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looked on as a very rigorous and unprecedented demand, and the clergy were wonderfully surprised at it: however, Abp. Cant, the king insisted upon the proportion, and allowed them

but a short time to give in their answer. In the meanwhile, William Montford, dean of St. Paul's, had prepared a speech to work the king to a milder resolution. He seemed to be very well when he came to court; but after he was brought into the presence and had begun his harangue, he sunk Westmin- down, and expired. This accident did not discourage the ster ad An. king from sending sir John Havering to the prelates at A. D. 1294. Westminster, to press the subsidy. This knight, pursuant to his instructions, made a sort of proclamation among the prelates, that if any of them was inclined to oppose the his demands king's motion, that he should come forth, and discover his


The king forces the

clergy to

consent to

in a tax.

person, and take his trial as a disturber of the publick peace. This declaration gave the clergy to understand, it was to no purpose for them to hold out any longer; and thus they were frightened into a compliance with the court. This severity to the Church, gave occasion to a misunderstanding between the king and the archbishop.

This year, pope Celestine, either out of a conscientious scruple of his own insufficiency, or being overreached by the artifices of Benedict, resigned the papacy, he was succeeded by this Benedict, called Boniface VIII. This pope Boniface published the sixth book of the decretals, and kept a very pompous jubilee.

The arch


Archbishop Winchelsey, upon his return into England, bishop ex- waited on the king in Wales, and did his homage according to custom. And here, he excommunicated Madock Llewellyn, dock Llew for raising a rebellion, and ordered the excommunication to ellyn for rebellion.

cates Ma

be published through England and Wales. This discipline, which probably was not without its effect, gave the king a good opinion of the archbishop: who, when the Welsh insurrection was suppressed, took leave of the court, and came to London; where about this time he made several A. D. 1295. orders for the regulating the court of Arches. In November, the same year, he went down to Canterbury, and was Birkington solemnly installed.

in Angl.
The next year, a parliament was convened in November,
Sacr. pars 1.
A. D. 1296. at St. Edmundsbury. And here the laity granted the king

a large supply: but the clergy refused to contribute any



Ibid. Antiquit. Britan. in Winchelsey.


against the

thing. It is probable, they thought their late payment of half a year's profits might excuse them. However, the king K. of Eng. would not allow this reason, but giving them some time for consultation, let them know he expected a more satisfactory answer. In the meantime, he ordered all the barns of the The king's clergy to be locked up. Upon this, the archbishop of Can- rigour terbury ordered pope Boniface's bull to be read in all cathe- clergy. dral churches: by virtue of which, the clergy were forbid- An enden, under pain of excommunication, to pay any taxes to the bull from croaching publick, without the pope's consent: and all those princes, Rome. or ministers, who imposed or collected any such tax, were put under the same censure. There was likewise a canon Convenin the late council of Lyons to this purpose. This year, the archbishop held a provincial synod at tom. 2. p. St. Paul's, London. And here, to prevent the passing any- Westmothing unserviceable to the crown, the king sent the prelates nast, ad An. an order not to make any constitutions prejudicial to his prerogative or the publick repose, or to give any disturbance to any person under his government and protection. The precept, penned in French, runs thus in English :

tiones, Literæ, &c.



"Edward, by the grace of God, king of England, to the honourable fathers in God, the archbishops, bishops, &c. We forbid you, and every of you, under the penalties of whatever you are capable of forfeiting, that none of you make any constitution or canon, or assent to any such in your synod, which may turn to the disadvantage or damage of us, our ministers, or any other of our loyal subjects or adherents whatsoever. Given at Sturminster, the 21st of March, in the twenty-fifth year of our reign."

Spel. Con

p. 427.

When the synod met, they entered upon the debate of cil, vol. 2. the subsidy; and here the majority refused to comply with the king's expectation. This disinclination of the prelates being reported to the king by the court clergy, made his highness resolve upon a more rugged expedient; for the purpose, he ordered his officers to seize the best horses of the clergy and religious. He likewise forbad the lawyers to The clergy plead for them, and denied them the assistance of the bar of the king's and bench. In short, he commanded they should be out-protection. lawed, and thrown out of the protection of the government. Westmo

thrown out

Thus the clergy, by refusing to contribute to the occasions nast. ad An. of the state, and putting their property under the pope's





WIN- disposal, were thought unworthy the protection of the laws. SEY, However, it must be said they were willing to comply at Abp. Cant. last; but here they found themselves under a great difficulty. For if they gave the king a subsidy without leave from the court of Rome, they fell under the pope's excommunication. On the other side, if they refused the granting a tax, the outlawry would crush them, and they must certainly sink under the king's displeasure. To avoid the storm from either of these quarters, they referred the finding out a compromise to the archbishop of York, the bishops of Durham, Ely, and Salisbury. These prelates having an authority to transact for the whole body of the clergy, pitched upon this They come expedient. They ordered that a fifth part of their revenues towards a and stock should be deposited in some sanctuary or place of compliance. privilege; which sum was to be made use of, for the defence of the Church and kingdom in case of necessity. By this provision they recovered themselves, lay under shelter against the pope, and were received into the king's favour.

Brit. in

sey, p. 203.

The archbishop

But the archbishop of Canterbury would not be satisfied by this method of accommodation; for which singularity his estate was all seized to the king's use, and himself reduced to such straits, that scarcely any person would entertain him. tate is seiz- Notwithstanding this hardship, he had boldness enough to

stands out and his es


protest openly against what was done; and that all those who had assisted the king with money, without the pope's permission, must inevitably fall under the excommunication denounced in the late bull.


The Dominicans de

the king.

While the prelates were debating upon the point, and contermine for sulting how they might disentangle themselves from this dilemma, two preaching friars came to them to St. Paul's, and undertook to maintain, that in time of war it was lawful for the clergy to assist the crown with their purse, notwithstanding the pope's prohibition. If these Dominicans had carried the question farther, and pronounced the clergy bound to contribute towards the necessities of the government, they had made a more reasonable determination. In the meantime the king, to prevent the clergy from making any disturbance, forbade the publishing the pope's excommunication, either against himself, or those under his protection,


nast. ad An. under the penalty of imprisonment.

A. D. 1297.

Upon this, the bishops broke up their synod, and were


much at a loss how to manage, especially since the archbishop, at taking his leave, gave them a hint not to comply, K. of Eng. by bidding every one of them take care of his own soul; but, at last, the hardships they suffered brought them to a farther resolution; insomuch that they offered the king the Antiquit. fourth part of their goods to restore their effects, and afford Britan. in them the common benefit of the government.




The king, being now engaged in a war with France, The king seemingly thought it proper to dissemble his dislike of the archbishop's reconciled obstinacy, and wait for a better opportunity to call him to to the archan account. And, therefore, when the parliament met at London, he pretended himself friendly with the archbishop, and restored him his barony; and being ready to embark for Flanders, and willing to leave the people in good humour, he made a speech to the Londoners in Westminster Hall; his son, prince Edward, and the archbishop of Canterbury, being ordered to attend him. In this speech he excused himself for levying so much money from the subjects, stating that his enemies of France and Scotland had forced him upon these unacceptable measures; that now he was sailing into France to expose his person for the publick safety; that if it pleased God to prosper his arms and preserve his life, he designed to return his people the money he had raised by the tax; but in case he should happen to miscarry, and fall in the enterprise, he put them in mind that his son Edward, the prince of Wales, was to succeed him. This speech drew tears from the archbishop, who promised to be faithful to the crown, in which engagement he was seconded by the rest of the audience.


nast. ad An.

This year, at the parliament last mentioned, Magna Charta 1297. and the forest charter were confirmed. The words are:

"If any judgment be given from henceforth contrary to the points of the charters aforesaid, by the justices or any other ministers of the crown that hold plea before them, against the points of the charters, it shall be undone and holden for nought.

"And we will, that the same charters shall be sent under our seal to cathedral churches throughout our realm, there to remain, and shall be read before the people twice in the year.

"And that all archbishops and bishops shall pronounce the


sentence of excommunication against all those that by word, SEY, deed, or counsel, do contrary to the aforesaid charters, or Abp. Cant, that in any point break or undo them. And that the said Those who curses be twice a year denounced and published by the break Mag. Charta, &c. prelates aforesaid. And if the same prelates, or any of them, to be excom- be remiss in the denunciation of the said sentences, the


25 Edw. I. archbishops of Canterbury and York, for the time being, shall compel and distrain them to the execution of their duties in form aforesaid."

Thus the civil liberties were guarded by the ecclesiastical authority. If it is said, the exercise of the power of the keys is directed by the state, and the bishops are commanded to exert their censures by an authority foreign to their own order; to this it may be answered, that the bishops were willing to consent to the appointment, and employed their jurisdiction to this purpose. Indeed, this act put them upon nothing more than what they were obliged to by several provincial councils of their own nation. Besides, in case of failure, they are only left to the correction of their metropolitans, as appears by the words of the statute. To this I shall only add sir Edward Coke's remark, that this excommunication the prelates could not pronounce without warrant by authority of parliament, because it concerned temporal causes: thus he. But by several precedents and stit. pars 2. constitutions, some of which have been already mentioned, it looks as if the Church was then of another opinion.

fol. 527.

The next year, archbishop Winchelsey published an excommunication against those that seized the effects of the clergy, put them in prison, or violated any branch of the great or forest charters. In this excommunication, the archbishop takes notice, the king had promised not to levy any tax without consent of parliament, which he seems to mention to warrant his censure against the king's officers who should arbitrarily make seizure of the property of the ecclesiasticks.

A. D. 1298. 495.

Spelman, Concil. vol. 2. p. 428.

The Minorites, or Franciscans, notwithstanding their reThe Mino- nunciation of property, were grown very wealthy: and, being willing to secure their good fortune, and convert it into by the pope. an estate of land, they applied to pope Boniface to this pur

rites circumvented

pose: they offered his holiness forty thousand ducats in gold, besides a vast sum in silver, to empower them by his

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