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remain. However, at the instance of the king of France HENRY and the nobility of both kingdoms, he dropped his claim to K. of Eng. the money, and submitted to the king's offer.
And now the terms being adjusted, the archbishop, in pursuance of the pope's instructions, desired security for the articles. And when both the French and the English court replied, such a request was not from be insisted on to a sovereign, the archbishop told them he desired no more than that the king would do him the honour of the customary salute, as a mark of his favour and friendship. This being Osculum put to king Henry by the king of France and the rest of the mediators, he told them he should willingly have gratified A. D. 1169. that request, had he not once sworn, in a passion, never to salute the archbishop on the cheek, though he might otherwise be reconciled to him; neither should he bear him any ill will for the omission of this ceremony. The king of France and the mediators suspecting, as Gervase of Canter- The archbishop rebury will have it, there might be some unfriendly reserve in fuses to the king of England's reply, left the archbishop at his comply for being deliberty, who resolved not to resign to the articles without the nied the kiss of 'kiss of peace,' as they called it. Thus the meeting broke up, and nothing was concluded.
The king of France seems to have been not ill pleased with the issue of this interview, hoping it might embroil the king of England's affairs. To this purpose, as the reader may guess, he sent an embassy with the archbishop's agents to the pope; their commission was, to press his holiness not to bear with the king of England's dilatory proceedings any longer. This motion was seconded by William, archbishop of Sens, who took a journey to Rome to entreat the pope to put the king of England's dominions under an interdict, unless the Church had satisfaction.
The king of England, endeavouring to secure himself The laity against these proceedings, sent an order into England, di- renounce the pope gested into eight articles; commanding that all his subjects, archbishop from fifteen years old and upwards, should be sworn to them. By one of these articles they were to renounce the authority of archbishop Becket and pope Alexander. This was a strong test of loyalty at that period: however, the laity complied with it. But when the clergy were con
BECKET, vened for this purpose, they would by no means follow the Abp. Cant. precedent set by the laity.
pars. 1. p. 629.
This year, Nigel, bishop of Ely, departed this life: he Godwin in was very loyal, as has been observed, and suffered very Episc. Eliens. much under the usurpation of Stephen: but when Henry Fitz Empress came to the crown he passed his time easily. He founded an hospital for canons regular at Cambridge, where St. John's college now stands. He left several rich ornaments in the church of Ely, sat six and thirty years, and died upon the 29th of May.
A. D. 1170.
The next year, king Henry, thinking his presence necessary to prevent disturbances in England, set sail, and arrived at Portsmouth upon the fourth of March; and, at the festival of St. Barnabas, he summoned the lords spiritual and temporal to London, and upon the sixteenth day of June, had his son Henry crowned at Westminster. The ceremony was performed by Roger, archbishop of York; Hugh, bishop of Durham, Walter, bishop of Rochester, Gilbert, of London, and Jocelin, bishop of Salisbury, assisting at the solemnity. But no protestation was made to save the privilege of the archbishop of Canterbury, to whose see that office belonged. The day after the coronation, the king Fitz Empress caused William, king of Scots, and David his brother, together with all the English earls and barons, to do homage to the young king, and to swear allegiance to him against all men, his Hoveden, father excepted.
Chronic. Gervas. col. 1412.
the archbishop of York, &c.
Archbishop Becket complained to the pope of the injury Becket com- done him by the archbishop of York, and the prelates above mentioned, at the coronation. The pope, upon this application, excommunicated the bishops of London, Rochester, and Salisbury, and suspended the archbishop of York, and the bishop of Durham; and lodged the instruments of these censures with archbishop Becket.
The pope being informed that the king was in England, sent a commission to the archbishop of Rouën, and the bishop of Nevers, to go into England, if need were, and press the king to a compliance. Upon their acquainting the king with their instructions, he sent them word, they might spare themselves that trouble; for he designed quickly to be in France, and put a period to the dispute
with the archbishop, as they should direct. The king un- HENRY dertook the voyage accordingly, and the archbishop waited K. of Eng. on him upon the confines of Maine; and here the whole matter was adjusted; and the king, as Gervase of Canter- and archbishop Beckbury reports, gave the archbishop leave to animadvert upon et recon the archbishop of York, and the rest of the prelates con- ciled. cerned in the late coronation. For now, it seems the king was apprehensive of the pope's thunder, and therefore would deny nothing. He offered, likewise, to keep the arch- Chron. Gerbishop at his court; alleging, that it was proper for that 1412. prelate to go along with him in his progress; that all people might perceive the breach was made up. But the archbishop desired to be excused, saying, he was bound in gratitude and decency, to take leave of the French to whom he had been so much obliged. And thus, leaving the English court, he waited on the king of France, and some others, and gave them thanks for their favour and protection. And now being prepared for his voyage into England, the king ordered John, dean of Salisbury, to attend him. He was likewise furnished with the king's letters patent, to notify See Rethe agreement to the young king.
Archbishop Becket, being now expected in England, the The archarchbishop of York and the rest of the suspended and ex- turns into communicated prelates, endeavoured to prevent his landing. England. For, upon his arrival, they were afraid the pope's sentence would be published against them. The ports, therefore, where they suspected he would come ashore, were guarded. They had likewise persuaded Ralph de Brock, Reginald de Warenne, and Gervase, high sheriff of Kent, to appear upon the coast in a military manner. These men were some of the archbishop's greatest enemies, and were so hardy as to give out, that if he set his foot upon the English shore they would cut off his head. The archbishop, being informed of their design, sent the pope's letters of censure over the day before he embarked, and got them delivered to the prelates concerned.
The next day, the archbishop went aboard, and had fair wind to England, where he found a body of men armed upon the beach, and ready to attack him. The dean of Salisbury, fearing some mischief, went ashore first, and charged them in the king's name, not to outrage the arch
nal. tom. 12.
ex Cod. Va
48. ad An.
tican. sect. 1170.
of York, &c.
BECKET, bishop, under pain of high treason: for that now the differAbp. Cant. ence between the king and the archbishop was settled. Upon this the company laid down their arms, and suffered the archbishop to pass. As soon as he came to Canterbury, some officers of the court were sent to command him, in the archbishop king's name, to absolve the suspended and excommunicated bishops. He told them that it was not within the authority of an inferior jurisdiction to set aside the sentence of a superior court; and that the pope's censure could not be reversed by any mortal. When they urged, the king (meaning, I suppose, the young king) would be terribly revenged for the incompliance: the archbishop answered, that in case the bishops of London and Salisbury would swear to abide by the pope's order, he would absolve them. When this answer was reported to the bishops, the archbishop of York objected, that to take such an oath, without the king's leave, was a breach of law, and an affront to the prerogative royal. However, the bishops would have comThe arch- plied with archbishop Becket's proposal, had they not been bishop of York, &c. overruled by the archbishop of York. This prelate, with complain of the bishops of London and Salisbury, embarked for Norold king's mandy, to complain of Becket to the king. They likewise procured six of the clergy or monks of the vacant sees to be sent to the king's court in Normandy, to represent their body, and make an election: though to do this in a foreign country, and when the rest of their chapter were absent, was altogether uncanonical. However, by this practice, they thought to bring the archbishop of Canterbury under a difficulty; and that if he refused to consecrate upon such elections, the king would be displeased, and a new dispute Baron. ibid. set on foot. sect. 49. 51, 52.
He is importuned to absolve the
These three bishops, at their coming to the old king's court, made a tragical invective against archbishop Becket; declaimed against him as a publick incendiary, called him the persecutor of his own order, the king's enemy, and the bane of all good men. And particularly, that he travelled towards the court with a guard, and attempted to wait on the young king in a formidable and military manner. The king was extremely exasperated against Becket upon this representation, and expressed himself with great warmth; that he was an unhappy prince; that he fed a great many
sleepy, insignificant men of quality; that none of his servants HENRY had either the gratitude or the spirit to revenge him upon K. of Eng. a single prelate, by whom he had been so much outraged. Ibid. sect. Upon this, four gentlemen of figure, that belonged to the 54. court, formed a design against the archbishop's life: their Gervas. col. names were Reginald Fitz-Urse, William Tracy, Richard 1414. A conspiraBritton, and Hugh Morvill. These men, having concerted cy formed the assassination, went on board immediately, and landed at against his life. Dover. They boasted of their good passage, as if providence had approved their design. They came to Canterbury the next day, being the twenty-ninth of December, and broke into the archbishop's apartment, without paying the And upon customary respect. They told him, they came from the what occaking, to command him to absolve the bishops under censure. He replied, those prelates lay under the pope's sentence, and went on with the same answer he had formerly given to the bishops themselves. This reply not giving satisfaction, the four gentlemen charged the monks of Canterbury, in the king's name, to keep the archbishop safe, that he might be forthcoming; and upon this they went off with a menacing air. The archbishop told them at parting, that he came not into England to abscond, neither would their threatenings make any impression upon him.
The same day they returned to the palace, and, leaving a body of soldiers in the court-yard, rushed into the cloister with their swords drawn, and afterwards came into the church, where the archbishop was at vespers; and here calling out, where was the traitor? and nobody answering, they asked for the archbishop; upon which he moved towards them, and told them, he was the person. He is said He behaves not to have shown the least sign of fear upon this occasion. himself with great fortiAnd when one of the assassins menaced him with death, he tude, and is answered with great courage and unconcernedness, that ed. he was prepared to die for the cause of God, and in defence of the rights of the Church. "But," says he, "if you must have my life, I charge you in the name of Almighty God, and under the penalty of excommunication, not to hurt any person here, either clergy or lay, besides myself; for none of these have any concern in the late transactions." Upon this they laid hands on him, and offered to drag him out of the