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Nag’s Head Consecration


On the passing of the first Act of Uniformity in Queen Elizabeth’s reign, fourteen bishops vacated their sees, and all the other sees, except Llandaff, were at the time vacant. The question was how to obtain consecration so as to preserve the succession called “apostolic” unbroken, as Llandaff refused to officiate at Parker’s consecration. In this dilemma (the story runs) Scory, a deposed bishop, was sent for, and officiated at the Nag’s Head tavern, in Cheapside, thus transmitting the succession.

⁂ Such is the tale. Strype refutes the story, and so does Dr. Hook. We are told that it was not the consecration which took place at the Nag’s Head, but only that those who took part in it dined there subsequently. We are furthermore told that the Bishops Barlow, Scory, Coverdale, and Hodgkins, all officiated at the consecration.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Nabo or Nebo
Nabob (generally called Nabob)
Nabonassar or Nebo-adon-Assur
Naboth’s Vineyard
Nadir Shah
Nag, Nagging
Nag’s Head Consecration
Nail (For want of a)
Nail fixed in the Temple (of Jupiter)
Nail in One’s Coffin
Nail One’s Colours to the Mast (To)