histories, which generally contained succinct biographies of
successive bishops, ancient and contemporary.7 These were not composed as
FATHERS, PASTORS AND KINGS
didactic works but principally as historical records. Yet their descriptions of
particular bishops at times assumed a distinctly hagiographic tone and, if only
for this reason, they will on occasion be cited in the course of this chapter.
One of the most noticeable features of seventeenth-centuryliterature on the
office of bishop is its marked tendency to reflect the