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THEO- in possession of their estates: for, by common right, people Abp. Cant. ought not to be disseized of their property before the reasons of forfeiture are made good against them.
The matter being thus argued on both sides, the king desired the resolution of the synod might be deferred for a day or two, till the archbishop of Rouën could be present. This prelate, at his coming into the council, declared the bishops might be allowed their castles, provided they could justify their title by the canons: but since this could not be done, it was great extravagance to insist upon that point. "But supposing," says he, "the canons should not bar them this liberty, yet, according to the custom of other nations, the castles, in times of danger, are to be put into the king's hands." He pressed the bishops therefore with this dilemma, that either the canons allowed them to hold their castles, or they did not: if the canons did not allow this liberty, the dispute was at an end, and the bishops' pretensions out of doors. But, in case they were not barred by any ecclesiastical constitution, yet they ought to submit to the necessity of the juncture, and put their places of strength in the king's hands, who was to provide for the publick security. This reasoning of the archbishop made some impression upon the council, and weakened the interest of the bishop of Salisbury. And to make the synod still more cautious in pronouncing anything to the disadvantage of the court, Aubrey de Vere told them the king was informed that the bishops threatened to send some of their order beyond sea, and prosecute a suit against him at Rome; but that if any of them presumed to undertake such a voyage against his highness's pleasure, they might probably find it no easy matter to return. And that the king, being sensible of ill usage from the prelates, designed to complain to his holiness, and himself make an appeal to Rome. From this language the council understood the king's mind; and that he was resolved not to submit to the discipline of the canons. The council And thus the assembly broke up without coming to extre
without ex- mities with the court. For, in the first place, they thought it would be a rash expedient to excommunicate a prince without pre-acquainting the pope. And besides, they understood some of the barons began to draw, and brandish their blades. However, the legate and the archbishop of Can
The archbishop of Rouen argues for king Stephen.
terbury did what they could to prevent ill consequences. MAUD, They cast themselves at the king's feet, and entreated him Empress. to have a regard for the Church; to consult his own honour and conscience; and not go into destructive measures, and bring on a fatal rupture between the crown and mitre. The king received the bishops with respect, and promised them fair, but nothing was performed.
Upon the 30th of September, and about a month after fol. 101. the breaking up of the council, Robert, earl of Glocester, The empress with his sister, the empress, landed upon the coast of Sussex. They appeared with a very slender force, having not above a hundred and forty horse at their coming on shore; insomuch that, as Malmsbury reports, they had little but a good cause to depend on. The empress was received in Arundel castle and earl Robert made his way through the country as far as Bristol, only with twelve horse in his company. Malmsb. ib. The empress was, in some measure, deceived by the queen dowager her mother-in-law, who, it is probable, had promised her a body of troops at her landing; but instead of assistance, she was quickly besieged in Arundel castle. But king Stephen, either being overruled by ill advice, or find- Ibid. ing the castle impregnable, gave the empress a safe conduct Hist. 1. S. to march to Bristol to her brother.
In the latter end of this year, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, The death departed this life. It was thought his late misfortunes of of Roger, bishop occasioned his death. The first account we hear of this Salisbury. prelate, is of his being a parish priest in the suburbs of Caen. The lord Henry, who was afterwards king, coming His characinto his church with some of his soldiers, Roger hurried er. the prayers with so much dispatch, that the soldiers were mightily pleased with the expedition; and recommended him to the young prince as an admirable army chaplain. This prince encouraged him, in a jesting way, to go along with him; which Roger thought fit to interpret in earnest. And now being constantly among the lord Henry's retinue, and skilful enough in making his court, he became a great favourite with his patron: insomuch that he intrusted him with the care of his domesticks, and made him comptroller of his household. And when he came to the throne, he thought no preferment too much for him. He made him chancellor of England at the first, and afterwards bishop of
THEO- Salisbury. In short, he was treasurer, comptroller, and Abp. Cant. chancellor, when the king was at home; and when his highness went into Normandy, the whole administration was put into his hands. These great posts gave him an opportunity of raising his friends and relations to places of honour and trust. Thus he preferred one Roger, a near relation, to the chancellorship of England. His two nephews likewise, Alexander and Nigellus, were promoted to considerable bishopricks; the first to Lincoln, and the other to that of Ely. Malmsbury gives this prelate the commendation of a man of integrity, and great application to business; saying that he managed with such capacity and exactness under king Henry, that nobody seemed so much as to envy his greatness. However, after the death of this prince, he prevaricated grossly, and, as bishop Godwin observes, had Godwin in nothing of religion, gratitude, or loyalty in him. For, it Episc. Sarisburiens. seems, he was the man that put Stephen upon the project of usurpation; and swore in with the first, as if he had been ambitious to debauch the subject, and make himself a precedent of perjury. By this compliance he became a great favourite at king Stephen's court: but, as we have seen, in two or three years' time the tide turned. His castles were wrested from him, his wealth plundered, and himself imprisoned. Roger, the chancellor, who, as some will have it, was too much his relation, was laid in irons, and had a rope put about his neck. And what hardships his nephews Alexander and Nigellus met with, have been already observed. In short, he was a lively instance of the instability of human greatness, and seems to hold forth this doctrine, that strains of conscience, and principles of interest, are not Godwin ib. always the surest measures to establish a fortune. As for
Malmsb. 1. 5. fol. 91.
the rencounter at Oxford, which gave a handle for his ruin, it was thought the quarrel was contrived by king Stephen; but how little soever of such usage he might deserve from this prince, the latitude of his morals, and the overgrown Malmsbur. bulk of his fortune, made him fall without pity.
Hist. Novell. 1. 2.
fol. 104. Nubrigens. 1. 1. p. 21.
The next year, Thurstan, archbishop of York, departed this life. He continued in this see five and twenty years; and perceiving himself almost worn out with age and business, he resigned the archbishoprick, took the habit of a monk at Pontefract, and died there about a month after. To
what has been said of this prelate, we may add, that it was MAUD, principally by his encouragement that the abbeys of Foun- Empress. tain and Rydal were founded.
And now the kingdom was miserably harassed by the Pontif. contest between the empress and Stephen: the possessors of Nubrigens. castles, which were very numerous in this reign, sallied Rer. Anglic. upon 1. 1. c. 14. the neighbourhood, ruined the poor country people, and rifled the churches; so that, in short, there was nothing but slaughter, beggary, and desolation to be met with. And Ibid. fol. the license of the armies was so great, that those of the most privileged character were not secure from outrage, in travelling from one village to another.
The legate, endeavouring to put a stop to these confusions, A. D. 1140. A treaty beset a treaty on foot between the empress and king Stephen. tween the They met near Bath, the legate and the archbishop of empress and Canterbury being two of king Stephen's commissioners. The without sucempress confiding in a clear title, was willing to refer the dispute to the bishops; but Stephen would by no means agree to that proposal. The legate, upon the failing of this expedient at home, made a voyage into France, to try the interest of foreign princes. And after having proposed the case to the king of France, and to his eldest brother, Theobald, earl of Blois, he returned, and brought a draft for a treaty of peace along with him. But what the terms were is not mentioned by our historians: however, the empress was willing to sign the articles; but king Stephen threw in delays, and at last broke off the negociation. The legate finding accommodation impracticable, waited the event, and moved no farther.
And now the war revived, and the nation began to bleed afresh; but to relate the particulars of these civil confusions is not the design of this work: however, something of this kind must now and then be mentioned to make the history of the Church more intelligible.
To proceed: the beginning of the war proved unfortu- A. D. 1141. nate to king Stephen; for sitting down before Lincoln, with Malmsbur. a design to surprise the earl of Chester, he was defeated by vell. 1. 2. the earl of Glocester and taken prisoner. He was carried to the empress at Glocester, and from thence removed to Stephen Bristol, where, at first, he was treated with honour and good
THEO- usage; but afterwards, endeavouring to make his escape,
And now the empress having her rival in her hands, sent her agents to the nobility, put them in mind of their oath of allegiance, and required to be recognised as their sovereign. At last both parties agreed to a conference upon Winchester downs. At this meeting, the empress, to engage the legate, gave him an assurance by oath that the great affairs of the kingdom should be managed by his direction; and, particularly, that the bishopricks and abbeys should be disposed of as he thought fit. All this was promised him on condition he would own her for queen, bring the Church along with him, and prove firm in her service. This, without doubt, was a great encouragement for the Maud, the bishop to do his duty: he made no scruple therefore to cognised by recognise her as queen, and give her the securities of a the legate. subject. Though, after all, he engaged no farther than a conditional allegiance, promising to own her for sovereign as long as the articles were kept. The next day, which was the third of March, the empress was solemnly attended to the cathedral of Winchester; the legate leading her into the church by the right hand, and Bernard, bishop of St. David's, by the left: the bishops of Lincoln, Hereford, Ely, Bath, several abbots, and other great men, being likewise present.
Some few days after, Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, waited on the empress at Winchester; but deferred to recognise her and do homage: he fancied, that without king Stephen's leave, such an acknowledgment would bring him under the imputation of inconstancy. To avoid this scandal (as it seems he thought it) he procured leave to consult king Stephen, most of the prelates and some barons going along with him. King Stephen, being a prisoner, consented to an indulgence; told them they might submit to the disadvantage of the times, and go the length of the legate's precedent.
A council at At the octaves of Easter there was a great council of the bishops and abbots held at Winchester; the archbishop of Canterbury was there, but the legate presided. Malmsbury, who was at this synod, reports, that those prelates who were