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against the


were altogether unlettered, and perfect boors, both in know- HENRY ledge and conversation. Their language was high Dutch. K. of Eng. We do not hear that they proselyted more than one woman; for it was not long before they were discovered and taken into custody. And the king being unwilling either to punish A synod at or discharge them without examination, ordered a synod to Oxford meet at Oxford, and inquire into their tenets. And here publican being brought to their trial, and interrogated concerning Their tetheir belief, they answered by their instructor Gerhard, who nets and punishment. undertook their defence, that they were Christians, and that Ibid. the doctrine of the apostles was their rule of faith. But being thrown off this general answer, and questioned more particularly about their creed, they seemed sufficiently orthodox concerning the Trinity and Incarnation: but then as to many other material points, they were dangerously mistaken; for they rejected Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, declared against marriage and Catholic communion. And when they were pressed with testimonies from the Holy Scriptures, they replied, that they believed as they were taught, and would not dispute about their religion. And when they were admonished to repent, and return to the communion of the Church, they despised the overture: neither had menacing any better effect upon them. When they were told of being punished for their incorrigibleness, they were so unhappy as to misapply that text of our Saviour to their own case: "Blessed are they that suffer persecution for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The bishops, to prevent the spreading of the contagion, A. d. 1160. pronounced them hereticks, and put them into the hands of the secular magistrate. Upon this the king ordered them to be branded in the forehead, and publickly whipped out of the town; strictly forbidding all persons, either to entertain or give them any manner of relief. They suffered the execution of this sentence very cheerfully, their ringleader marching at the head of them, and singing, "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you." In short, the rigour of the sentence and the season (it being winter) was such, that these poor wretches sunk under the punishment, and were all dispatched.



The synod against these ereticks, sir Henry Spelman Spelman,

Concil. vol. 2. p. 59.

THEO- assigns to the year 1160, though Stow sets it two years
Abp. Cant.

Richard, archdeacon of Coventry, and son to Robert, A. D. 1161. bishop of Chester, was consecrated bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, by Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury; for, as Diceto observes, the sons of priests, provided there is no exception to their morals, are under no disqualification of being promoted to the highest preferments in the Church. Thus pope Felix III. was son to Felix, a priest; pope Agapetus was son to one Gordianus, a priest: Valerius, an African bishop, was father to pope Gelasius. The popes, Silverius and Theodorus, were sons of bishops, and the father of Adrian IV. was likewise a priest, as has been observed. The author of Anglia Sacra assigns the consecraImag. Hist. tion of Richard to the year 1162; but if the solemnity was


ad An.


performed by archbishop Theobald, as Diceto affirms, it must fall within the year 1161, because Theobald died Angl. Sacr. about the middle of April that year. pars 1, p. 110.

bishop's letter to the king.

The archbishop, Theobald, finding himself decay, and foreseeing a storm likely to fall upon the Church, wrote a letter to the king in Normandy, to caution him against The arch- ill impressions. In this letter he puts the king in mind, that some people of suspicious principles would be apt to persuade him, that the prerogative would rise, by lessening the authority of the Church. He assures him that such maxims, from what quarter soever they came, were unserviceable to the crown, and would draw down the divine displeasure. That it was God Almighty that had enlarged his highness's dominions, and prospered him to that degree of grandeur, and therefore it would be a most unsuitable return in him to lessen the honour of his benefactor, and oppress the Church in her jurisdiction.

This year, in the middle of April, the archbishop departed this life, after having sat two and twenty years. Some little time before his death he made his will, and gave all his estate to the poor, and other pious uses. After Epist. 57. Theobald's death the see of Canterbury continued vacant


Godwin. in

something more than a year.

Johann. Sarisbur. Ep. 64. The death of archbishop Theobald.

The king, who was now in Normandy, dispatched chancellor Becket into England, under colour of managing some



A. D. 1162.

chosen arch


business relating to the state; but with a design to prefer HENRY him to the archbishoprick. Soon after his arrival, the K. of Eng. bishops of Chichester, Exeter, and Rochester, came to the convent of Canterbury, with an order from the king, that Becket the prior, with some of the monks, should repair to London, bishop of and meet the bishops and clergy there, in order to the elec- Canterbury. tion of an archbishop. Wibert, the prior, obeyed the order, Chronic. and found the prelates convened at London. Diceto re- col. 1381, ports, the provincial bishops had a share in this election. 1382. And here, after some dispute, Thomas, the chancellor of England, was elected. At his consecration, Roger, archbishop of York, sent his proxy to claim the performance of this ceremony. The prelates present at this solemnity, were willing to grant the archbishop of York's demands, provided he would make a canonical submission to the see of Canterbury, which he had hitherto refused. Roger, not accepting this condition, Thomas was consecrated by Henry, bishop Ibid. of Winchester, upon the third of June.

Upon his promotion to this post, he began to alter his manner of living; to debar himself those innocent liberties he had formerly taken, and leave off his secular appearance. He is said to have worn sackcloth next his flesh; something likewise of the monkish dress, with the archiepiscopal habit Ibid. over the rest.

At the octaves of Whitsuntide, pope Alexander held a The council council at Tours, where the archbishop of Canterbury and of Tours. some of his suffragans were present.

The third canon of this council forbids the laity converting any part of the tithes to their own use, blames some of the bishops for giving a dispensation for such unwarrantable practice; and decrees, that if any bishop, or clergyman, shall make a grant of any tithe or oblation to a lay person, he was to be excommunicated.

The fourth canon mentions the spreading of the heresy of the Albigenses, and forbids all persons either to entertain, or give them any assistance; and not so much as to trade, or hold any correspondence with them: that being thus thrown out of the advantages of civil society, they may be brought to recollection and repentance; and wherever any of these hereticks were discovered, the government was to take them into custody, and seize their effects.


BECKET, The fifth forbids the intrusting parochial cures to Abp. Cant. stipendiary priests, or such as are hired with an annual salary by the laity.

The seventh forbids bishops constituting their deans, or arch-priests, judges in their ecclesiastical courts, with a permission to take fees, and exact, as it were, an annual salary from the clergy. This being a likely method to bring corruption into the bishops' courts, and oppress the clergy.

I have mentioned some of the most remarkable canons of this council, because the English church was represented in it by the archbishop and his suffragans.

The fifth canon, which declares against stipendiary curates, relates only to those who receive the benefice from the laity. It being sometimes the custom for lords of the manor, who had built churches upon their estates, to hire a priest for a year to officiate in the parish; to remove him at pleasure, and reserve what proportion of the tithes they thought fit in their own hands. And thus religion suffered by these pretended benefactions; the patrimony of the Church was seized, and the maintenance of the priests made precarious and dependent. To prevent this disorder the council made this provision, which was afterwards repeated in the third and fourth canons of the council of Avranche, in Normandy.


1. 2. c. 15. Concil.

Labbee. et tom. 10. col.


1419, 1420.

concil. tom.
10. col.

The occarupture be

sion of the

Soon after the archbishop's return into England from this council, he fell under the displeasure of the court; for, finding some part of the estate of the church of Canterbury alienated, and in lay hands, he insisted upon restitution; particularly, he claimed the custody of the castle and tower of archbishop Rochester from the crown. He likewise demanded homage

tween the king and


Chronic. Gervas. col. 1384.

of the earl of Clare for the castle of Tunbridge, and the lands about a league round it; with some other demands of this nature. Now, though we do not find his title contested, either in Fitz-Stephen, Hoveden, or Gervasius, or that he was challenged for demanding more than his own; yet, having a dispute with court favourites, who were unwilling to part with what they had grasped, he raised a party against himself, and lost the king.

It is true, Matthew Paris, an author of less antiquity, relates, that when the archbishop summoned the earl of Clare to do him homage for the castle of Tunbridge, the earl being

pre-instructed by the king, denied the archbishop's claim, HENRY and pretended he held that estate of the crown.


K. of Eng.

Farther, the archbishop, having a right to present to the vacant livings in the towns which held of his see, collated one Lawrence, a priest, to the rectory of Ainesford, in Kent. Upon this William de Eynesford, lord of the manor of that parish, pretending to the patronage of the Church, ousted Lawrence, and forced his servants out of the town; for which disturbance William was excommunicated by the archbishop. William, lying under this sentence, applies to the king, who was displeased with the archbishop for not pre-acquainting him with the censure before it passed. It being part of his prerogative, as the king alleged, that none of his officers, or those who held in chief of the crown, were to be excommunicated without his highness's knowledge: and that this notice was to be given, to prevent the king's conversing with an excommunicated person, and admitting him, through want of information, to familiarity and business. So that we see the king's reason in this case is far from being prejudicial to the jurisdiction of the Church: however, the king conceiving William of Eynesford was somewhat rigorously treated, wrote to the archbishop to absolve him. The archbishop answered, that excommunication and absolution, or the direction of these spiritual powers, were no part of the prerogative royal: however, at last, being unwilling to break with the king, he absolved William. But the disputing the point, and the contest with court favourites, gave the king a disgust. Notwithstanding, when the archbishop was first promoted to his see, the king had promised him all the privileges of his church, and that he might take the liberty of recovering the lands alienated by his predecessors, or wrongfully seized Fitz-Steby any of the laity.

phen. p. 15. col. 1.

Under these disadvantages, his conduct was examined Mat. Paris, Hist. Angl. with prejudice, and interpreted to the harshest sense. His p. 100. zeal for discipline was called rigour and cruelty. His care to preserve the rights and revenues of the archbishoprick, was imputed to covetousness. His contempt of popularity was construed a cynical sort of affectation. On the other side, his living up to the dignity of his station was censured for pride and ambition. Thus they took care to misrepresent him to the king, and put an ill complexion upon every

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