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Now Anselm and the king's agent took leave of the pope; HENRY I. the first returned to Lyons, and the other went forward for K. of Eng. England. The archbishop wrote a letter to inform the king of the proceedings at the court of Rome, and that it was not in his power to obey his highness's commands; he desired, therefore, the king would please to acquaint him whether he might have liberty of living in England upon other terms. If this was not permitted, the spiritual damage the people would suffer, by the absence of their archbishop, would not lie at his door.
Id. p. 76. While Anselm continued at Lyons, he received an ac- Anselm recount, in a letter, of the lamentable condition of the province turns to Lyof Canterbury: "that all places were overrun with violence he receives a and injustice; that the churches were harassed and op- ing letter presssed, the poor plundered, and the consecrated virgins from an abused. That if the archbishop had maintained the ancient monk. discipline, and acted up to the strength of his character, this disorder had not happened; that his quitting the kingdom was not the way to make the enemies of religion relent A. D. 1104. and recollect themselves; that the archbishop's conduct, upon this occasion, was somewhat unintelligible; that he that has undertaken the management of the helm, ought by no means to quit the vessel at the apprehension of a storm; at such a time the keeping of his post is more necessary than ever. It is possible at the great day he may be ashamed of his excessive caution, when he shall see so many brave governors of the Church at the head of their people; men who stood by their flocks in time of danger, and never gave way to the most formidable assault. How glorious, then, will be the memory of the holy bishop St. Ambrose, who made no difficulty to maintain the authority of his character to the emperor Theodosius's face, and refuse him entrance into the Church till he had qualified himself by repentance? What change in affairs might not such holy zeal, such heroick fortitude produce?" He proceeds to tell the archbishop, "that the blackest prospect of torture and death could not have excused his withdrawing himself. What, therefore, could be said, when this was none of his case. His liberty had not been taken from him, nor his person outraged; indeed, he seems to have been frighted out of the kingdom by the menaces of a single courtier; by thus going off, he had
ANSELM, left open the gates to the enemy, and let in the wolves Abp. Cant. upon the sheep." He takes the freedom to acquaint the archbishop," that this dispirited conduct had been very unfortunate in the precedent; that the courage of his suffragans sunk by their primate's faintness. Indeed, what is to be expected, when a general quits the field, and there is nobody to make head in a defence?" He therefore exhorts Anselm to come with all speed to his province, to remove the scandal of his caution, and appear for the relief of his charge. And to make these measures appear practicable, he tells him, a great many people will espouse the interest of religion, and stand by him.
1. 4. p. 77.
The person that wrote this letter was a monk of character, but Eadmer does not mention his name.
The king was strongly solicited for Anselm's return, but refused to consent, unless upon the former conditions. And to make his measures appear more justifiable, he sent another embassy to Rome, to try if he could prevail with the pope to bring Anselm to a submission; but the pope, instead of being gained, excommunicated the earl of Mellent, and some others of the English court, who had dissuaded the Id. p. 78, 79. king from parting with the investitures. However, the
pope declined pronouncing any censure against the king. Anselm, perceiving the court of Rome dilatory in their proceedings, removed from Lyons, and made the countess Adela, the Conqueror's daughter, a visit at her castle in Blois. This lady enquiring into the business of Anselm's journey, he told her, that after a great deal of patience and expectation, he must now be forced to excommunicate the The coun- king of England. The countess was extremely troubled tess of Blois for her brother, and wrote to the pope to procure an acagreement commodation, and persuaded Anselm to go along with her to Chartres.
between the king and
The king was now in Normandy, and had almost mastered the whole province. Duke Robert, after his refusing to be duke of Nor- king of Jerusalem, and coming off from the Holy War, mandy, loses great part began to sink in his reputation, and lose the authority of a of his duchy. governor; his subjects thought him too much abandoned to his ease, and that application and vigour were wanting in the administration. Eadmer reports, it was his piety and disengagement from the world, which made his subjects dis
relish him. In short, upon the king's appearing in the HENRYI. K. of Eng. country, almost all the great men broke their oath of allegiance, deserted their duke, and went over to him. And thus, by the strength of his purse, and the perfidiousness of the Normans, he had most of the towns and castles of that duchy put into his hands.
Idem. p. 80.
When the king was informed that Anselm designed to proceed to excommunication, he desired the countess, his The differsister, to bring him with her into Normandy, with a promise tween the of condescension in several articles; to this Anselm agreed, king and and waited on the king at a castle called l'Aigle: and here taken up in they proceeded a great way towards a good understanding, sure. and the king returned Anselm the revenues of his archbishoprick, but would not permit him to come into England, unless he promised to communicate with those who had lately received investitures, or given consecration upon such promotions. Anselm being not at liberty to consent to this condition, continued in France till the matter was laid once more before the pope.
In the meantime, the king was pleased the accommodation A. D. 1105. was thus forward; for now it was commonly reported in France and England, that the king would be shortly excommunicated; which might have proved of dangerous consequence at the present juncture; for the rigour of the administration had made the government a great many enemies. But this agreement disappointed the faction, and gave the subjects a better prospect. The king, perceiving his affairs re-established by this expedient, treated Anselm with great regard, made him frequent visits, and promised to dispatch his agents to Rome, and forward the archbishop's return home with all expedition. He likewise wrote into England, that Anselm might have no trouble given him, either in his tenants or estate, and that all those that held under him might enjoy their property without the least molestation.
And now the king returning into England, the agents were delayed in their journey to Rome; upon which Anselm received another reprimanding letter, for continuing so long beyond sea; for it seems some of the English imputed his absence to his own inclination.
The letter complains "that religion was in a lamentable declension; that all order and discipline were overborne; that
ANSELM, the bishops were perfectly governed by the directions at Abp. Cant. court, and misbehaved themselves in their function; that Another ex- the laity gave themselves all manner of liberty; in short, postulatory letter sent that all things were perfectly unhinged, and overrun with from England to An- injustice and dissolution of manners; that nobody had courage enough to stem the tide or remonstrate against the evil; and that all this misfortune was chiefly owing to the archbishop's absence."
Eadmer, p. 81.
Anselm, who was sensible his return into England ought not to be delayed, wrote to the king, to desire the agents might be sent to Rome with all expedition; and soon after William Warelwast and Baldwin began their journey. In the meantime, the English were hard pressed by the crown. The king having lately made a great progress in Normandy, resolved to push the advantage, and seize the whole duchy. To this purpose he came into England for a reinforcement; and having occasion for a great sum of money, the methods of collecting it proved very oppressive and arbitrary; and the country was harassed almost as much as if it had been overrun by an enemy, and lain under contribution. Those who wanted money to advance upon demand, had their houses plundered, and their goods sold; new claims and forfeitures were set up against the subject, and the courts of justice were so partial to the prerogative, that no person durst defend the title to his estate, or stand a suit against Idem. p. 83. the king.
Eadmer goes on with some other grievances, relating more particularly to the Church. He observes, that the priests and secular canons who had been enjoined celibacy by the late synod at London, had taken the opportunity of Anselm's absence, broke through the restraints of the council, and engaged themselves in marriage. The king made his advantage of this management, and forced them to fine for the liberty. All these projects falling short of the king's occasions, he set a tax upon every parochial church, and obliged the incumbent to pay it. And here, those who either wanted money to answer the demand, or refused to comply with so illegal an imposition, were haled to gaol, priests peti- and miserably handled.
A body of
tion the king
for redress of The king coming to London at this time, about two hungrievances, but without dred priests, putting on the habits in which they offi
ciated, addressed his highness for relief, but without HENRYI. K. of Eng.
And now the English bishops, who had sided with the Idem. p. court against Anselm, began to recollect themselves and grow sensible of their mistake; as appears by their letter directed to him into Normandy. In this letter, after having set forth the deplorable condition of the Church, they press him to come over with all speed, promise to stand by him 291. in the execution of his charge, and pay him the regard of a The English primate; it is subscribed by Gerard, archbishop of York; licit Anselm Robert, bishop of Chester; Herbert, of Norwich; Ralph, of to return. Chichester; Sampson, of Worcester; and William, elect of cords, num. Winchester.
Anselm expresses his satisfaction at the bishops' owning their misconduct, promising their assistance, and sending him an invitation; but acquaints them, withal, that it was not in his power to come over till he was farther informed of the proceedings of the court of Rome.
To go on: Anselm, being informed the king had fined the clergy for the breach they had made upon the late canons, wrote to his highness to complain of this stretch of his prerogative; he remonstrates, that the prince's interposing thus far in ecclesiastical affairs was unprecedented in the Church of God; that the correction of priests for misbehaviour against the canons, belonged to none but their respective ordinaries; that in case the diocesans neglected their duty, and were guilty of any omission, the archbishop of the province was to take cognizance of the matter. He therefore entreats the king not to carry his regale to this excess, and break in upon the government of the Church; that the money raised by such an indefensible expedient would both endanger his soul and prove unserviceable to his purpose. And lastly, he desires his highness to remember that he had taken him into his protection, and restored him to the profits and privileges of his archbishoprick: now, as he continues, the punishing the misdemeanours of the clergy was a peculiar branch of his jurisdiction; the spiritual administration and authority being more essential to his character than any temporal privilege or property whatsoever. Eadmer, At last, the king's and Anselm's agents return from Rome, p. 85. with a decision somewhat more agreeable than formerly; for