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handed down to us, their unworthy successor, that the more HENRY I. K. of Eng. weighty business of the Church should be managed or reviewed by the prelates of our see. But you, notwithstanding the premises, have settled the business relating to bishops, without so much as consulting us; and yet the martyr, pope Victor, has determined, that notwithstanding it is lawful for the bishops of a province to examine the impeachment of one of their order, yet they are not allowed to make any decision without application to the bishop of Rome.' Pope Zepherinus likewise, who was a martyr, declares, that the trial of bishops, and other business of the greatest consequence, was to be reserved to the cognizance of the apostolick see;' but you will not suffer the oppressed to make their appeal to us, notwithstanding it is decreed by the holy fathers in council, that all persons aggrieved should have the privilege of appealing to the Roman see. You venture to set your conscience aside, and meet in councils upon your own authority; though Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, has otherwise informed you. 'We very well know,' says this father, that in the general council of three hundred and eighteen bishops at Nice, it was unanimously resolved, that no councils ought to be held without pre-acquainting the bishop of Rome.' This decision has been since confirmed by several holy popes, who have annuled all councils otherwise managed or concerted. You see, therefore, you have very much failed in your regards, and encroach on the authority of the holy see; and that it is part of the duty of our station, to be satisfied in the merit of the person, before we bestow the episcopal character upon him, lest, by laying on our hands suddenly, we contradict the apostle's command, and make ourselves partakers of other men's sins:' 'for,' according to St. Leo,' he that promotes an unworthy person to the dignity of a bishop, is very injurious to himself.' But you have been so hardy as to make translations of bishops without any application to us. This liberty, as we very well know, is altogether unwarrantable; the regulation of such affairs being not to be undertaken but by an authority from the holy see of Rome. However, if for the future, you are willing to pay due deference to the apostolick see, we shall treat you as brothers


RALPH, and sons, and oblige you with any favours which are proper Abp. Cant. and practicable. But in case you resolve to persist in your obstinacy, we shall then, like the apostles, 'shake off the dust' of our feet against you; and, looking upon you as revolters from the Catholic Church, consign you over to the Divine vengeance: for,' as our Saviour declares, he that gathereth not with me scatters, and he that is not for me is against me.' God Almighty so preserve you in his favour, through the mediation of our communion and government, that at last you may have the enjoyment of the unchangeable unity of the blessed Godhead."


A. D. 1115. Eadmer, Histor. 1. 5. p. 114.

Brief re marks upon

the letter.

I have translated this letter at length, because of the remarkableness of it; for from hence it appears that the English prelates held councils, and managed the discipline and government of the Church within themselves; and in case of contest, they looked upon a national synod as the last resort of justice. The matter was determined at home; there was no appeal in such cases, nor any recourse to a foreign authority. The suffragans, at their consecration, made only a profession of canonical obedience to their primate, without any reservation of submission to the pope: neither does it appear that any sees, excepting those of York and Canterbury, made any acknowledgment to his holiness: neither was any English prelate obliged to attendance at Rome, except the two metropolitans, who were to go thither for their pall.

It is true the pope complains of this independent management; his expostulations run high, and his claims are very magnificent; but when he comes to make out his title, his proofs are defective; his testimony from the council of Nice is counterfeit; but this is not the first time that the Nicene synod has been misreported by the bishops of Rome. To proceed: the pope founds the main pillar of his authority upon the decretal epistles of his predecessors. Now, to make this good evidence, it should be proved, in the first place, that the popes who published these decretal epistles, were the legislative power of the Church, and had sufficient authority to declare their own privileges; for, without all this prerogative in their character, they might probably lay claim

to more than was their due; but to prove the bare affirmation HENRY I. K. of Eng. of a pope, a sufficient evidence of his right, is, I conceive, no easy task to perform. But,

Secondly,-Supposing this difficulty surmounted, unless the records are good, and the decretals belong to the popes pretended, the title must necessarily sink, and the cause miscarry. Now, that the decretal epistles are mere forgeries is unquestionably evident; for, first, the barbarity of the language does by no means agree with the politeness of the age they pretend to: besides, the uniformity of style, and the same obsolete manner, is an argument they were not the letters of several popes, but patched up by some single author. Farther, the Scriptures are frequently cited in the vulgar translation, which is a demonstration they were counterfeited after St. Jerome's time. To go on neither St. Jerome, the popes Innocent and Leo I., knew anything of them; and, which is more, they are all left out by Dionysius De Marca Exiguus, who about eleven hundred years since made a very Sacerd. et exact collection of the popes' epistles. Now this author imper. 1. 3. begins his collection with Siricius, who was not pope till the latter end of the fourth century. To which we may add, Anton. Authat some passages in the Theodosian code are cited in these gustin. in pretended decretals, though it is certain the popes, to whom Capitula they are said to belong, lived two or three ages before the Theodosian code was ever published.

de Concord.


Notis ad


esse affirmare non

Bellar. de

1. 2. c. 14. Baron. An

865. sect. 8.

These objections are so insuperable, that Bellarmine had Indubitatas not the courage to maintain the authority of the decretal epistles against them, though he yields unwillingly, and is audeam. somewhat ambiguous in his acknowledgment. But Baronius Rom. Pont. is more clear and ingenuous, and gives them up in plain terms. Thus we see pope Paschal's authorities will by nal. ad An. no means bear the test. However, it is possible this Baronius prelate, living in a less enlightened age, might not be ap- and Bellarprized of the spuriousness of these records, for I am not up the dewilling to lay so gross an imputation upon his sincerity; cretal epibut then, what he gains in his honesty he must lose in his understanding, and his infallibility is utterly sunk in this charitable construction.

mine give


The king was somewhat shocked by the pope's letter, and sent for the bishops for their advice, upon this and some other points, in which the court of Rome had given

For instance; the pope had lately made cardinal Cono his legate, and sent him into France. This legate holding several provincial councils in that kingdom, suspended the bishops of Normandy for not appearing at the synods upon his third summons; and it seems, at last, he made use of the utmost rigour, and proceeded to excommunication. The king was much disturbed at this censure, and complained the pope had broken with him, and seized the privileges formerly granted to his father, his brother, and himself. By the way, the bishops of Normandy refusing to make their appearance at the legate's summons, and standing the censure of excommunication, is an argument they did not think themselves bound to such attendance. Things being thus perplexed, the English bishops advised the king to send an embassy to Rome, to expostu

Eadmer, Histor. 1. 5. p. 116.

RALPH, dissatisfaction. Abp. Cant.


The bishop late upon the occasion. This advice was followed, and of Exeter sent ambas- William, bishop of Exeter, being a person well known to sador to the pope, was dispatched thither; and though this prelate was blind, yet having formerly served to satisfaction under Eadmer, ib. that character, the king refused to excuse him from the 307. employment. And, notwithstanding Eadmer does not relate the event of this embassy, yet by Paschal's silence upon some heads, we may conclude the bishop partly succeeded in his negotiation; that the pope dropped something of his pretensions upon the English Church, and left the prince and clergy to the election of their own bishops; and thus, as bishop Godwin reports, by the dexterity of this prelate's conduct, misunderstandings were removed and matters In Episc. Exonien. adjusted.

Bernard, bishop of St.


This year Bernard, the queen's chaplain, was consecrated David's lays by the archbishop to the see of St. David's; the earl of claim to me- Mellent would have had the consecration performed in the jurisdiction. king's chapel, alleging a custom for that purpose. The archbishop denied the allegation, insisted that Canterbury was the place for that ceremony, and positively refused to Eadmer, ib. consecrate in the king's chapel. The king let the earl know he was mistaken; that it was no part of the prerogative royal to confine the archbishop of Canterbury to a place; but that he was at liberty to consecrate his suffragan where he pleased. At last, the queen being desirous to be present at the solemnity, the consecration was performed at West

minster Abbey, about the middle of September. And here HENRY I. Bernard made a profession of canonical obedience to the K. of Eng. see of Canterbury, before the archbishop and six suffragans: it is somewhat odd, therefore, that after the archbishop's death, he should deny his submission, set up for metropolitical and independent jurisdiction, and prosecute his claim at the court of Rome. But this dispute having been touched Godwin in Episc. Mealready, and being likely to come up afterwards, I shall mention it no farther at present.


See book 3. ad Ann.

The next remarkable occurrence is the death of Reinelm, 982. above. bishop of Hereford. Malmsbury gives this prelate a good character, and represents him as a person of great regularity and devotion. He was succeeded by Geoffrey of Dinan, or De Gest. Ludlow, who was consecrated at Canterbury with Ernulph, fol. 163. bishop of Rochester.

Pontif. 1. 4.

Eadmer, p. 117.

tina. A. V.

This year Turgot, bishop of St. Andrews, departed this The death life; this prelate wrote the History of the Church and Bi- of Turgot, bishop of St. shops of Durham to the year 1097, of which there is an an- Andrews. cient manuscript remaining in the Cotton Library. Simeon Sub-FausDunelmensis, a Benedictine and precentor of Durham, who lived in the same age, made very bold with Turgot's performance, and leaving out some few passages relating to Turgot's person, transcribed his book, and published it under his own name. Notwithstanding the conjecture of Pits and Bale, it is plain Turgot wrote his Annals or His- Selden, tory in Latin; as for his panegyrical account of king Mal- Decem colm and queen Margaret, that was most probably written Scriptores. in English.

Præfat. ad

ander's let

of Canter

Alexander, king of Scotland, gave the archbishop of King AlexCanterbury notice of Turgot's death. In his letter upon ter to the this occasion, he puts the archbishop in mind, that, accord- archbishop ing to ancient custom, the bishops of St. Andrews were bury. consecrated by none but the pope or the archbishop of Canterbury; that Lanfranc was the first who innovated in this matter, and remitted that part of jurisdiction to the see of York. The king declares his desire of restoring the church of St. Andrews to its ancient custom, and that the archbishop of Canterbury would assist him in that affair.

See Re


What answer the archbishop returned, is not mentioned cords, num. by Eadmer; however, it is certain the allegations in the letter were unsupported by matter of fact; the churches of

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