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Henry, bishop of Winchester, had both the character and MAUD, authority of the pope's legate, and made Theobald very senEmpress. sible of his superiority upon this score, as this writer himself confesses.
Id. p. 128.
To proceed: about this time there was a synod held at A. D. 1139. Rome under pope Innocent II., at which Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, Simon, bishop of Worcester, Roger, bishop of Coventry, Robert, bishop of Exeter, and Reynald, abbot of Evesham, were present, upon a summons from the pope for that purpose. They are said to have received great satisfaction at this synod, and to have brought a copy of the canons into England at their return.
Now, since there was a representation of the English Wigorn. ad Church at this council, I shall mention one or two of the canons which have not occurred already.
By the twelfth canon, the truce called the Truce of God, or a cessation of arms, was to begin from Wednesday sunset to Monday sun-rising; and to continue from Advent to the octaves of Epiphany, and from Quinquagesima Sunday to the octaves of Easter. And if any person broke this truce, and refused to give satisfaction after the third admonition, the bishop of the diocese was to excommunicate him, and certify the excommunication to the neighbouring bishops. Neither was any bishop to admit the excommunicated person into communion under the penalty of deprivation.
The twenty-eighth canon takes notice, that, by the constitution of the ancient Church, vacant sees were to be filled up within three months; and decrees, that the canons of the chapter should not exclude the religious from having a share in the choice of a bishop; and that elections otherwise managed, should be reputed void.
The thirtieth and last canon declares the ordinations made by Anacletus and other schismaticks and hereticks, null and void.
This year, as Malmsbury reports, king Stephen began to Concil. shew his temper and discover his disaffection to the Church. Cossart. It was now strongly discoursed that Robert, earl of Glo- tom. 10. p. cester, and the empress his sister, were ready to embark for England. King Stephen being deserted at this juncture by a great many of the English, began to act in a very arbitrary manner, seized a great many persons of condition,
THEO- upon bare suspicion, forced them to surrender their castles,
The bishops At this time, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and his nephew, and Lincoln Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, were prelates of great figure imprisoned. and interest. Alexander had lately built Newark castle
Malmsb. Hist. Novell. 1. 2. fol. 102.
A quarrel at
for an ornament and defence of the diocese. Roger, who, it may be, was somewhat tinctured with the vanity of building, had built a palace at Sherburn, and another at the Devizes, in the figure of a castle. He had likewise begun a castle at Malmsbury, near the abbey church. And having procured a grant from king Henry, of the castle of Salisbury, he had made it a garrison for his own security.
Some of the temporal lords perceiving themselves outshone by the clergy in wealth and grandeur, grew envious at the disadvantage. Upon this disgust, they complained of the bishops to king Stephen; told him that the bishops' building of castles was an expensive ambition, very foreign to their character; that it was pretty evident all this was done to disserve and ruin the king; and that, when the empress made a descent, the prelates would not fail to put these places of strength into her hands. It was therefore the king's interest to be beforehand with them, and force them to deliver up their castles, otherwise his highness would repent his lenity when it was too late. King Stephen, though seeming to disregard these discourses, was not displeased with them, as appears by putting this advice in practice upon the first opportunity.
In the latter end of June, this year, there was convention of the nobility at Oxford, at which the two bishops above mentioned were present. The bishop of Salisbury, as Malmsbury reports from his own mouth, was very unwilling to make his appearance at court, and had a strong presage the journey would prove unlucky, which happened accordingly. For now fortune, if we may call it so, gave the king a handle to execute his design, and crush the prelates. The bishop's servants, and those belonging to Alan, earl of Bretagne, happened to quarrel about their quarters. The bishop of Salisbury's men conceiving themselves disturbed in their inn, rose from dinner, and ran out to the other party from words they came to blows, and swords'
drawing. In short, earl Alan's retinue was beaten, and MAUD, his nephew dangerously wounded. Several of the bishops' Empress. men were likewise wounded, and one gentleman killed. The king being glad of this opportunity, ordered the bishops to make their appearance at his court, and answer for the disturbance occasioned by their servants; and here the penalty put upon them, was to deliver up the keys of their castles as a security for their good behaviour: the two bishops were willing to submit to the fine which was customary upon such occasions, but endeavoured to avoid the surrendering their castles. However, by confinement Malmsb. and rugged usage; they were forced at last to comply with the king's pleasure.
ibid. fol. 102, 103.
These proceedings of the court were differently relished; some said that the bishops, in building castles, had exceeded the liberty allowed by the canons, and therefore were rightly served in being disseized of them. That it was their business to preach peace, and procure good understanding in the world, and not to build forts to secure themselves in their misbehaviour. Hugh, archbishop of Rouën, flourished strongly upon this head, and made use of all his rhetorick to justify the court. Henry, bishop of Winchester, the pope's legate and the king's brother, was on the other side. This prelate urged, that if the bishops had done anything unjustifiable, they were to be tried by the canons, and not by the common law: that the cause ought to be heard in a synod, and that unless judgment passed against them there, they could not be legally ousted of their estates: that it was too apparent the king was governed by the regards of interest in this affair; that the castles were built with the revenues of the Church, and stood upon Church lands, and therefore it was a great hardship to put them into the hands. of laymen, and especially of such laymen as had no good character, either for principles or morals. Such discourses. as these, the legate had the courage to urge frequently on the king, and pressed him to discharge the bishops, and put them in possession of their estates. At last, finding this way of soliciting signified nothing, he ordered a council to meet at Winchester the twenty-sixth of August, and 4 council at summoned the king to appear at it.
At the opening of the council, where the archbishop of BALD, Canterbury and most of the bishops were present, the
legate's commission was read; by which it appeared pope Innocent II. had given him that authority ever since the first of March, though the bishop had been so modest as to conceal his character for the greatest part of the time.
The legate complains of
The legate complained, in a Latin speech, of the indignity of putting the bishops under an arrest: that it was a put upon the lamentable case the king should be so far misled by ill men, two bishops.
as to violate the protection of his own court, and lay hands upon men of the highest character in the Church: that such measures were very dishonourable to a crowned head that the quarrel was principally against the bishops' estates; and that they were made guilty, only to be turned out of what they had: that these arbitrary strains of power were such an affliction to him, that he had rather run the utmost hazard, than suffer the episcopal dignity to be treated with such outrage and contempt: that he had frequently pressed the king to retrace this wrong step and make satisfaction, and that his highness had not refused him the convening of the council. He desired, therefore, the archbishop and the rest to consult upon the point, and come to a resolution about some expedient. And that, for his part, he should endeavour to put the orders of the council in execution: and that neither his relation to the king his brother, nor any prospect of prosecution or danger, should hinder him from doing his utmost in this affair.
While the legate was dilating upon this subject, the king sent some of the temporal lords to the council, to demand the reason of his being summoned thither? To this, the legate replied briefly, that the king, who was himself subject to the laws of Christianity, had no cause to be displeased at his being called by the ministers of Christ to make satisfaction for his late miscarriage; that such outrage to a holy character was altogether new and unprecedented in that age; that the imprisoning of bishops, and stripping them of their fortunes, used to be the business of none but Pagan princes: that things standing thus, the best thought he could suggest was, that the king should either defend his proceedings, or yield to the sentence of the canons. Be
sides, he was particularly obliged to favour the Church, be- MAUD, cause it was her interest, and not any military force, which made his way to the throne.
After the legate had delivered himself in this manner, the temporal lords withdrew, and returned soon after with the king's answer. They were attended by one Aubrey de Vere, a man learned in the law. This de Vere argued The profor the king, and laid what load he could upon Roger, the court debishop of Salisbury. He set forth, that this prelate had fended by Aubrey de failed very much in his behaviour to the king; that he had Vere. very seldom given his attendance at the court; and that his servants and dependents, presuming upon their master's interest, had been mutinous and turbulent. And here, amongst other instances, he declaimed upon the late rencounter at Oxford. He urged farther, that the bishop of Salisbury was a secret abettor of the king's enemies: that this disaffection, though managed with art, was discoverable by several instances, particularly from the bishop's refusing to afford the king's forces so much as one night's quarter at Malmsbury that it was commonly reported, that upon the empress's arrival, the bishop and his nephews (the bishops of Lincoln and Ely) would put their castles into her hands: that the bishop of Salisbury was not seized as a bishop, but as the king's servant, who held offices of state, and received his highness's wages: besides, he pretended the castles were not seized by force, but yielded by composition. It was granted the king found some money in these places of strength: but then, this treasure, upon due enquiry, was all his own; the bishop having amassed all these riches out of the revenues of the exchequer in the late reign.
To this plea the bishop of Salisbury replied briefly, that vell. 1. 2. he had never been servant to king Stephen, nor taken any wages of him; adding withal, in a menacing way, that if he could not have justice done him in that synod, he would try his fortune in a higher court. Upon this the legate under- Ibid. took the cause, and delivered himself with great temper to this effect:
That all the heads of the charge brought in against the The legate's reply to de bishops, ought to be debated in a synod, before they were Vere. pronounced guilty, and punished. And therefore, according to the methods of civil courts, the bishops should be put