صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


trying those of that character in his own courts was not HENRY done to oppress the liberties of the Church, but for the K. of Eng. security of publick peace; that if he had stretched the prerogative to the disadvantage of religion he was willing to redress the grievance, and refer the controversy to the judgment of the English Church; and at last they make their appeal to the pope, and fix the time, as above mentioned.

This year the war broke out between Lewis, king of France, and the king of England, to which it was thought the archbishop of Canterbury gave some occasion. The king of France overrun the Vexin, and burnt several towns and villages in the duchy of Normandy. It was likewise feared that Matthew, earl of Boulogne, would take the opportunity of the king's absence, and make a descent upon England. But this invasion was disappointed by the good conduct of Richard de Lucy, who secured the coasts, and Chronic. put the kingdom in a posture of defence.

Gervas. col.


nals sent to

About this time the pope sent two cardinals, William and Two cardiOtho, into France, to adjust the difference between the adjust the king and archbishop Becket. They first discoursed with the but without archbishop at Sens, and afterwards waiting upon the king of effect. England, they found him resolved not to make any farther proposals. It seems he was very much exasperated against the archbishop of Canterbury; for he complained to the legates that all the miseries and confusions of the war were occasioned by this prelate; and that he was attacked by the king of France and the earl of Flanders purely at Becket's solicitation. But when the legates came to the king of Ibid. France, that prince cleared Becket of this imputation, and The king of swore that the archbishop had always advised him to peace, tifies the and suggested nothing more but that the honour and interest from fomentof both princes might be secured in an amicable way.

ing the war against the From the French court the legates travelled to the arch- king of England. bishop, met him near Gisors, upon the octaves of St. Martin, and entered upon the subject of their commission. But finding him unalterable in his resolution, and that his reasons, as Gervase of Canterbury will have it, were not to be answered, they took their leave, and returned, re-infecta, to Rome.

The archbishop finding himself charged with misconduct


Abp. Cant.

BECKET, by his suffragans, replies to their remonstrance, and runs out in a long defence. He tells them, how much he was surprised at the contents of their letter: that there was so much satire and unfriendliness in the style, that he could not believe it was dictated by a general consent. He was amazed they should treat him with such roughness, and give such broad signs of disaffection, since he had exposed himself to so many hardships upon their account. He puts them in mind, to fear God rather than man, and to sacrifice their lives, if need be, for the interest of the Church. He argues, that in the cause of God they ought not to be afraid of persecution, or displeasure from the court. He bids the bishops have a care, not to confound the notion of Church and state: but to consider, that the powers of these two societies were distinct from each other. As to the bishop of Salisbury's case, he replies, that prelate admitted John of Oxford to the deanery against his prohibition, and the pope's: that this was a notorious breach of canonical obedience: that in so plain a case there was no solemnity of process required by the canons. He insists upon the vindication of his conduct in England, upon the justice of his administration; and challenges them to prove so much as one instance of oppression upon him. He tells them, it was generally reported, the archbishop of York, the bishop of London, and Richard de Ivelcestre, had suggested the sentence against him at Northampton. Here he sets forth with great vehemence and aggravation, with what severity he was treated: how he was persecuted in his relations, and stripped of all his revenues. He takes notice of their reproaching him with ingratitude, and that he was promoted to the see of Canterbury purely by royal favour, against the inclination of the whole kingdom. This he makes no better than direct calumny; bids them consult their consciences; recollect the process of the election, and name but so much as one person that declared his dislike. As to their upbraiding him with being a private person, and raised from a slender original: he answers it is true, he was not extracted from a long genealogy of princes; and that of the two, he had rather work out his distinction himself, and derive his quality from virtue and merit, than be the degenerate issue of an illustrious family. He tells them farther, that before

Quadrilog. libr. 5.

The archbishop's reply to suffragans.



K. of Eng.

he received any promotion from the court, he lived plenti- HENRY fully, and made a creditable figure. As to the charge of ingratitude, he replies, he had done nothing to bring him under that blemish: that the freedom he had taken with the king, in remonstrating against his late proceedings, was no failure of respect, but rather a service to his prince: and that he must have answered for the king's miscarriage if he had been silent. He adds, that in case he should be forced to make use of his authority farther, and proceed to the last extremity, the king could have no reason to complain: for where admonition is overlooked, and warning signifies nothing, there is an absolute necessity for discipline. And then he that suffers by authority and canon, has no just cause to complain he is not well used.

As for the danger they mention, of the king's withdrawing himself and his subjects from the communion of the see of Rome, he hopes his highness will never apply to so unhappy an expedient. He wonders they could set down so destructive a thought; that the mention of such a thing has infection in it, and may possibly do disservice to the people. He exhorts them not to set too great a value upon their temporal interest, nor over-purchase the favour of any person whomsoever. As to what they urged, that the king was willing to refer the difference on foot to the arbitration of the English Church, he replies, in the first place, they had discovered their partiality, and declared themselves his enemies too much to sit upon him; besides, he never read that inferiors had any authority over their superiors, or suffragans any right to be judges of their metropolitan. Near the close of the letter he makes a kind of application to the king; entreats him not to think reformation a disadvantage, or that repentance is any diminution of royal dignity. And, lastly, he desires his suffragans to pray for him, that his constancy may not sink under his afflictions; but that he may say with the apostle, "That neither life nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor any other creature, may be able to separate him from the love of God."

This year, Maud, the empress, king Henry's mother, de- The death of parted this life, and was buried at Rouën, in the abbey of empress. St. Mary de Prez. She used her interest, some time be- Hoveden,

fol. 289.



BECKET, fore her death, to reconcile the king, her son, to archbishop Abp. Cant. Becket. Becket. Not to mention several other works of piety in France and England, she founded a monastery for canons regular in Huntingdon, and another at Stonley's, in Warwickshire, for the Cistercians. Her epitaph makes her good qualities exceed the lustre of her birth, and endeavours to do justice to her memory; it is this:

To this year we are to reckon the death of Robert, bishop of Lincoln. This prelate founded a prebend; purchased a house for himself and his successors near the Temple in London; built the bishop's palace almost wholly, and founded the priory of St. Catherine's, near London, which, at the time of the dissolution, was valued at two hundred and seventy pounds yearly rent; this prelate died upon the Nubrigens. eighth of January. After his decease the see was kept va

1. 2. c. 22.

cant about seventeen years.

And of Robert, bishop of Lin


Regis mater erat, et regibus orta Mathildis,
Extuleratque thoro nobiliore genus.
Sed magis egregiâ virtutum laude coruscans,
Fortunam generis vicerat atque thori.
Septembris decimo, sub prima transiit hora,
De nostra ad verum nocte revectat diem.


Archbishop Becket conceiving himself particularly in

Becket ex jured by Gilbert, bishop of London, sends him a letter of


excommunication, in which he sets forth, that he had borne with the misbehaviour of this prelate a long time; that since his patience had been very much abused, and seemed to encourage to farther irregularities, he was forced to exert his authority, and cut him off from the communion of the Church. He commands him therefore, in virtue of his obedience, and as he tendered the salvation of his soul, to subA. D. 1168. mit to the discipline of his metropolitan, and abstain from

conversing with the faithful, for fear lest the flock, to which he owed a better example, should suffer by the infection of his company.

cates the

bishop of London.

Hoveden, fol. 293.

Soon after, he wrote to the dean, archdeacon, and clergy of London, to acquaint them that he had excommunicated their bishop, and commands them to have no manner of correspondence with him. He gives them notice of some other


persons he had excommunicated, viz., Thomas Fitz-Ber- HENRY nard, Robert Parson of Broc, Hugh de St. Clare, Letard, K. of Eng. clerk of Northfleet, Nigel de Saccaville, Richard, brother of William Hastings, and some others already mentioned.


He informs them farther, that he had sent a solemn summons to several others; and that, unless they made satisfaction in the meantime, he was resolved to put them under the same censure upon Ascension-day. The persons mentioned are, Gilbert, archdeacon of Canterbury, and Robert, his vicar, Richard de Ivelcestre, Richard de Lucy, William Gifford, Adam de Cherings, and "all those who, either by the king's order, or their own presumption, have seized," says the archbishop, "any estates belonging to us, or our clerks; together with those who are known to have incited the king to oppress the liberties of the clergy, to banish and outlaw innocent persons; and who have either hindered the pope's agents, or ours, from pursuing the affairs and providing for the necessities of the Church." And, lastly, he bids them not concern themselves about the event; for, by God's assistance, he was well fortified in the favour of the apostolick see, and had no reason to apprehend any ill con- Ibid. sequence from the shuffling of his adversaries, or the appeals put in against him.

Id. 294.

He wrote a letter to Robert, bishop of Hereford, much lis complaint of to the same purpose; commanding him, both in his own that prelate name and the pope's, to publish the excommunication against to the bishop of Hereford. the persons above mentioned, and particularly, he declaims in a very tragical manner against the bishop of London; complains, that instead of repenting he grew more perverse and haughty upon his excommunication; that he had the presumption to give out, that since his translation from Hereford he was under no obligations of canonical obedience to the church of Canterbury; and that he designed to get Hoveden, the archiepiscopal see removed from thence to London.




This year, as Gervase of Canterbury reports, the Eng- A design to lish court designed to renounce Alexander, and set up pope AlexPaschal, the antipope. Henry, duke of Saxony, being in Paschal's interest, and having lately married Maud, the king's daughter, might probably bring forward this resolution. To make this project the more feasible, there was an order sent from the court, to swear the subject to an im

« السابقةمتابعة »