Nag's Head Story

A false historical legend purporting to describe the consecration of Matthew Parker, Elizabeth's Anglican archbishop, from whom all the Anglican clergymen derive their orders. The facts of his consecration were so obscured in mystery especially to the Catholic party, that they, in all good faith, gave credence to the tale and honestly endeavored to maintain it. According to the report, Matthew Parker and others, who were unable to obtain consecration from any Catholic bishop, while at the Nag's Head Tavern in Cheapside received consecration from Scory, the deprived Bishop of Chichester. Scory was supposed to have consecrated them by placing a Bible on the neck of each, saying, "Receive the power of preaching the Word of God sincerely." In such fashion were the Anglican Orders believed to have their origin. The story is a fable. Matthew Parker was actually consecrated in the private chapel of Lambeth, 1559, but his consecration was invalid because of the dogmatical and liturgical defects in the Ordinal used.

New Catholic Dictionary

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