc detineor, rogatu seu querela doctoris Still, qui ad se violenter generalia a me dicta et prolata trahit. Qualia autem ea sunt (quum nec mihi bene constet, nec de eodem semper me accusat), quoniam ad vos deferre nequeam integram et perfectam concionem, honori vestro descripsi. Accipias itaque rogo non minus fideliter vestras in manus traditam, quoad verum et simplicem sensum, quam a me tunc prolatam, uti attestor Deum, et eam quam tum nactus sum congregationem. Legas quaeso, atque sic judices: et ne prolixius apud honorem vestrum aut verbis aut precibus quam par est contendam. Loquatur pro se causae nostrae aequitas, quam vestrae fidei et prudentiae committo. Deus optimus maximus ecclesiae, reipublicae, et collegio Johannis, honorem vestrum quam diutissime servet incolumem.
25 Januarii.
Honoris tui studiosissimus,
Mauritius Faukner.

What happened to Faulkner after this isn’t clear. Faulkner had been appointed as Rector of Eversholt earlier in 1576, having been granted the post by Queen Elizabeth I, but clearly he was still active in the university. A new rector was appointed in Eversholt in 1578.

These were tempestuous times for priests. The remains of Edmund Grindal: successively Bishop of London and Archbishop … By Edmund Grindal, shows how the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less, was being ordered about by the queen and by Burghley, and was in some danger of being thrown in jail himself on 16 Dec 1576.

Leave a comment for publication