Notes on the 39 Articles and the 42 Articles

I don’t understand religious matters too well. But I assume (like Angus MacIntyre in 1994) that in The Hunting of the Snark, the Baker’s 42 boxes may stand for Thomas Cranmer’s 42 Articles.

So I took some notes (in the year 2014) about these Articles as well as about the 39 Articles of the Anglican church, which (WP) “were not intended as a complete statement of the Christian faith, but of the position of the Church of England in relation to the Catholic Church and dissident Protestants.”

See also:




More about the 42 Articles (reddit 2016):


“… By 1900, the Anglican Church had altered dramatically. Though still the established national church in England, it had lost most of its civil advantages over other religious groups, and it had been disestablished in Ireland. The internal management and administration had improved considerably, and the clergy provided a more pastoral service which included greater participation on the part of their congregations. Most notably, the differing shades of opinion in the earlier Anglican Church had polarised into three internal sects which operated against a background of competition rather than consensus: the High Church Anglo-Catholics, the Low Church Evangelicals, and the Broad Church Liberals.

Though I have described the revolution as “bloodless”, it was not without battles. The most damaging was the one between traditional religious doctrine and the new moral and scientific discoveries which evolved throughout the nineteenth century. The dichotomy between faith and science brought about a national crisis of faith, the ramifications of which still persist to this day. This crisis reached its apogee in the middle years of the nineteenth century, at the very time when Dodgson was considering his vocation for the priesthood. …”

By Michael O’Connor,, originally published in Impossible Things, Jabberwocky, the Journal of the Lewis Carroll Society, dated Winter 1993/94, Vol. 23, No.1


In 1552, shortly before the early death of Edward VI, Thomas Cranmer wrote down 42 articles, a protestant doctrine. In Henry Holiday’s depiction of the staple of some of the Baker’s 42 boxes piled up outside of the window of the Baker’s uncle’s room, the numbering of the boxes #27, #41 and #42 is visible. In Cranmer’s 42 articles this would correspond to:

#27. The Wickedness of the Ministers doth not take away the effectual Operation of God’s Ordinance. Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometime the evil have chief authority in the ministration of the Word and sacraments: yet forasmuchas they do not have the same in their own name but do minister by Christ’s commission, and authority: we may use their ministry both in hearing the Word of God, and in the receiving the sacraments. either is the effect of God’s ordinances taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God’s gifts diminished from such, as by faith, and rightly receive the sacraments ministered unto them, which be effectual because of Christ’s institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men. Nevertheless it appetaineth to the discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of such (evil ministers), and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences, and finally, being found guilty by just judgement, be disposed.

#41. Heretickes called Millenarii. They that go about to renew the fable of Heretickes called Millenarii, be repugnant to holy Scripture, and caste themselves headlong into a Jewish dotage.

#42. All men shall not be saved at the length. They also are worthy of condemnation, who endeavour at this time in restore the dangerous opinion that all men, by they never so ungodly, shall at length be saved, when they have suffered pains for their sins a certain time appointed by God’s justice.


1553: The Forty-Two Articles are imposed on the Church of England, along with a new Catechism and Primer of a decidedly reformed protestant orientation.

A royal mandate requires all clergy, schoolmasters and university members upon taking degrees to subscribe to the XLII Articles. They are written by Thomas Cranmer, but never receive the consent of Convocation and are never enforced by law.

The Forty-Two Articles of 1553 have four additional articles of an eschatological nature, namely on the resurrection of the dead, on the condition of the souls of the departed, on the millenarian heresy, and on eternal damnation of the wicked. All four were dropped at the revision of 1563 which produced the Thirty-Eight Articles. The addition of article XXIX on the manducatio impiorum achieved the final number of the XXXIX Articles of the Church of England.

In 1563, Convocation met under Archbishop Matthew Parker to revise the Articles. Convocation passed only 39 of the 42, and Queen Elizabeth I reduced the number to 38 by throwing out Article XXIX. In 1571, the 29th Article, despite the opposition of Bishop Edmund Guest, author of Article XXVIII, was inserted. The language of Article XXIX is based on the writings of Saint Augustine.

Source 2014:


List of those of who reject traditional hellism
Post by pog
Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:44 am
Modern, 20th-21st centuries (death post 1900)

Convinced Christian Universalists

Carrol, Lewis, pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 –1898), English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. The author of the famous Alice in Wonderland . No evidence seen to date to of explicit expression of universalism by him. However, he was a very close friend of George MacDonald and in 1862, seemingly as a result of Rev. H.B. Wilson being charged with heresy for questioning eternal punishment, Carrol eschewed attendance at St Mary Magdalene, the prestigious University Parish Church and instead travelled each Sunday to London to attend St Peter’s Church in Vere St (just off Oxford Street), where the incumbent was the radical and controversial hopeful universalist F.D. Maurice. Some have seen he author’s tolerant and equable universalism in the famous races which follow under the Dodo’s presidency in Alice. ‘At last’ the Dodo said, ‘everybody has won, and all must have prizes’ (Alice in Wonderland). Carroll’s diary for July 20 1862 reads: ‘Morning and afternoon at Vere St. Mr Maurice preached both times. I like his sermons very much’ (Carroll’s diary for July 20 1862).

Source 2014:
Source 2018:

Remark: I think that “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.” has nothing to do with religious issues. It probably is related to C.L. Dodgson’s The Principles Of Parliamentary Representation (1884), where “the number of unrepresented Electors should be as small as possible.”


Rule #42 made up with clauses to silence remonstrance:

The helmsman used to stand by with tears in his eyes; he knew it was all wrong, but alas! Rule 42 of the Code, “No one shall speak to the Man at the Helm,” had been completed by the Bellman himself with the words “and the Man at the Helm shall speak to no one.“ So remonstrance was impossible, and no steering could be done till the next varnishing day. During these bewildering intervals the ship usually sailed backwards.

Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark, Preface (compare to Article 42 in Thomas Cranmer’s Forty-Two Articles)

At this moment the King, who had been for some time busily writing in his note-book, cackled out ‘Silence!’ and read out from his book, ‘Rule Forty-two. ALL PERSONS MORE THAN A MILE HIGH TO LEAVE THE COURT.’ Everybody looked at Alice.
‘I’m not a mile high,’ said Alice.
‘You are,’ said the King.
‘Nearly two miles high,’ added the Queen.
‘Well, I shan’t go, at any rate,’ said Alice: ‘besides, that’s not a regular rule: you invented it just now.’
‘It’s the oldest rule in the book,’ said the King.
‘Then it ought to be Number One,’ said Alice.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, chapter XII


Some links related to Thomas Cranmer (from my reddit postings in 2016):



parent page | Snark and Article 42 (Karen Gardiner) | Article 42 in the 42 Articles | From rule 42 to rule 51 in Germany
reddit: 2016, 2017-09-19, updated: 2023-01-21

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