William Proudlove was a respectable puritan minister, who, about the year 1562, became vicar of Fansley in Northamptonshire; and in 1577, he became rector of Lamport in the same county.} He united with his brethren in their private associations, and took an active part in promoting the desired ecclesiastical discipline; for which, in the year 1590, he was apprehended and cast into prison, where he remained a long time.^ He was often carried before the high commission and the star-chamber, when he underwent the severe scrutiny and examination of his ecclesiastical inquisitors; but refused the oath ex officio. On one of these occasions, the following interrogatories were proposed to him:
" Whether have not you put in practice that opinion or determination of those that labour for a discipline and government by eldership, whereby they hold, that a godly minister is not to rest in or obey the suspension or deprivation of bishops or their officers, as it is practised in the church of England ?—Whether were you suspended or excommunicated by your ordinary, and, nevertheless, did preach and execute your ministry, during such suspension or excommunication; and what moved you so to do ?— Whether have you besides the presentation by the patron,
• Strype's Whitgift, p. 291, 292. + See Art. CartwrijM.
and institution of the bishop, unto your late benefice, a trial, examination, ordination, calling, and approbation by some of your brethren and neighbouring ministers assembled in classes or conference? In what manner and form was it performed ? By whom, when, and where ?"* What could his tyrannical judges mean by these iniquitous proceedings, unless it was to force him to become his own accuser, and prove him guilty from his own confession ?