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They went upon the fancy of a presumed consent. They HENRY supposed no prince could be so hardhearted as to make his K. of Eng. subjects suffer for their constancy; to expose them to the rigours of the revolt, and bind them to an allegiance unserviceable to himself. But this doctrine was disliked by others, who objected,
First, that the argument went upon a wrong supposition. For the adherence of the loyal party to the empress, when her affairs were lowest, was by no means an unserviceable circumstance. Her tying them to their duty under this juncture, kept her title on foot, and marked what was rebellion.
Besides, to suppose a subject has a virtual release, whenever his loyalty grows troublesome, is a loose and licentious principle. By this way of reasoning, an army may desert their colours at the approach of an enemy; because, if they stand the charge, it is certain some of them must fall; and where some are certain to lose their lives, the danger extends to all. And thus, to give another instance: if a man cannot pay his debts without damage to his fortune, he ought to presume the creditor has given him a discharge, and look upon himself as a debtor no longer. And yet in a court of justice, this kind of supposition will signify nothing without the producing an acquittance.
The interval between king Stephen's death and the arrival of king Henry in England, was six weeks; during which time the interest and vigilance of Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, kept the country quiet, and prevented the foreign troops, entertained by king Stephen, from committing disorder.
And now king Henry, who had been detained for some 1376. time by contrary winds, landed in Hants, in the beginning King Henry of December, received the homage of the nobility at Win- England, chester, and was crowned at Westminster, by the archbishop crowned. of Canterbury, the Sunday before Christmas. And thus, as Ibid. Nubrigensis speaks, this prince took possession of his hereditary kingdom.
Nubrigens. 1. 2. c. 1.
The king being young, the archbishop was apprehensive he might receive ill impressions from some of his courtiers, and fly out into licence and wrong measures; to secure his conduct, therefore, he prevailed with him to make Thomas, Becket archdeacon of Canterbury, chancellor of England. He knew cellor of
THEO- this Thomas well qualified for public business, and had a Abp. Cant. great opinion of his management. It seems he had given an early testimony of his abilities, and gained the character of
Chronic. Gervas. col. 1377.
a man of great energy and courage. He was likewise well polished for a court life, knew how to make a figure, and was furnished with address to procure him friends, and support him in his station. Thus, by preferring Becket to this post, the archbishop hoped the king's motions might be made more regular and steady, and a good correspondence secured between the Church and state.
Nicholas, an English
In the close of this year, Nicholas, bishop of Alba, sucman, made ceeded pope Anastasius II. I take notice of his promotion
upon the score of his being an Englishman. Neubrigensis informs us, that his father was a clergyman, who at last retired from the world, and took the habit at St. Alban's; that Nicholas used to frequent that monastery for support, till his father discouraged him; that being thus at a loss for maintenance, and having a genius too big for a mechanick employment, he travelled into France, and entered himself a religious, in the monastery of St. Rufus, in Provence. And here, making a considerable proficiency in learning, and behaving to the satisfaction of the house, he was first made prior, and afterwards abbot. At last, the monks began to dislike the government of a foreigner, and grudge him his station. In short, he was summoned to Rome by his convent, in the popedom of Eugenius III. And here, his merit recommended him so far to his holiness's favour, that he preferred him to the bishoprick of Alba, and afterwards made him his legate for Denmark and Norway. He managed this office with great dexterity and advantage, and left the understandings and morals of that rough-hewn people, under great improvements. Upon the death of Eugenius, his commission ceased, and he returned to Rome.
Neubrigens. 1. 2. c. 6.
And Anastasius dying soon after, he was unanimously Baron. An chosen pope by the bishops and cardinals, and forced into
nal. tom. 12.
ad An. 1154. St. Peter's chair, in the beginning of December. He has the character of a very dispassionate goodnatured prelate, had a considerable talent in speaking, was a great master in church musick, and an admirable preacher; and to add a word more of his moral qualifications, he was difficultly dis
obliged, and easily reconciled. He was very remarkable for HENRY his charities and benefactions; and what he gave away was K. of Eng. usually done with a grace, and an air of cheerfulness; and, in short, the whole compass of his behaviour was generally well managed, and suitable to his post.
His letter to pope Adrian.
When king Henry understood his countryman Adrian King Henry was preferred to the popedom, he wrote him a letter to the contents following. It begins with congratulating him Rome. upon his accession to the papacy. After some lines of ceremony upon this head, the king proceeds to signify his good wishes, and how desirous he was this prelate might answer the expectations of his station. And here, in terms of great deference and regard, he strikes out a sort of plan, and puts the pope in mind of some general directions for his conduct. He suggests, that since Providence has transplanted him, as it were, into Paradise, it was expected he should improve proportionably to the richness of the soil, and endeavour, since he was raised to so exalted a station, to act vigorously for the interest of Christendom, and so govern the churches of God, that all succeeding generations may reckon it an honour to the country which gave him his birth. He proceeds to express his affection, and hopes that tempestuous spirit which disturbs the air, and often beats strongest upon places of the highest situation, may never betray his holiness to any disorder, nor make the eminence of his station an occasion of his greater ruin. And since the superintendence of the universal Church belongs to him, he entreats him to proceed immediately to the promotion of such cardinals as may be furnished with capacity and inclination to bear part of the burthen with him, and assist him in his government; that he would avoid being biassed by any secular regards in his choice, and not be swayed by the motives of relation, quality, or wealth, but pitch upon such men as fear God, and hate covetousness; such as are remarkable for their integrity, and most zealous for the saving men's souls. And since the unworthiness of the clergy, when the case happens, was a great disservice to the church, he entreats him to be very careful in the disposal of ecclesiastical preferments, that the patrimony of our blessed Saviour may not be mispent, and, as it were, invaded by any unqualified person. From hence the king proceeds to mention the calamitous condition
THEO of the Holy Land, how lamentably it was harassed by the inBALD, Abp. Cant. cursions of the infidels; and therefore desires his holiness to apply his thoughts to find out a serviceable expedient for that part of Christendom. He puts him in mind likewise of the declension of religion in the Greek empire, and hopes the universal pastor will make his care proportionable to his jurisdiction, and that no part of the Church shall be unbenefited by him. And that since God has raised him to the top of spiritual grandeur, he will take care to manage accordingly, to shine out in an exemplary conduct; and that no division of Christendom shall be so remote as not to be the better for his precedent and direction. In short, he hoped his government would be so commendable and exact, as to become not only a general blessing in his lifetime, but that future ages might be the better for his memory, and that his native country might congratulate her own happiness in producing so glorious a prelate. And lastly, he concludes with desiring the pope's prayers for himself, his Baron. An- court, and kingdom.
nal. tom. 12.
Baronius assigns this letter to the year 1154, yet, since Nicholas was not made pope till December, it is most probable the date is set too far backwards, and that it could not be written till the beginning of the next year; at which time, as Matthew Paris reports, the king sent a solemn embassy to Rome, to solicit the pope's consent that he might make an expedition into Ireland, and, by the conquest of that country, reclaim those savage people, and force, as it were, a better belief and practice upon them. The pope very willingly agreed to the king's proposal, and sent him a bull, which runs thus:
The pope's bull to encourage the
"Adrian, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his most dear son in Christ, the noble king of England, sends Irish expe- greeting, and apostolical benediction. Your magnificence
A. D. 1155.
has been very careful to enlarge the Church of God here on earth, and increase the number of the blessed in heaven. To this purpose, as a good Catholick king, you project the instruction of ignorant people, the civilizing the barbarous, and the reformation of the licentious and immoral; and to execute this design with more effect and advantage, you have applied for countenance and direction to the holy see; we hope, therefore, by the blessing of God, the success will
answer the regularity of the undertaking. You have adver- HENRY tised us, dear son, of your design of an expedition into Ire- K. of Eng. land, to subdue the ignorance of that nation, and make them better Christians; and also to pay out of every house a yearly acknowledgment of one penny to St. Peter; and that you will maintain the rights of those Churches without the least detriment or diminution. We, therefore, being willing to assist you in this your pious and commendable design, leave you entirely to your own inclination, and grant you full liberty to make a descent upon that island, in order to enlarge the borders of the Church, to check the progress of immorality, to improve the natives in virtue, and promote their spiritual happiness. And here we commit you to the conduct of your own wisdom, charging the people of the country to submit to your jurisdiction, and receive you as their sovereign lord. Provided always that the rights of the Church are inviolably preserved, and the Peter-pence duly paid. For, indeed, it is certain that all the islands which are enlightened by Christ, the sun of righteousness, and have submitted to the doctrines of Christianity, are unquestionably St. Peter's right, and belong to the jurisdiction of the holy Roman Church." The remainder of the bull is Mat. Paris, Hist. Angl. but a kind of repetition, with the pope's good wishes, and therefore needs not be inserted.
Baron. Annal. ad An.
The king, though encouraged by the pope's bull, post- 1159. poned the Irish expedition, and attempted nothing upon that island till a fresh opportunity invited about fourteen years after. However, we may observe from the contents of this letter, how far the popes of that age stretched their pretensions upon the dominions of princes; for here we see the pope very frankly presents king Henry with the crowns of the Irish kings, commands their subjects upon a new allegiance, and enjoins them to submit to a foreign prince as their lawful sovereign.
Who were the persons employed by the king in this em- nal. Eccles. bassy to Rome, is unmentioned by our historians of that ad An. 1155. p. 76. time; Alford fancies John of Salisbury, afterwards bishop of Chartres, was one of them. He grounds his conjecture upon the learning and qualifications of the person, and the intimate correspondence he held with the pope. For Baronius informs us, that in the beginning of Adrian's popedom,