Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > No’lo Episcopa’ri. [I am unwilling to accept the office of bishop.]

 Nolle Pros’equi [Don’t prosecute]Nom. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
No’lo Episcopa’ri. [I am unwilling to accept the office of bishop.]
 
A very general notion prevails that every bishop at consecration uses these words. Mr. Christian, in his notes to Blackstone, says, “The origin of these words and of this vulgar notion I have not been able to discover; the bishops certainly give no such refusal at present, and I am inclined to think they never did at any time in this country.” When the see of Bath and Wells was offered to Beveridge, he certainly exclaimed, “Nolo episcopari:” but it was the private expression of his own heart, and not a form of words, in his case. Chamberlayne says in former times the person about to be elected bishop modestly refused the office twice, and if he did so a third time his refusal was accepted. (Present State of England.)   1
 


 Nolle Pros’equi [Don’t prosecute]Nom. 

 
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