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Abp. Cant. Nullus cle

ricus nisi

nullus Pres

byter nisi



ANSELM, not value what the world thought of him, provided he could please his master. This Ralph, being first minister, made wretched havoc in the Church, seized the revenues upon a causidicus: vacancy, and set the preferments to sale. Malmesbury complains, that most of the clergy turned lawyers and farmers in firmarius. this reign. The historian goes on in his complaints upon the administration, tells us the greatest crimes might be bought off by making a friend at court, and that a thief might have his pardon at the gallows, provided he proposed any thing to the advantage of the exchequer. As for the troops on foot, there was no discipline among them; they were left to the liberty of free quarter, and lived at discretion upon the country. Then as to the court, it was altogether libertine, and out of order. The men were effeminate to the last degree, both in habit and gesture, appeared as if they were willing to put a force upon nature, and renounce their sex; and, in short, nothing but 279, luxury and license was then the fashion.


Eadmer, Hist. 1. 2. P. 54.

ry's coronation.

When king William heard of Urban's death, he seemed pleased with the news, but, inquiring of the disposition of pope Paschal, his successor, it was told him, he would be of Anselm's opinion in several things; upon which he replied, he might then live by himself. "For," says he, "I will have nothing to do with him, but move with the same freedom as formerly:" for, as Eadmer observes, he thought the pope, without his permission, had no manner of jurisdiction in England.

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Some few days after the unfortunate death of this prince, his brother Henry was crowned at Westminster by Maurice, bishop King Hen- of London. This king, on his coronation-day, restored the bishoprics of Canterbury, Winchester, and Salisbury, seized by his predecessor; the profits of the first being carried into the exchequer, upon the dispute between him and Anselm; and the other two, upon their respective vacancies. This new king the Church suppressed all the arbitrary usages of the late reign, promised the subject the privilege of king Edward's laws, together with the amendments of his father, the Conqueror. This promise to the Church and state was fortified with the solemnity of an oath, drawn up in writing, sealed with the king's seal, and pub1. 3. p. 55. lished through the kingdom.

His con

cessions to

and state.

Florent. Wigorn. ad an. 1100. Eadmer,

Things having this comfortable prospect, Anselm was solicited to return for England. Being come as far as Clugni, he received fresh encouragement: for here an agent of the king's

K. of

met him with an invitation to his archbishopric. At his arrival HENRY I. in Kent, the country received him with extraordinary respect. England. Some few days after, he went to court, and found the same See Rewelcome. The king excused himself for not staying for Anselm, cords, n. 14. and being crowned by another prelate: and thus far, matters went smoothly enough. But when Anselm was required to be re-invested by the king, and do the customary homage of his predecessors, he refused to comply, and made a report of the proceedings of the late synod at Rome; adding withal, “That if the king would please to receive the canons of that council, there would be a good understanding between him and his sovereign; but if the case happened otherwise, he did not believe his staying in England could turn to any account: for," says he, "if the king proceeds to give investitures to bishoprics or abbeys, I can neither communicate with him nor any person thus preferred. In short, unless the king thinks fit to comply with the see of Rome, I cannot stay in this country. And therefore I desire he would please to acquaint me with his resolution."

he Anselm refuses to take the investiture the from the

When the king heard this, he was very much shocked: looked upon it as a great prejudice to the crown to lose investiture and homage of the prelates. It is granted, privilege of investitures had been part of the prerogative royal, as far as Edward the Confessor. Anselm's non-compliance, therefore, upon this head, was looked upon as no better than encroachment: however, the king, being not well settled in the throne, was unwilling to come to a rupture; for if Anselm had quitted the kingdom in disgust, and gone into the interest of Robert, duke of Normandy, it was feared he might have been in a condition to have set the crown upon his head.


A. D. 1100.

the Easter

To gain time, therefore, and that the matter might be the August, more amicably debated, the controversy was to rest till Easter The matter following. And, in the mean time, both parties were to send respited till their agents to Rome, to try if they could persuade the pope to following. dispense with the decrees of the late synod, with respect to investitures; and, in the interim, the affairs of the Church in England were to continue in the same condition as formerly; only Anselm was to be restored to the profits and jurisdiction of his see. The archbishop had no opinion of the significancy of this proposal: however, to prevent misinterpretation, and that he might give the king no just ground to suspect him in

ANSELM, a foreign interest, he agreed to the motion, and so all things Abp. Cant. were quiet for the present.

King Henry marries the

princess Maud.

Some few days after, Maud, daughter of Malcolm Canmor by Margaret, Edgar Atheling's sister, was married to king Henry. Anselm was blamed by some people for being concerned in this solemnity: but that this censure was nothing but calumny appears plainly from Eadmer, who was thoroughly acquainted with the proceedings, and an eyewitness of the whole matter. The case stood thus: this young princess Maud was generally supposed to be a nun, because she had been educated in a religious house, and taken the veil upon her. This character made people censure the king's courting her. Maud applies to Anselm upon this occasion, and desires his advice. The archbishop objected the common report to her, and declared, that no motive whatsoever should prevail with him to disengage her from her vow to God Almighty. The princess denies there was any such engagement, and, if he refused to The case of believe her, offers to prove it in a full synod. It is true, she did not deny but that she had formerly worn a veil; that when nunneries to she was a girl, and under the discipline of her aunt Christina, that lady abbess had put a piece of black cloth upon her head to prevent her being outraged by the Normans; that she was forced to wear this habit against her inclination, and threw it 280. off when she was out of her aunt's sight; and that when her father happened to see her veiled, he broke out into a passion, and tore it in pieces, protesting that he designed her for marriage, and not for a nunnery. Having thus related the matter of fact to the archbishop, she desired him to consider it, and referred herself to his disposal.

those who

retired to

secure their virtue, determined.

Anselm thought the case too weighty to rest upon his single judgment, and therefore summons a synod to examine the point.

This synod meeting at Lambeth, there were several unexceptionable witnesses produced to prove the truth of the princess's allegations, and particularly the two archdeacons of Canterbury and Salisbury, who had been sent to the nunnery of Wilton, where Maud was educated, to inquire into the matter: these archdeacons, I say, made their report, that they had thoroughly examined the nuns of the house, and that they had all declared, that what the young princess had told the archbishop was exactly true. The archbishop therefore conjures the synod to consider the case with all imaginable care; and that no re

K. of

gards, but those of truth and conscience, might have any in- HENRY I. fluence upon them; that the question might be so unexception- England. ably determined, that the precedent might give no occasion to mislead posterity; and that both religion and private liberty might have their right. When the archbishop had given this direction, he withdrew; and, being afterwards brought in, at the request of the house, they made their report of their resolution; and told him, that upon a full inquiry, they were ready to make good that the princess Maud was under no necessity of being a nun, but that she might fairly dispose of her person as she thought fit. That though this point might easily be proved from the topics of reason and equity, yet they should rather insist upon the authority of his predecessor, Lanfranc, who was of the same opinion in a parallel case.

When William, duke of Normandy, first made himself master of this country, a great many of his soldiers thought their conquest gave them a right to everything; that they might do what they pleased with those that were too weak for them; and that not only the estates, but the wives and daughters of the English, were part of their property: by this principle they practised as far as they could reach. Several women, therefore, to prevent ill usage, retired to nunneries, and took the veil upon them. Now after the heat of the war was over, the troops put under discipline, and things began to be settled, the question was put to Lanfranc, whether he thought those women who had fled for sanctuary to the nunneries, and taken the veil for their security, were obliged to continue in the monasteries, or not? To determine this point, that archbishop called Vid. Spelm. a national council, in which it was decreed, that those women, 2. p. 7. who had made use of the expedient above-mentioned to preserve their honour, ought to be valued for making so virtuous a provision, and not forced to be nuns against their will.

Having thus reported the precedent under Lanfranc, the synod told Anselm, that many of themselves were present at this determination; that it was approved by men of character and distinction in the Church, and therefore they desired to be governed by it in the present affair; in defence of which they argued à fortiori, and affirmed, that the princess Maud's allegations were better supported than the instance under Lanfranc; because the veil was perfectly forced upon her, which cannot be so fully alleged in the other case.



Concil. vol.

Abp. Cant.

Eadmer, Hist. Nov. 1. 3. p. 56, 57, 58.


Paris mis


When Anselm heard these reasons, he was satisfied with the judgment of the synod, and so the matter was concluded.

And now, all difficulties being removed, the princess Maud was married to the king. And, to prevent calumny and misreport, when the wedding was solemnized, and a great appearance of the nobility and people were crowding about the church, Anselm, seating himself higher than the rest, gave the company an account of what was lately decreed in the synod, and asked them, if they had any thing to object against it: to which they unanimously shouted, that the matter was rightly settled. Thus far Eadmer, who, as I observed, was an eyewitness of what passed.

From hence it appears how much Matthew Paris, who wrote in the reign of Henry III., was mistaken in this relation. This historian reports, that queen Maud married against her will; that she declared herself a nun; that she was perfectly overruled and tired out by her friends and relations; that she was prevailed on by the suggestion of politic considerations, by the prospect of uniting the Norman and English royal families, and that this match was the only expedient to make the latter acquiesce, and settle the government and that, after all, her conscience was still unsatisfied; that she engaged with great Matt. Paris, reluctance, and threw out a barbarous wish against her issue, Hist. Major, in case she had any. Thus far he: but, as this circumstance of her making an ill wish is by no means suitable to the character of that admirable princess, so neither has the pretence of her being a nun any truth in it.

p. 58.

A. D. 1100.
The arch-

bishop of

disowned by

This year, Guido, archbishop of Vienne, came into England, with a commission from the pope, to be legate in the whole island. This was looked upon as an authority prima imprescharacter sionis, and everybody was much shocked at it. It being a thing the English never heard of, as Eadmer speaks, that any person should Church. represent the pope in England, excepting the archbishop of Canterbury. For this reason, Guido's character was universally disowned; neither was he allowed to exercise it in any one instance.


Eadmer, 1. 3. p. 58.

Thus, we see, the English Church stood upon their ancient right, and would not submit to every imposition of the court of Rome. They did not offer to disprove Guido's commission, nor question the truth of his credentials, but refused him upon the score of an unprecedented authority.

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