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struments of punishment could only destroy the body, but HENRY the spiritual sword, if not avoided, would give a more fatal K. of Eng. stroke, and send a man's soul to hell.

356. The bishops, in reporting his answer to the king, told his Hoveden, highness, that the archbishop complained of them for join- fol. 283. ing with the barons against him; he likewise remonstrated that the king's court had treated him with an unprecedented rigour, that his non-appearance could not equitably be strained to a contempt, and that the forfeiture of all his goods and chattels for a single default, was a punishment much too heavy. The bishops likewise told the king, that Becket had appealed to the pope, and forbidden them to join the barons, and sit upon the bench against him in any civil or criminal matter.

him with his

The king, much displeased with this report, sent the earls Fitz-Stephen, p. 27, and barons to the archbishop to interrogate him whether he 28. designed to stand by this appeal to the pope, and the injunction lately given to his suffragans. They advised him to recollect he was the king's liegeman, bound to him by the common ties and homage of a subject; and, more particu- They urge larly, by his oath at Clarendon, by virtue of which he pro- oath at Clamised upon the assurances of sincerity and good faith, to submit to the usages of the realm, and the prerogative royal; and that one article of the Constitutions of Clarendon was, that the bishops should be present at all trials of the great men, till the court came to pronounce sentence for the taking away life or limb.



Archbishop Becket persisting in his appeal to the pope, the king pressed the bishops, upon their homage and allegiance, to join the barons, and proceed to sentence. The prelates excused themselves, upon the score of the prohibibition they had lately received. The king, not satisfied with this reason, told them Becket's prohibition ought not to overrule their allegiance, and make them break their oath at Clarendon. The bishops replied, that in case they did not obey the archbishop's prohibition, he would excommunicate them; that, therefore, they humbly conceived it would be for the interest of the king and kingdom to give their primate satisfaction in that point. However, at last, at the king's instance, they went again to the archbishop. Id. p. 29.

And now the bishop of Chichester represented to him

BECKET, how strictly they were all bound by the Constitutions of Abp. Cant. Clarendon, and that they wondered he should put them upon breaking their engagement.

He persists

in his

The archbishop replied, that nothing which was promised peal, and re- at Clarendon ought to be wrested to the prejudice of the plies to their Church. That notwithstanding the oath was cautiously


worded, and that they promised to keep it upon the faith of
honest men, and without collusion; yet if the contents of
the oath were repugnant to the doctrine of the Church, and
the laws of God, it could not be fairly kept. He told them,
moreover, that a Christian king, who had sworn to maintain
the liberties of the English Church, could not be supposed
to have any prerogative inconsistent with that engagement.
He added farther, that those which they called royal digni-
ties were disallowed by the pope, and that they ought to be
governed by the precedent of the Roman Church. And,
lastly, that if they had gone too far in their compliance at
Clarendon, they ought not to persist in their mistake, and
plead one fault in excuse for another. They should rather
recollect themselves, awaken their courage, and recover
their old ground; for no man is bound by an unjust pro-
mise, except to repent of it.

Id. p. 31.

Id. p. 32.

The bishops, upon their return to the king, being excused from judging the archbishop, sat apart from the barons. However, the king commanded the temporal nobility to proceed to sentence; and here the king ordered several sheriffs, and ancient barons of inferior rank, to make part of the bench.


The prelates, to avoid the king's displeasure for declining to judge the archbishop of Canterbury, promised to prosecute him for his misbehaviour at the court of Rome, and get him deposed. This expedient giving the king satisfaction, they all went to the archbishop; and Hilary, bishop The prelates of Chichester, in the name of the rest, told him, that they had formerly owned him under the character of the archBecket, and bishop of Canterbury, and thought themselves obliged to appeal against him treat him accordingly; but now, since he had failed so to the pope. grossly in his duty to the king, and broken the laws he had sworn to observe, they pronounced him guilty of perjury: that this falsehood had dissolved the relation between them, and discharged them from the obligations of canonical obe




dience that now, therefore, they must be forced to dis- HENRY
claim his authority; put themselves and their churches K. of Eng.
under the pope's protection: and, lastly, they summoned
the archbishop to appear before the pope, to answer the
charge they intended to bring in against him.


clines the

court, and

When the bishops had made this remonstrance, they with- p. 1392. drew, and sat by themselves. Upon this, the king, who was sitting in another room, ordered the temporal lords to consult about the sentence, and pronounce it against the archbishop. And now, the earl of Leicester, and the rest of the earls and barons, coming out to the archbishop, began to enlarge upon the Constitutions of Clarendon, to charge him with the breach of his oath, and raise the impeachment to high treason: and, being just ready to pronounce Fitz-Stephen, p. 32. sentence, the archbishop rose up and told him, that they Chronic. Gervas. ib. were laymen, and had no authority to sit in judgment upon their archbishop. He charged the earl of Leicester, there- bishop defore, not to be so hardy as to pronounce sentence upon his judgment of spiritual father; for it was neither consistent with law nor the king's reason that children should sit as judges upon their fathers. pleads his exemption. He told him, moreover, he had appealed to a higher court, 357. that this was enough to bar their proceedings, supposing he had been otherwise within their jurisdiction. He added farther, that when the Church of Canterbury was put into his hands, he demanded in what condition he was to stand: Et responsum est, liberum et quietum ab omni nexu curiali me redderet. That this post rendered him not accountable to the king's court; he should not, therefore, do anything to the prejudice of that exemption. "For these reasons, son earl," says he, "I protest both against your sentence and the king's, as being to be judged by none but God and the pope." Upon this, he walks out of the court, and Fitz-Stebeing reproached by some of the company for perjury and phen, p. 32. Quadrilog. treason, he turned back, and with a stern look replied, that 1. 1. c. 38. were it not for the restraints of his character, and the re- Chronic. p. gards of religion, he should be ready to disprove the ca- Gervas. ib. lumny, and defend his honour sword in hand.



The king being informed of his going away, ordered pro- The king clamation to be made, that no man should outrage him, or proclamapublishes a his retinue, with ill language, or give him any manner of tion not to disturbance. That night he sent three bishops to the king, archbishop.

insult the

makes his escape into


Annal. fol. 284.

BECKET, to desire his permission, and a passport, to go beyond sea: Abp. Cant. the king sent him word he should have his answer in the The arch- morning. But the archbishop fearing that delay might prove dangerous, set forward immediately, with only two Flanders. servants to attend him. From Northampton he travelled to Lincoln, disguised himself, and went by the name of phen, p. 33, Dereman: and after a great deal of fatigue, procured a Hoveden, vessel at Sandwich, in Kent, and arrived at Gravelines. When the king and council were informed that the archbishop had quitted the kingdom, they consulted about proper measures. And here it was resolved not to seize the revenues of the Church of Canterbury, because both the Fitz-Ste- archbishop and his suffragans had appealed to the pope. However, this lenity was but of short continuance; for soon after, the king wrote to all the bishops, acquainting them with archbishop Becket's undutiful departing the kingdom, commanding them not to suffer those clerks who had adhered to Becket in his obstinacy, or attended him in his escape, to receive any of the profits of their benefices, unless by his especial order, or to assist them with any countenance or advice: and not long after another order was published, to seize the revenues of the archbishoprick for Baron. An- the king's use. The king likewise ordered the ports to be

phen, p. 34.

nal. tom. 12.

sect. 33. ad carefully guarded, to prevent the bringing over an interdict:

An. 1164.

An order


that if any such instrument was taken upon a monk, he was published to to have his feet cut off: if upon a clerk, his eyes were to be prevent put out. If a layman was taken with it, he was to be hanged: bringing over an in- and if a leper, to be burnt. And if any bishop was afraid to stay in England for fear of the archbishop's interdict, he was allowed to take nothing but his staff along with him. The king likewise ordered all scholars in foreign parts to return home under the penalty of losing their preferments, and being banished for ever: that those priests who refused to officiate should be castrated, and that all those who were Ibid. sect. refractory and contumacious, should lose their benefices.


Baronius places these transactions to the year 1164; but Hoveden reckons them to the next year.

The king sends an

Before archbishop Becket could reach the king of France, embassy to Gilbert Foliot, bishop of London, and William, earl of the king of Arundel, arrived at the French court with instructions from to entertain the king of England, to prevail with that prince not to

France not




afford the archbishop of Canterbury any shelter in his do- HENRY minions; and that he would solicit the pope not to admit K. of Eng. him to any degree of favour or familiarity. Letters of the same tenor were sent to the earl of Flanders. Upon the French king's hearing them read, that Becket was charged with treason, and called the late archbishop of Canterbury, he seemed to be shocked, and asked who had deprived him? "I am a king," says he, "no less than your master, and yet have no authority to deprive the least clerk in my dominions." In short, the more earnest the English ambassadors were to get the archbishop chased out of France, the more king Lewis seemed to espouse his cause. To this purpose he sent his almoner to pope Alexander, then at Sens, to request his holiness, that if he had any regard for the honour of the Roman Church, or the friendship and assistance of Hoveden, France, he would give all the countenance possible to 284. Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, and protect him against the tyrant of England.

Annal. fol.

Chronic. Gervas. p. 1394.

sends ano


The king of England not succeeding at the French court, The king sent a splendid embassy to the pope; the persons, as they ther embasstand in Hoveden, and Gervase of Canterbury, are these: sy to the Roger, archbishop of York, Henry, bishop of Winchester, Ibid. Gilbert, bishop of London, Hilary, bishop of Chichester, and Bartholomew, bishop of Exeter; Guido Rufus, Richard Ivecestre, and John of Oxford, clerks; William, earl of Arundel, Hugo de Gundevil, Bernard de St. Vallerie, and Henry Fitzgerald, &c. They found the pope and cardinals at Sens, in Champagne. Being admitted to an audience, the bishops of London and Chichester opened the charge against archbishop Becket with great vehemence and aggravation. They informed his holiness that the prelate had en- The ambasgaged in a quarrel with the king upon a trifling occasion. sadors' That he was a person of too much heat, stiffness, and singu- against the larity, and would give no allowance for the disadvantage of archbishop.


the times that his measures were so indefensible and dangerous, they were forced to break with him that he was angry with them for their non-concurrence, and endeavoured to throw the blemish of his own rashness and ill conduct upon them, upon the king and kingdom. To give the better colour to this practice, and misreport his brethren, he had


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