صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

BECKET, same authority. Since, therefore, the parliament of ClarenAbp. Cant. don had enacted, that clerks should be tried in the king's courts in criminal causes, the archbishop ought not to have insisted on the former exemption.

The arch

bishop indefensible in some instances.

His false principle.

1. 5.

Thirdly, I come now briefly to consider his conduct in the farther progress of the dispute between the king and himself.

And here he cannot be excused for traversing the ground, moving backwards and forwards, engaging and retracting, with respect to the articles of Clarendon. He was likewise to blame for quitting the kingdom without the king's leave, this being a direct breach of the fourth article of those Constitutions. The primitive bishops did not take this liberty with heathen princes. For the purpose; St. Cyprian refused to return from banishment without the emperor's Quadrilog. consent. Farther, his tenet, that the civil government had its authority from the Church was a grand mistake, and misled his practice. His refusing to return to his see upon the most advantageous precedents, and the best terms enjoyed by any of his predecessors; and farther, his breaking off the accommodation only for being denied the kiss of peace, are indefensible lengths of noncompliance: and for his Nubrigens. stiffness in these points he is blamed even by Nubrigensis. Lastly, his complaining to the court of Rome of the archbishop of York for crowning the young king, and drawing the pope's excommunication upon that metropolitan, and some other prelates; this, I say, was, perhaps, pushing matters too far. Had he made a greater allowance for the juncture, waived his right, and connived at the encroachment for the sake of peace, it might not have been unserviceable to his memory.

1. 2. c. 16.


A calumny against him.

But then, as to any practice against the crown, he seems innocent enough. It does not appear he attempted to raise any faction at home, or so much as dropped any undutiful expression; and as for abetting a foreign interest, the king of France solemnly cleared him from any such imputation.

The report made of him to the king Fitz-Empress, as if he travelled with a military appearance, and would have forced his entrance into the young king's castles and court; Mat. Paris, this report, I say, was mere calumny; for, upon his being Hist. Angl. forbidden to approach the king, he immediately retired to Canterbury; and here he was so far from being attended

p. 123.


with a military guard, that he suffered four men to murder HENRY him without resistance. It is true he refused to absolve the K. of Eng. excommunicated bishops; but then, it must be said he complied as far as the received doctrines would give him leave; and, though the rigour and inflexibility of his temper carried him too far in some cases, he seems to have acted all along upon a principle of sincerity: so that, in short, the most exceptionable parts of his conduct may be said to have been more the faults of the age than of the man.



Upon the news of archbishop Becket's death, the king and the pope were extremely troubled; though, as Gervase of Canterbury conjectures, for different reasons. The king A. D. 1171. was apprehensive the archbishop's murder might reflect Chron. col. upon his highness; that his honour might suffer upon this occasion. Neither were these suspicions altogether ungrounded, for several complaints were made to the pope upon this accident. The king of France wrote to his holiness to draw St. Peter's sword upon king Henry, and to think upon some new and exemplary justice; and that the universal Church was concerned in the discipline; and to excite him the more effectually, he acquaints him with the Hoveden, miracles said to be done at Becket's tomb.

fol. 299.

write to the

the murder

This letter was seconded by another from Stephen, earl The king of of Blois; in which he gives the pope to understand, that he France, &c. was present when the archbishop of Canterbury complained pope about to the king, for precipitating the coronation of his son; of the archbishop. that the king being conscious of the injury he had done, promised the archbishop satisfaction. That when this prelate complained of the bishops for crowning the young king against right and ancient usage, and to the prejudice of the see of Canterbury, the old king left those bishops to Becket's mercy, and to punish them in what manner the pope and himself thought fit. All this the earl of Blois tells the pope he was ready to depose upon oath, or make it good by any other proof demanded. And, in the close of the letter, he declaims with great vehemence against the barbarity of the murder; and makes use of his rhetorick to press the pope to a revenge.

Id. fol. 300.

The archbishop of Sens likewise wrote a letter to the pope upon the same subject; charges the king with the Id. fol. 299,


BECKET, archbishop's death, and moves for an interdict upon his Abp. Cant. dominions.

bishop's ca

These tragical accounts made the pope very uneasy; and condemn himself for being too remiss in Becket's defence. The arch- However, he failed not to honour his memory, and had him nonization. canonized upon the report of the miracles done after his death. It is true this solemnity was not performed till two Baron. An- years after; but I mention it now to illustrate the story about this prelate.

nal. tom.12.

ad An. 1173.

Id. Marty

in Decemb.


See Re


bassy to Rome.

The king of England, to prevent the pope's censures, rol. Roman. dispatched an embassy to Rome. The ambassadors at their first entrance into the town were ruggedly treated, cords, num. and refused an audience; but, at last, finding the pulse of the court of Rome, they applied to a more powerful exThe king of England pedient, and gained admission by the interest of five hunsends an em- dred marks. When they came into the consistory they swore, as the king's proxies, that their master was ready to submit to the judgment of the Church concerning the death of the archbishop. By making this oath in the king's name, they prevailed on the pope not to send out any interdict or excommunication. However, the murderers of the archbishop, together with all those who either abetted or entertained them, were immediately excommunicated. The conclave likewise ordered the sending two legates into Normandy to enquire into the matter, and animadvert as they should see cause.


Gervas. col. 1419.

Upon this news, the king set sail for England, and ordered the ports to be strictly guarded; and that in case any person presumed to bring over an interdict, he should be seized and imprisoned. He likewise ordered that no clergyman should go beyond sea, without first taking an oath not to act anything to the prejudice of the king or kingdom.







K. of Eng.

The king

THE king landed at Portsmouth in the beginning of HENRY August, and the two cardinal legates, Theodinus and Albertus, arrived in Normandy. The king made but a short stay in England: for, about the middle of October, he went undertakes aboard at Milford Haven upon the Irish expedition, and the Irish exlanded with a considerable army at Waterford.

pedition. Ibid. Hove


sion of the

And here it may not be improper just to mention the den, fol. occasion which gave rise to the conquest of this kingdom. To begin: this expedition had been projected some time before, The occaand encouraged, as has been observed, by a bull of pope conquest of Adrian IV.; but Maud, the empress, dissuading the enter- the kingprise, the king dropped the design for the present. At this time Ireland was divided into five kingdoms, not to mention several other subordinate governments, frequently dignified by that name.



Dermot, commonly called Mac Morough, king of Leinster, was one of these capital princes. He governed in a sort of Cambrens. arbitrary manner, and treated the nobility with rigour. Expugnat. This Dermot, besides the rest of his misconduct, enter- 1. 1. c. 1.



The synod


tained too familiar a correspondence with Omachla, Ororic, king of Meath's queen, and debauched her in her husband's absence. Ororic raised the forces of his own dominions, and those of the neighbouring princes, his confederates, to revenge the affront. The people of Leinster perceiving their prince under difficulties, discovered their resentment for his ill usage of them; and most of the great men deserted to the enemy.

Dermot, thus abandoned by his subjects, and defeated several times in the field, quitted his dominions, and applied to king Henry, then in France. The king, upon Dermot's swearing homage to him, took him under his protection; and by his letters patent, gave any of his subjects in Great Britain or France leave to assist him in his restoration.

Dermot being thus fortified by the king's favour, Richard Strongbow, earl of Strigul, or Chepstow, in Monmouthshire, Robert Fitz-Stephen, and Maurice Fitz-Gerald, entered into his alliance, raised forces for him, and served in person in the expedition.

These great men succeeding in their attempts, and taking Waterford and Dublin, were supported by the king, who landed with a strong re-inforcement.

Upon the first progress of the English arms in this kingof Armagh, dom, the Irish clergy met in a national synod at Armagh. And here, upon enquiry into the reason of their being distressed by a descent upon the country, it was generally agreed that this judgment happened to them for their former ill treatment of the English, in buying them of merchants and pirates to make them slaves. For it seems, as Cambrensis reports, it had been an old custom of the Saxon English, to make a penny of their children, and sell them for slaves to the Irish: and therefore he concludes, that as the Saxons that sold had already lost their liberty, so the Irish that bought might deserve to lose theirs. To avert this judgment therefore, it was unanimously decreed in the synod, that all the English slaves in the island should be enfranchised.

Id. c. 18.


Hibern. c.



Concil. vol. 2. p. 95.

And here it may not be improper to mention something farther of the state of the Irish Church, before the settling of the English. Giraldus Cambrensis, who was secretary to John, earl of Morton, and attended him into Ireland:

« السابقةمتابعة »