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ANSELM, ton represents the matter.
But Ordericus Vitalis informs us, he was unexpectedly attacked by Robert Mowbray, earl Hunting of Northumberland, and surprised under the securities of a
Histor. 1. 7. fol. 213.
treaty. This accident was so sensible an affliction to his queen, Margaret, that she immediately fell into a distemper that proved mortal. Upon the hearing the ill news, she is said to have gone to church immediately, confessed her sins to the priest, and received unction, though we cannot call it extreme, because she was not at the point of death, as appears by the circumstances already related: however, she died in a few days after.
This lady was a princess of incomparable qualities, reMargaret, markably pious and charitable, and very active for the proqueen of Scotland, an moting religious and public interest. She built the church admirable of Carlisle at her own expense, and was supposed to be
principally instrumental in whatever the king her husband performed that way. She is said to have smoothed the ruggedness of this prince's temper, and disposed him to the Spotswood. offices of humanity and justice.
Hist. of Ch. of Scotland, p. 31.
This year the king of England, happening to fall sick at Glocester, began to be touched with remorse of conscience, and recollected the mismanagements of his reign. Amongst other oppressions, he was particularly afflicted for the injury he had done the Church and kingdom, in keeping the see of Canterbury and some others vacant. Some little time before, Anselm, abbot of Bec, in Normandy, had been sent for by Hugh, earl of Chester, who requested his assistance in his sickness. Soon after Anselm's coming hither, the bishops and other great men complained to the king of the vacancy of the see of Canterbury, and desired that public prayers might be made in all the churches of England, that God would inspire the king with sentiments of religion, and direct him in the recommendation of a proper person for that station: the king, though somewhat disgusted, consented to the motion. The bishops who were to take care of this matter consulted Anselm, and with great difficulty persuaded him to draw up a form of prayer for the occasion.
draws up form of public
1. 1. p. 15.
Soon after this, the king, as was observed, happened to fall sick; and Anselm, then living in the neighbourhood
of Glocester, was immediately sent for to court, to prepare the king for the other world. When he came thither, he K. of Eng. enquired how far they had proceeded with the king's conscience; and being asked, what was farther to be done? he told them, the king was to make a full confession of his faults, and to promise immediate reformation in case of recovery. The king, who was now thoroughly penetrated with the motives of religion, was willing to be governed by this advice, and desired the bishops to make this vow in his name at the holy altar; and that no opportunity of performance might be lost, there was a proclamation published, to release all those that were taken prisoners in the field, to discharge all debts owing to the crown, and to grant a general pardon. The king likewise promised to govern according to law, and to punish the instruments of injustice with exemplary severity.
at last to the
And being entreated to nominate to the see of Canter- Anselm nobury, he agreed to the request. As for the person, the the see of court did not think fit to suggest any thing, or lead the Canterbury; king in his choice; but when he had pitched upon Anselm for the man, it appeared they were all extremely satisfied with the nomination. But as for Anselm, he was heartily he declines uneasy at this promotion; and when he was hurried into tion, the presence to receive investiture by the delivery of the pastoral staff, he made all the decent opposition imaginable, and told them the business was impracticable upon several accounts. Upon this, the bishops, taking him aside, began but yields to expostulate with him upon his refusal; they told him, importunity "That his modesty was no better than a plain desertion of of the court and bishops. his duty; that things were run almost into the last confusion that all sorts of disorders were rampant in the Church, and Christianity almost exterminated by the license and tyranny of the administration. And, since the remedy of these evils was now in his power, the declining to make use of it was hardly reconcileable to conscience, or the character of an honest man; that the preferring his own ease and quiet to the public service of religion, was a very indefensible motive." To this Anselm replying, excused himself upon the score of his age, alleging, that he had not health and vigour enough for so weighty a charge; that his inclination
ANSELM, was perfectly for the cloister, and that he had always deAbp. Cant. clined concerning himself in secular affairs; he desired, therefore, they would not endeavour to drag him out of his repose, and force him upon his aversion. And since they insisted the post was not so fatiguing as he pretended; that his part was only to give measures and direct, and that themselves would pursue his orders, and take off the trouble of the execution, to answer this, he told them they talked of things impossible, as the case stood: for, says he, "I am abbot of a monastery in a foreign dominion; I am bound to canonical obedience to the archbishop of that province; I owe allegiance to the prince of the country; and am likewise obliged to assist my convent to the best of my power. Things standing thus, I have not the liberty to quit the monastery without the monks' consent, nor to disengage from my prince without his permission, nor to run away from the jurisdiction of my spiritual father, the bishop, unless he is pleased to discharge me." They told him all these matters would be easily adjusted. But finding him persist in his refusal, they haled him to the king, who continued sick, and complained of his obstinacy. The king was extremely concerned, and spoke to him in a very pathetical manner, asked him, "Why he endeavoured to ruin him in the other world, which would follow infallibly, in case he died before the archbishoprick was filled; he therefore conjured him to accept it by the favour he had received from the Conqueror and his queen, and out of compassion to himself, who was now in danger of dying."
Eadmer, p. 17.
The bishops, and those who were present, were very much moved with this passionate entreaty; and, finding Anselm inflexible, they grew angry, told him he disturbed the king with his obstinacy, and might probably send him into the other world; adding withal, that all the grievances of the Church and nation would be placed to his account, provided he refused to comply. And when they could not gain him with their arguments, they clapped the pastoral staff into his hand, in a manner by force, shouted for his election, carried him into the church, and sung Te Deum upon the occasion. But, notwithstanding all this solemnity, Anselm could not be prevailed on to acquiesce till the king had written to his
brother, the duke of Normandy, to the archbishop of Rouën, and to the monastery of Bec, and procured a discharge for K. of Eng. Anselm from the obligations above mentioned.
And now the king, being recovered, revoked the orders passed in his sickness, and grew more arbitrary and oppressive than before; and being gently admonished by the bishop of Rochester, made a very profane answer, which I shall give the reader in Eadmer's words: "Scias, O epi- A. D. 1093. scope, quod per sanctum vultum de Luca nunquam me Deus bonum habebit, pro malo quod mihi intulerit.”
Anselm, before he accepted the archbishoprick, gained a promise from the king for the restitution of all the lands which were in the possession of that see in Lanfranc's time. And thus having seisin given him of the temporalities, he did homage to the king, and was consecrated with great solemnity, on the fifth of December, 1093. When Walcelin, bishop of Winchester, read the instrument of his election, Thomas, archbishop of York, excepted against the form, because the church of Canterbury was called Totius Britannia Metropolitana; which clause, if admitted, he said, would strike the see of York out of her metropolitical jurisdiction: this was thought a reasonable allegation. Upon which the draught was altered, and primate put in instead of metropolitan.
About this time the king, intending to wrest the duchy of Normandy from his brother Robert, endeavoured to raise what money he could, but failed somewhat in the sum projected; upon this occasion Anselm made a present to the king of five hundred pounds. When the king heard of this sum, he was pleased at first; but afterwards, some courtiers, disaffected to the archbishop, representing the benevolence as too slender an acknowledgment, he refused to accept it. This temper of the court surprised Anselm, who thereupon went to the king, and addressed him in this manner: "Sir," says he, "I entreat your highness would please to receive the present I sent you; it will not be the last acknowledgment your archbishop will make you. And I humbly conceive it is both more serviceable, and more honourable, for your highness to receive a lesser sum from me with my consent, than to extort a greater by force and violence: for voluntary payments will be more frequent in their return.
ANSELM, If your highness allows me the freedom and privilege of my Abp. Cant. station, my person, and all that belongs to me, will be at your service; but if I am treated like a slave, I shall be obliged to stand off, and keep my fortune to myself." This declaration, it may be, was somewhat too frank and lively, especially since the king was disappointed in the thousand pounds he expected from the archbishop; he bid him, therefore, take his money, and be gone. The archbishop left the king under this disgust; and not being in any good condition to double the sum at that time, without racking his tenants, desisted after a second offer, and gave the money to the poor.
About this time he prepared to consecrate a church in one of his manors, built by Lanfranc, his predecessor; this town, called Berga, lay within the diocese of London. The bishop of that see, therefore, sent down two prebendaries The arch- to claim the right of consecration. Upon this the archsults Wul- bishop consulted Wulstan of Worcester upon the point: stan about this prelate was a person of great integrity, and best the right of consecrat- qualified to pronounce upon the controversy, as being the ing churches in a foreign only English or Saxon bishop then living. Wulstan, in his
answer, informed him, that though the case had never been tried, as far as he knew, because that privilege was not disputed with the archbishop, at least, not in his diocese: in which, when archbishop Stigand consecrated several churches upon the estates belonging to the see of Canterbury, he gave him no manner of disturbance; conceiving there was no more done than might be justified by his metropolitical privilege.
Anselm being thus fortified with bishop Wulstan's opinion, and with the concurrence of a great many others, went on with the consecration, performed divine service, and executed other parts of his function, in all the towns belonging to his see, without moving for the consent of the diocesan.
Eadmer, p. 22.
The next year, the king being ready to embark for Normandy, the archbishop waited on him, and, suggesting the disorder of the times, desired he would give leave for the convening a national synod; that these ecclesiastical meetings having been intermitted for a great many years, dissolution of manners was become almost general, and particu