The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

XII. The English Pulpit from Fisher to Donne



The best complete survey of Christian preaching is the art. Predigt by Schian in Hauck-Herzogs Realencyklopädie, vol. XV. A good outline is given in A History of Preaching, A.D. 70–1572, by Dargan, E. C., 1905.

For the later medieval sermon see Gasquet, F. A., The Eve of the Reformation (3rd ed., 1905), and The Old English Bible (2nd ed., 1908); Neale, J. M., Mediaeval Preachers (1856); Baring Gould, S., Post-Mediaeval Preachers (1865): and the ridicule by Erasmus in Encomium Moriae.

For the reformation period: of general ecclesiastical historians, Dixon gives most attention to the preachers. The best special account is Sketches of the Reformation and Elizabethan age taken from the contemporary Pulpit, by Haweis, J. O. W., 1844. See also Puritan Preaching in England, by Brown, John. The most important regulations about preaching are given in Documents illustrative of English Church History, compiled by Gee, H., and Hardy, W. J., 1896.

Contemporary views of the proper methods of preaching may be found in Erasmus, Ecclesiastes sive concionator Evangelicus, Basel, 1535; Amandi Polani De Concionum sacrarum methodo, Basel, 1574; William Perkins, Prophetica, sive de sacra et unica ratione concionandi, Cambridge, 1592 (translated as The Art of Prophesying, 1606); Matthaei Sutlivii (i.e. Sutcliffe, 1550?–1629), De concionum formulis, 1602. For a later criticism see Bishop Burnet, Of the Pastoral Care, chap. IX.


Andrewes, Lancelot. XCVI Sermons … published by his Majesties speciall Command. Folio. 1629. 2nd ed., 1631; 3rd, 1635.

—— The Moral Law expounded … whereunto is annexed 19 Sermons … upon Prayer.… Also 7 Sermons on our Saviours Tentations. 1642.

—— ’A[char] Sacra; or a collection of posthumous & orphan Lectures delivered at St. Paul’s and St. Giles his church. 1657.

—— Collected Edition by Wilson, I. P. (Anglo-Catholic Library.) 5 vols. Oxford, 1841–3.

—— Index of texts, & general index to sermons, by Bliss, J. (Anglo-Cath. Libr.) Oxford, 1854.

See, also, a lecture by Church, R. W., in Masters in English Theology, 1877, and biographies by Ottley, R. L., 1894, and Whyte, A., 1896.

Bancroft, Richard (1544–1610). A Sermon preached at Paules Crosse the 9 of Februarie, being the first Sunday in the Parliament, anno 1588.

Becon, Thomas (1512–67). A new Postil conteinyng most godly & learned sermons upon all the Sonday Gospelles. 1566.

Bilson, Thomas (1547–1616), bishop of Winchester. The effect of certain Sermons touching the full Redemption of Mankind. 1599.

Bradford, John. A Sermon on Repentance. 1553.

—— Two Sermons. (The above, with one on the Lord’s Supper.) 1574.

—— Writings. Parker Soc., ed. Townshend, A. Cambridge, 1848.

Broughton, Hugh (1549–1612). An Exposition upon the Lord’s Prayer … preached in a Sermon at Oatelands.… Aug. 13, 1603. 1613 (?).

—— The Works of the great Albionean divine renownd in many nations for rare skill in Salems and Athens tongues, & familiar acquaintance with Rabbinical learning. 4 tomes, folio. 1662.

Cole, Thomas (d. 1571). A godly & learned sermon, made … before the Queens majestie, the first of Marche, 1564. 1564.

Colet, John. Oratio … ad Clerum in Convocatione, anno 1511.

—— The Sermon … made to the Convocacion at Paulis. Berthelet, T., 1511 (?). See Maitland’s Early Printed Books, p. 239. Rptd. as A Sermon of Conforming & Reforming, with extracts from Andrewes and Hammond, and notes by Smith, T., Cambridge, 1661; also in The Phoenix, 1708, vol. II; in Life by Knight, Samuel, 1724 and 1823; and in Life by Lupton, J. H., 1887; 2nd ed., 1909.

Valuable information in Erasmi Epistolae (Leyden ed.), III, no. CCCCXXXV, and especially in annotated edition of the same by Lupton, J. H., The Lives of Vitrier & Colet, written in Latin by Erasmus of Rotterdam, in a Letter to Justus Jonas, 1883.

Dering, Edward. A Sermon preached at the Tower of London the xi day of December, 1569.

Dering, Edward. A Sermon preached before the Quenes Majestie the 25 Februarie, anno 1569.

—— Maister Derings Workes. 3 vols. 1590 and 1614.

Donne, John. See bibliography to Chap. XI.

See also, article on Izaak Walton’s Life of Donne in Religio Laici by Beeching, H. C., 1902, and Lightfoot, J. B., in Classic Preachers of the English Church, ed. Kempe, J. E., 1877.

Drant, Thomas (d. 1578?). A fruitfull … Sermon, specially encouraging Almes giving. 1572. [For his Latin verses, see D. of N. B.]

—— Three godly & learned sermons. 1584.

Fisher, John. This treatyse concernynge the fruytful saynges of Davyd the kynge & prophete in the seven penytencyall psalmes. Devyded in seven sermons was made & compyled … at the exortacion and sterynge of … Margarete, countesse of Rychemount & Derby, etc. Wynkyn de Worde, 1508 and 1509. Reprints in 1714, 1876 (Mayor), and 1888 (Vaughan, K.).

—— This sermon folowynge was compyled & sayd in the Cathedrall chyrche of saynt Poule …, the body beynge present of … kynge Henry the VII the X day of Maye … MCCCCCIX. Wynkyn de Worde. 1509.

—— Hereafter followeth A Mornynge Remembraunce had at the moneth minde of the noble prynces Margarete countesse, etc. Wynkyn de Worde, without date [1509]. Reprints edited by Baker, T., 1708; Hymers, J., 1840; Ashbee, C. R., 1906.

—— The sermon of … made agayn ye pernicyous doctryn of Martin luuther, 1521. Wynkyn de Worde, 1521 (?). Reprints 1528 (?), 1554, 1556, 1876 (Mayor).

—— A Sermon had at Paulis by the cmandment of … my lorde legate, & sayd by John¯ the byshop of Rochester, up ququagesom sonday concernynge certayne heretickes, whiche th were abjured for holdynge the heresies of Martyn Luther. Berthelet, T., 1525 (?).

(This sermon is sometimes confused with the preceding sermon. It is not included in any modern edition. The Brit. Mus. copy (C 53 b. 15) has several corrections, made in a contemporary hand, not Fisher’s, but perhaps at his instance.)

—— The English Works, now first collected by Mayor, John E. B. (E.E.T.S. Ex. Ser. XXVII), Part 1. (No other Part published.) 1876.

See, also, John Fisher, sein Leben und Wirken by Kerker, M., Tubingen, 1860; Vie du beinheureux Martyr J. F., texte anglais et traduction latine du XVIe siècle, publiés par Fr. von Ortroy, Brussels, 1893; and Life by Bridgett, T. E., 1888; 2nd ed., 1890.

Gilpin, Bernard. A Godly Sermon preached in the court at Greenwich the first Sonday after the Epiphanie An. Do. 1552. 1581. Rptd. in Life by Carleton, bp. G., 1629, and in Life by Gilpin, W., 1752. See Leaders in the Northern Church by Lightfoot, J. B., 1890.

Gosson, Stephen. The Trumpet of Warre. A sermon preached at Paules Crosse the seventh of Maie, 1598.

Grindal, Edmund (1519–83). A Sermon, at the ffuneral solemnitie of the most high & mighty Prince Ferdinandus. 1564. Rptd. in Remains, edited for the Parker Soc. by Nicholson, W., Cambridge, 1843.

Harspfield, John (1516–78). Concio quaedam habita coram Patribus et Clero in ecclesia Paulina Londini, 26 Oct. 1553.

Harpsfield, John. A notable & learned sermon or Homilie upon S. Andrewes Daye last past. 1556.

Hooker, Richard. See bibliography to Chap. XVIII in Vol. III.

See, also, Puritan and Anglican, by Dowden, E., 1900; Religio Laici, by Beeching, H. C., 1902; and Notes on English Divines, by Coleridge, S. T., 1853.

Hooper, John. An oversighte and deliberacion uppon the holy prophet Jonas: … Comprehended in seven Sermons. 1550.

—— A funerall oratyon made the xiiii day of January … 1549.

—— Early Writings of. Ed. Carr, S. Parker Soc. Cambridge, 1843.

Hutchinson, Roger (d. 1555). A faithful Declaration of Christes holy supper, comprehended in thre Sermons preached at Eaton Colledge … 1552. 1560.

—— Works. Edited for the Parker Soc. by Bruce, J. Cambridge, 1842.

Jewel, John. The Copie of a Sermon pronounced by the Byshop of Salisburie at Paules Crosse the second Sondaye before Easter … 1560. (The famous challenge was first given in a sermon at Paul’s Cross on 26 Nov., 1559; it was repeated in substance at court on 17 Mar., 1560, and at Paul’s Cross again on 31 Mar. It was then printed, as above.)

—— Certaine sermons preached before the Queens Majestie and at Paules Crosse. 1583.

—— Seven godly and learned sermons. 1607.

—— Works. With Life by Featley, D. 1609.

—— Works. Ed. for Parker Soc. by Ayre, J. 4 vols. Cambridge, 1845–50.

—— Works. Ed. by Jelf, R. W. 8 vols. Oxford, 1848.

Latimer, Hugh. See bibliography to Chap. II in Vol. III and add

—— Concio quam habuit … pus Worcestrie in cutu spirituali nono Junii, ante inchoation Parlamenti celebrati anno 28 … Regis Henrici octaui. Southwarke, 1537. (An English translation also in 1537.)

—— Certain Sermons made … before … Katherine, duchess of Suffolk, 1552, 1562 (edited by Latimer’s Helvetian Secretary, Augustine Bernher).

—— Sermons. (Everyman’s Library). With Introduction by Beeching, H. C. 1906.

See, also, on Latimer’s preaching, The Jewel of Joy (1553) by Thomas Becon, and chap. III in Leaders of the Reformation by John Tulloch, Edinburgh, 1883.

Lever, or Leaver, Thomas. A fruitfull Sermon made in Poules churche at London in the Shroudes the seconde daye of Februari. 1550.

—— A Sermon preached ye fourth Sonday in Lent before the Kynges Majestie … 1550.

—— A Sermon preached at Poules Crosse, the xiiii day of Decembre. 1550.

—— Three fruitfull sermons … made 1550, and now newlie perused by the authour. 1572. The only reprint is Edward Arber’s, 1870, 1901.

Longland, John. Johannis Longlondi dei gratia Lincolniensis Episcopi, Tres Conciones. (The first was delivered in the presence of Wolsey and the legate, 10 Jan., 1519, the second at the foundation of Cardinal college in 1525, the third before an assembly of bishops in Westminster Abbey on 27 Nov., 1527.) Printed by Pynson, R., 1527 (?).

—— Quinque Sermones, sextis quadragesimae feriis habiti coram illustrissimi regis Henrici VIII, 1517. Printed by Pynson, R. Re-issued with the preceding, 1527. Both are translated from the original English, probably by Thomas Caius.

Longland, John. A Sermd made before the kynge hys hyghenes at Rychemunte uppon good fryday, … MCCCCCXXXVI (Petyt?, 1536?). (An imperfect copy, without imprint, in the library of Trin. Coll. Camb.)

—— A Sermonde made before the Kynge, his majestye at grenewiche, upon good Frydaye, … MDXXXVIII. Thomas Petyt, undated, [1538?]. (The Brit. Mus. copy, C 53 k. 14, has on the flyleaf, Tho. Baker coll: Jo: Socius ejectus, “liber rarissimus,” and other MS. notes.)

Perkins, William. A godly and learned exposition upon the whole epistle of Jude, containing threescore & sixe sermons, preached at Cambridge. 1606.

—— A … exposition of Christ’s Sermon in the Mount. Cambridge, 1608.

—— The Workes … gathered. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1616–18.

Rainolds, or Reynolds, John. The prophecie of Obadiah opened & applyed in sondry sermons. Oxford, 1613. (Edited by Hinde, W., after Rainolds’s death, apparently from H.’s own MS. notes.) Rptd. Edinburgh, 1864.

—— The Discovery of the Man of Sinne … first preached in divers sermons to the Universitie & Cittie of Oxon. (Ed. by Hinde, W.) Oxford, 1614.

—— The Prophesie of Haggai interpreted & applied in sundry Sermons. Never before printed. 1649.

See Hallam’s appreciation of Rainolds in Hist. Eur. Lit. II, 86.

Sandys, or Sandes, Edwin. Sermons. (The Epistle to the Reader is not by the preacher.) 1585 and 1616.

—— Sermons. Edited for Parker Soc. by Ayre, J. Cambridge, 1842.

Smith, Henry. The Examination of Usurie in two sermons, taken by characterie, & after examined. (With a short preface, signed, Thine H. S.) 1591. These and several other sermons were printed in the author’s lifetime, and for twenty years after his death there was a remarkably large output of his sermons, singly, in small sets and in collected editions. On the use of shorthand for taking down sermons, see Encycl. Brit., art. Shorthand (Keith-Falconer, I.) and Watson, Foster, The English Grammar Schools, Cambridge, 1908.

—— The Sermons … gathered into one volume. 1592. Another edition, ed. by Thomas Fuller (with a short memoir). 1657. Reprint, 1866.

—— A selection of the Sermons. Edited by Brown, John. Cambridge. 1908.

Udall, or Uvedale, John (1560?–92). Amendment of Life, in three sermons. 1584. Reprint, 1596.

—— Obedience to the Gospell. Two Sermons. 1584 and 1596.

—— Peters Fall: two sermons. 1584.

Whitgift, John (1530?–1604). A Godlie Sermon preached before the Queenes Majestie at Grenewiche the 26 of March last past. 1574. Reprint in Parker Soc.’s ed., 1853.


Alcock, John (1430–1500), bishop of Ely. Mons perfectionis, otherwyse in Englysshe, The Hylle of perfeccyon. Wynkyn de Worde, 1497, 1499 and 1501.

Andrewes, Lancelot. A manual of the private devotions of …, Translated out of a fair Greek MS. of his amanuensis by R. D[rake]. 1648.

—— Preces Privatae, Graecè & Latinè. (Ed. by Lamphire, John.) Oxonii, 1675. Important modern editions: Newman, J. H., 1842; Meyrick, F., 1865–73; Medd, P. G., 1892 and 1899, and especially Brightman, F. E., 1903.

Babington, Gervase (1550?–1610), bishop of Worcester. A briefe Conference betwixt mans Frailty and Faith. 1584.

Bayly, Lewes (d. 1631), bishop of Bangor. The Practice of Piety. 1612. 51 editions by 1714. Printed also in French (1625), German (1629) and Welsh (1630). Modern edition by Webster, G., 1842.

Becon, Thomas. Davids Harpe ful of moost delectable armony newely strynged & set in tune by Theodore Basille [i.e. Becon, T.]. Mayler, J., 1541.

—— The Pomaunder of Prayer. 1558. (Another Book with this title was printed by W. de Worde in 1532.)

Bradford, John. Godlie Meditations. Hall, R. 1562.

Bull, Henry (d. 1575?). Christian Prayers & holie meditations … gathered. 1566 and 1570. Parker Soc. 1842.

Byfield, Nicholas (1579–1622). The Marrow of the Oracles of God. 1620.

Catherine Parr, queen of England. Prayers or Medytacions … collected out of holy woorkes. 1545.

Daye, Richard (1552–1607?). A Booke of Christian Prayers, collected out of the auncit writers, and best learned in our tyme. 1569.

Donne, John. Devotions upon emergent occasions, & severall steps in my sicknes. 1624. Pickering’s ed. 1840.

Elyot, Sir Thomas. A swete & devoute sermon of holy saynct ciprian of mortalitie of men. The rules of a christian life made by Picus erle of Mirandola, both translated into englyshe. 1539.

Featley, Daniel (1582–1645). Ancilla Pietatis, or, The Hand-Maid to Private Devotion. 1626.

Fisher, John. A spirituall consolation … to hys sister Elizabeth, at suche tyme as hee was prisoner. 1535 and 1577. Paris, 1640. E.E.T.S. 1876.

—— The wayes to perfect Religion, made by … being Prysoner in the Tower of London. 1535. E.E.T.S. 1876.

—— A godlie Treatisse declaryng the benefites, fruites, & great commodities of prayer. 1560. Modernised version, 1887. (De Fructu Orationis, 1575.)

Hunnis, William (d. 1579). The Seven Sobs of a Sorrowful Soule for Sinne. 1583.

Norden, John (fl. 1600). A pensive mans practise. 1584.

—— The Progresse of Piety, whose Jesses lead into the Harborough of heavenly Hearts-ease. 1591. Parker Soc. 1847.

Parsons, or Persons, Robert (1546–1610), S.J. The first booke of the Christian Exercise appertayning to resolution. (Preface signed R. P.) Rouen, 1582. Rptd. with additions, as A Christian Directorie, guiding men to their salvation, commonly called the Resolution … with Reproofe of the corrupt & falsified edition … by E. Buny. Rouen (?), 1585. [Edmund Bunny edited several protestant editions, from 1584 onwards, which Parsons described as “punished & plumed (which he termeth purged).”]

Primers, reformed and unreformed. See bibliography in Sarum and York Primers, with kindred books, by Edgar Hoskins, 1901.

Prose lives of Women Saints. Ed. Horstmann, C. E.E.T.S. 1886.

Rogers, Thomas (d. 1616). A pretious book of heavenly meditations, called a private talke of the soule with God. Written, as some thinke, by … S. Augustine, and not translated only, but purified also … by T. R. 1581.

Southwell, Robert, S.J. Mary Magdalens Teares. 1591.

—— The Triumph over Death; or, A consolatorie Epistle. 1596.

—— A hundred Meditations on the Love of God. Ed. Morris, J. 1873.

Sutton, Christopher (1565?–1629). Disce Mori. 1600. Ed. Newman, J. H., 1839.

—— Disce Vivere. 1603.

Symon, “the Anker of London Wall” (fl. 1512–29). (Sometimes identified with Whytford, R.) The Fruyte of Redempcyon … compyled … in Englysshe for your ghostly conforte that understande no latyn. W. de Worde, 1514.

Whytford, Richard (fl. 1495–1555?), “wretch of Syon.” A Werke for Housholders, or for them that have the gydyng or governaunce of any company. W. de Worde, 1530.

—— A werke of preparation … unto communion. Redman, R. (c. 1531).

—— The folowyng of Christ. (Based on version of Atkynson, W., 1503.) 1535 (?). Cawood, 1556. Edited by Raynal, W., 1872 and 1908.

—— (attributed to). The Psalter of Jesus. The earliest printed copy yet found is at the end of a Salisbury Primer, printed by Thielman Kerver, Paris, 1532. But, for earlier authority, see The Psalter of Jesus: from a MS. of the fifteenth century, preface signed H. G[ough], 1885. Also (written without knowledge of H. G.’s tract), Jesus Psalter: what it was at its origin, by Sole, S. H., 1888.