Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 49. KING HENRY III.

49. KING HENRY III.

FTER this King John had reigned, as some say, seventeen years, or, as some say, though falsely, nineteen years, he was, as is above said, poisoned and died. This king left behind him four sons and three daughters: first, Henry; the second, Richard, and he was earl of Cornwall: the third, William of Valentia; the fourth, Guido Disenaie: he had also another son, who afterward was made bishop. Of his daughters, the first was Isabella, married afterward to Frederic the emperor: the second, named Eleanor, married to William, earl marshal; the third to Mountfort. the earl of Leicester. &c. Another story saith that he had but two daughters, Isabella, and Eleanor, or, as another calleth her, Joan, which was after queen of Scotland.

    This King John being deceased, who had many enemies, both of earls, barons, and especially of the popish clergy, Henry, the eldest son, was then of the age of nine years; at what time the most of the lords of England did adhere to Louis, or Ludovic, the French king's son, whom they had sent for before, in displeasure of King John, to be their king, and had sworn to him their allegiance. Then William, earl marshal, a nobleman, and of great authority, and a grave and sound counsellor, friendly and quietly called unto him divers earls and barons; and taking this Henry the young prince, son of King John, setteth him before them, using these words: "Behold, saith he, "right honourable and well-beloved, although we have persecuted the father of this young prince for his evil demeanour, and worthily; yet this young child, whom here ye see before you, as he is in years tender, so is he pure and innocent from these his father's doings; wherefore, inasmuch as every man is charged only with the burden of his own works and transgressions, neither shall the child, as the Scripture teacheth us, bear the iniquity of his father; we ought therefore of duty and conscience to pardon this young and tender prince, and take compassion of his age, as ye see. And now forsomuch as he is the king's natural and eldest son, and must be our sovereign and king, and successor of this kingdom; come and let us appoint him our king and governor: and let us remove from us this Louis the French king's son, and suppress his people, which is a confusion and a shame to our nation; and the yoke of our servitude let us cast off from our shoulders." To these words spake and answered the earl of Gloucester: "And by what reason or right," said he, "can we so do, seeing we have called him hither, and have sworn to him our fealty?"

    Whereunto the earl marshal inferred again, and said, "Good right and reason we have, and ought of duty to do no less; for that he, contrary to our mind and calling, hath abused our affiance and fealties. Truth it is we called him, and meant to prefer him to be our chieftain and governor; but he eftsoons, surprised in pride, hath contemned and despised us; and if we shall so suffer him, he will subvert and overthrow both us and our nation; and so shall we remain a spectacle of shame to all men, and be as outcasts of all the world."

    At these words all they, as inspired from above, cried all together with one voice, "Be it so, he shall be our king." And so the day was appointed for his coronation, which was the day of Simon and Jude. This coronation was kept, not at Westminster, forsomuch as Westminster the same time was holden of the Frenchmen, but at Gloucester, the safest place, as was thought, at that time in the realm, A.D. 1216, by Swalo, the pope's legate, through counsel of all the lords and barons that held with his father King John, to wit, the bishop of Winchester, bishop of Bath, bishop of Chester, and bishop of Worcester, the earl Raduiph of Chester, William, earl marshal, William, earl of Pembroke, William Tren, earl of Ferers, William de Brewer, Serle or Samarike de Mal, baron. These were at the crowning of the king at Gloucester. Many other lords and barons there were, which as yet held with Louis the French king's son, to whom they had done their homage before. And immediately after the crowning of this king he held his council at Bristow at St. Martin's feast; where were assembled eleven bishops of England and Wales, with divers earls, and barons, and knights of England, all which did swear fealty to the king. After which homage thus done to the king, the legate Swalo interdicted Wales, because they held with the foresaid Louis; and also the barons and all others, as many as gave help or counsel to Louis, or any other that moved or stirred any war against King Henry, the new king, he accursed them. All which notwithstanding, the said Louis did not cease, but first laid siege to the castle of Dover fifteen days. When he could not prevail there, he took the castle of Berkhamstead, and also the castle of Hertford, doing much harm in the countries, in spoiling and robbing the people where he went; by reason whereof the lords and commons, which held with the king, assembled themselves together to drive Louis and his men out of the land. But some of the barons with the Frenchmen in the mean season went to Lincoln, and took the city, and held it to the use of Louis. Which being known, eftsoons a great power of the king's part made thither, as earl Radulph of Chester, William, earl marshal, and William de Brewer, earl of Ferers, with many other lords, and gave battle unto Louis and his party; so that in conclusion Louis lost the field, and of his side were slain the earl of Perche, Saer do Quincy, earl of Winchester, Henry de Ia Bohun, earl of Hertford, and Sir Robert le Fitzwater, with divers other more. Whereupon Louis for succour fled to London, causing the gates there to be shut and kept, waiting there for more succour out of France. Which as soon as the king had knowledge of, immediately he sent to the mayor and burgesses of the city, willing them to render them and their city to him as their chief lord and king, promising to grant to them again all their franchises and liberties as in times past, and to confirm the same by his great charter and seal. In this mean time, on Bartholomew even, Eustace, a French lord, accompanied with many other lords and nobles of France, come with a great power, to the number of a hundred ships, to aid and assist the said Lewis; who, before they arrived, were encountered upon the seas by Richard, King John's bastard son: who, having no more but eighteen ships to keep the cinque ports, set eagerly upon them, and through God's grace overcame them, where presently he smote off the head of Eustace: the rest of the French lords, to the number of ten, he brought with him to the land, where he imprisoned them in the castle of Dover, and slew almost all their men that came with them, and sunk their ships in the sea; only fifteen ships (saith some of my stories) escaped away. Ludovic or Louis hearing this loss of his ships and men, and misdoubting his own life for the great mischief he had done to the realm, sought means by Swalo, and the archbishop of Canterbury, and by other lords, to be at accord with the king. With whom at length it was so concluded and agreed, that for his costs and expenses he should have a thousand pounds of silver given. Matthew Paris speaketh of fifteen thousand marks, which he borrowed of the Londoners, that he should depart the realm, never to return into England again, neither he nor any of his.

    This done, he, with all the other barons that took his part, was assoiled of Swalo the legate. And thus peace being confirmed at Merton, Louis took his leave: and being brought honourably to the sea with the bishop of Canterbury and other bishops, earls, and barons, he returned home into France.

    And here, saith Gisburn, it was truly verified that was before spoken of the French king father of Louis. At what time the said Louis was in England, his father the French king demanded of his messengers coming into France where his son was. And they said, at Stamford. And he asking again whether he had got the castle of Dover. And they said, No. Then the father, swearing by the arm of St. James, My son, quoth he, hath not one foot in England; as afterward well proved true.

    But the chiefest help that repelled Louis and the Frenchmen out of the realm, and that most preferred King John's son to the crown, was the singular working of God's hand, whereof mention was made before; which was through the confession of a certain gentleman of the French host, (as Florilegus doth testify.) who lying sore sick at the point of death, and seeing no hope to escape, was touched in conscience, for danger of his soul's health, openly to confess and utter to the barons of England what was the purpose of the Frenchmen to do; who were conspired and sworn together among themselves, with a privy compaction, that, so soon as they subdued the land, they should thrust all the chief and nobles thereof into perpetual exile out of the realm, whereout they should never return again. This coming to the ears of the barons, as is said, gave them to consider more with themselves, whereby many of them were the more willing to leave Louis, and apply to their natural king and prince. Which no less may also be an admonition to all times and ages for Englishmen to take heed, not to admit or to place foreign rulers into the realm, lest perhaps it follow that they be displaced themselves.

    After the happy departure of this Louis and his Frenchmen out of the land, whereby the state of this realm, long vexed before, was now somewhat more quieted; immediately Swalo the legate, looking to his harvest, directeth forth inquisitors through every shire, to search out all such bishops, abbots, priors, canons, and secular priests, of what order or degree soever they were, that with any succour or counsel did either help, or else consented to Louis. For all these were exempted out of the charter of pardon and absolution made before, between the king and Louis. By reason whereof no small gain grew to the pope and the cardinal; for all such were either put out of their livings and sent up to the pope: or else were fain to fine sweetly for them. Among whom, besides a great number of other clerks, both religious and secular, was Hugo, bishop of Lincoln, who, for the recovery of his bishopric, disbursed one thousand marks to the pope, and one hundred marks to the foresaid Swalo the legate, who now (as Paris recordeth) by this time had gathered in a fair crop of that which he did never sow.

    About this season, or not much before, died Pope Innocent the Third, in the nineteenth year of his popedom, to whose custody Frederic, the nephew of Frederic Barbarossa, being yet young, was committed by the empress his mother; of whom more shall follow (the Lord willing) hereafter. After this Innocent, next succeeded Pope Honorius the Third, who, writing to young King Henry in a special letter, exhorteth him to the love of virtue, and to the fear of God, namely, to be circumspect with what familiars and resort he acquainted himself; but principally above all otherthings he admonisheth him to reverence the church, which is the spouse of Christ, and to honour the ministers thereof, in whom Christ himself (saith he) is both honoured and despised. And this seemeth the chiefest article of that his writing to him.

    Of this Pope Honorius, Abbot Urspergensis (who lived in the same time) reporteth a strange wonder, more strange peradventure than credible; which is this: Honorius being priest in Rome, (whose name was then Centius,) and procurator to Jacinth, a cardinal; so it befell, that his master sent him abroad about Rome, to borrow and procure money for him against his journey into Spain; for Pope Clement then intended to send this Jacinth his legate into Spain. As this Centius was walking by himself all sad and solicitous to speed his masters message, there cometh to him a certain aged and reverend father, and asketh him what cause he had to walk so heavy and careful. To whom he answered again, and signified the occasion of his business that then he had to do. Then the old father said to him, Go, and return home again, for thy master, saith he, shall not at this time go to Spain. How so, quoth the other; how is that true? As true, saith he, as it is certain that the pope shall die, and thy said master shall be pope after him. Centius, thinking that to be unlikely, said he could not believe that to be true. To whom the other inferreth again, So know this (said he) to be as certain as it is true that the city of Jerusalem this day is taken of the Saracens, and shall not be recovered again from them before the time of thy papacy. And thus speaking (saith Urspergensis) he vanished suddenly away. All which (saith the said author) came afterwards to pass, and were testified of the same Honorius, being pope afterward, in his public sermons at Rome. All which I grant may be, and yet notwithstanding this fabulous narration may be a piece of the popes old practices, subtlely invented to drive men forth to Jerusalem to fight. Again, after Honorius (when he had governed ten years) followed Gregory the Ninth, which two popes were in the time of this King Henry the Third, and of Frederic the emperor; of whom we mind (Christ willing) further to touch, after that we shall have prosecuted more concerning the history of King Henry and matters of England.

    After that, it so pleased the merciful providence of Almighty God to work this great mercy upon the stock of King John, (which, notwithstanding the unkind prelates with their false prophets had declared before, that never any of them should succeed in the throne after that king,) and also unto the whole commonwealth of the realm, in delivering them from the dangerous service of Ludovic and the foresaid Frenchmen. After their departure, the next year following, A.D. 1218, which was the third of this king's reign, the archbishop S. Langton, and the bishops, earls, and barons, resorted to London unto the king at Michaelmas next following, and there held a great parliament, wherein were confirmed and granted by the king all the franchises which were made and given by King John his father at Runnemede, and them he confirmed and ratified by his charter; which long time after (saith mine author) unto his days did continue, and were holden in England. For the which cause, by the nobles and commons was given and granted again unto the king two shillings for every plough land through England. And Hubert Burgh was made chief justice of England, of whose troubles more is to be said hereafter. And this was the third year of King Henry, and the fiftieth year after the death of Thomas Becket: wherefore the said Becket, the same year next following, was taken up and shrined for a new saint made of an old rebel. Thither came such resort of people of England and of France, that the country of Kent was not suffi cient to sustain them. About the same time Isabella the kings mother was married to the earl of March. And William, the good earl marshal, died, which was the governor of the king and the realm, not without great lamentation of the people of England. Then was the king committed to the government of Peter, bishop of Winchester. This noble earl left behind him five sons, and five daughters.

    The year next ensuing, A.D. 1219, it was ordained and proclaimed through all the land, that all aliens and foreigners should depart the realm, and not return to the same again, only such excepted as used traffic or trade of merchandise under the kings safe conduct. This proclamation was thought chiefly to be set forth for this cause, to send out of the land Foukes de Brent, Philip de Marks, Egelardus de Ciconia, William Earl Albermarle, Robert de Veteriponte, Brihenne de Insula, Hugo de Bailluell, Roger de Gaugi, with divers other strangers more, which kept castles and holds of the king's against his will. Of these the forenamed Foukes was the principal, who fortified and held the castle of Bedford, which he had by the gift of King John, with might and strength against the king and his power, near the space of three months. Moreover, he went about to apprehend the king's justices at Dunstable; but they, being warned thereof, escaped all, except Henry Braybroke, whom he imprisoned in the said castle. The king hearing thereof, and consulting with his clergy and nobles, made his power against the same. Which after long siege and some slaughter at length he obtained, and hanged almost all that were within, to the number of ninety and seven, which was, as Paris writeth, about the seventh or eighth year of his reign. Foukes at the same time was in Wales; who, hearing of the taking of the castle, conveyed himself to the church of Coventry. At length, submitting himself to the king's mercy, upon consideration of his service done before to the king's father, he was committed to the custody of Eustace, bishop of London; and afterwards, being deprived of all his goods, possessions, and tenements within the realm, was forced to perpetual banishment, never to return to England again.

    Here, by the way, I find it noted in Paris, that after this foresaid Foukes had spoiled and razed the church of St. Paul in Bedford, for the building up of his castle, the abbess of Helvestue, hearing thereof, caused the sword to be taken from the image of St. Paul standing in the church, so long as Foukes remained unpunished. Afterward, hearing him to be committed to the custody of St. Paul in London, she caused the sword to be put into the hands of the image again.

    About this year the young king was crowned the second time at Westminster, about which time began the new building of our Lady church at Westminster. Shortly after Gualo the legate was called home again to Rome. For the holy father, being sick of a spiritual dropsy, thought this Gualo (having so large occupying in England) to be able somewhat to cure his disease. And so the legate returned with all his bags well stuffed, leaving Pandulph behind him to supply that bailiwick of his great grandfather the pope.

    The life and acts of Pope Innocent the Third are partly described before, how he intruded Stephen Langton against the king's will into the archbishopric of Canterbury, stirring up also sixty and four monks of the same church of Canterbury privily to work against the king. Moreover, how he did excommunicate the said king as a public enemy of the church, so long as the said king withstood his tyrannical doings, putting him and his whole kingdom under interdiction for the space of five years and three months, and at length be deposed and deprived him from his sceptre, keeping it in his own hands for five days. How be absolved his subjects from their due obedience and subjection unto him. How he gave away his kingdoms and possessions to Louis the French king's son, commanding the said Louis to spoil him both of lands and life. Whereupon the king, being forsaken of his nobles, prelates, and commons, was forced against his will to submit himself, and sware obedience unto the pope, paying unto him a yearly tribute of one thousand marks by year, for receiving his kingdom again, whereby both be and his successors after him were vassals afterwards unto the pope. These were the apostolical acts of this holy vicar in the realm of England. Moreover, he condemned Almeric, a worthy learned man and a bishop, for a heretic, for teaching and holding against images. Also he condemned the doctrine of Joachim Abbas (whom we spake of before) for heretical. This pope brought first into the church the paying of private tithes. He ordained the receiving once a year at Easter. Unto the papal decretals he added the decree, Omnes utriusque sexus, &c. Also the reservation of the sacrament, and the going with the bell and light before the sacrament, was by him appointed. In the said Council of Lateran he also ordained that the canon of the mass should be received with equal authority as though it had proceeded from the apostles themselves. He brought in transubstantiation.

    Item, the said Innocent the Third ordained that none should marry in the third degree, but only in the fourth degree, and so under.

    The said pope stirred up Otho against Philip the emperor, because the said Philip was elected emperor against his will; upon the occasion whereof followed much war and slaughter in Germany. And afterward against the said Otho, whom he had made emperor, he set up Frederic, king of Sicily, and caused the archbishop of Mayence to pronounce him excommunicate in all his titles, and to be deposed of his empire. For the which cause the princes of Germany did invade his bishopric, spoiling and burning his possessions. The cause why the pope so did accurse and depose him was, that the said Otho did take and occupy cities; towns, and castles, which the pope said appertained to him.

    Item, the said pope ordained, that if any princes offended one another, the correction should appertain unto the pope. In the fourth Council of Lateran were archbishops and primates sixty-one, bishops four hundred, abbots twelve, priors and conventuals eight hundred, besides other ambassadors, legates, doctors, and lawyers an innumerable sort, &c.

    In the history of Hermanus Mutius, we read how, in the year of our Lord 1212, in this pope's time divers noblemen, and others in the country of Alsace, contrary to the tradition of the Romish popes, did hold that every day was free for eating of flesh, so it be done soberly. Also that they did wickedly, who restrained priests and ministers from their lawful wives, for the which cause, (as is in the foresaid author,) by this pope Innocent the Third, and his bishops, a hundred of them in one day were burned and martyred.

    Some other history (as Nauclerus) recordeth also, that at the same time many were in the city of Milan of the said doctrine, who used to send collects unto the foresaid saints of Alsace.

    In the chronicle of Walter Hemingford, otherwise called Gisburnensis, it is recorded that in the days of this King John and Pope Innocent began the two sects or orders of friars, one called the Preachers' order, or Black Friars of St. Dominic; the other called the Minorites of St. Francis. The Preachers of the Black Friars' order began of one Dominic, a Spaniard, about the parts of Tholouse, who after he had laboured ten years in preaching against the Albigenses, and such others as did bold against the Church of Rome, afterward, coming up to the Council of Lateran with Fulco, bishop of Tholouse, desired of the foresaid Innocent the Third to have his order of Preaching Friars confirmed, which the pope a great while refused to grant. At length he had a dream. that the Church of Lateran was ready to fall. Which when he beheld, fearing and much sorrowing thereat, cometh in this Dominic, who with his shoulders underpropped the church, and so preserved the building thereof from falling, &c. And right well this dream may seem verified, for the friars have been always the chief pillars and upholders of the pope's church. Upon this the pope (waking out of his dream) called Dominic to him, and granted his petition; and so came up this wolfish order of the Dominics. I call it wolfish, for his mother, when she was great with this Dominic, dreamed that she had in her womb a wolf, which had a burning torch in his mouth. The which dream the preachers of that order do greatly advance, and expound to their order's glory as well as they can. Nevertheless, howsoever they expound it, they can make a wolf but a wolf, and this a wolfish order. The rule which they follow seemeth to be taken out of St. Augustine, as who should say that Christ's rule were not enough to make a Christian man. Their profession standeth upon three principal points, as thus described: Having charity, holding humility, and possessing wilful poverty. Their habit and clothing is black.

    The order of the Minors or Minorite friars descended from one Francis, an Italian, of the city of Assisium. This Assisian ass, who I suppose was some simple and rude idiot, hearing upon a time how Christ sent forth his disciples to preach, thought to imitate the same in himself and his disciples, and so left off his shoes. He had but one coat, and that of coarse cloth. Instead of a latchet to his shoe, and of a girdle, he took about him a hempen cord, and so he apparelled his disciples, teaching them to fulfil (for so he speaketh) the perfection of the gospel, to apprehend poverty, and to walk in the way of holy simplicity. He left in writing, to his disciples and followers, his rule, which he called, The rule of the gospel. As though the gospel of Christ were not a sufficient rule to all Christian men, but it must take his perfection of frantic Francis. And yet for all that great presumption of this Francis, and notwithstanding this his rule, sounding to the derogation of Christ's gospel, he was confirmed by this Pope Innocent. Yes, and such fools this Francis found abroad, that not only he had followers of his doltish religion, (both of the nobles and unnobles of Rome,) but also some there were which builded mansions for him and his friars. This Francis, as he was superstitious in casting all things from him, as his girdle, girding a cord about him; so in outward chastising of himself, so strait he was to his flesh, (leaving the ordinary remedy appointed by God,) that in winter season he covered his body with ice and snow. He called poverty his lady, he kept nothing overnight. So desirous he was of martyrdom, that he went to Syria to Saladin, who received him honourably. Whereby it may he thought, that (surely) he told not the truth, as St. John Baptist did in Herod's house. For truth is seldom welcome in courts and in the world. But it is hard to make a martyr of him who is no true confessor. I will here pass over the fable, how Christ and his saints did mark him with five wounds. These Franciscan, or begging friars, although they were all under one rule and clothing of St. Francis, yet they be divided into many sects and orders; some go on treen shoes or pattens; some, barefooted; some, regular Franciscans, or Observants; some, Minors, or Minorites; others be called Minimi; others, of the Gospel; others, De Caputio. They all differ in many things, but accord in superstition and hypocrisy. And forsomuch as we have here entered into the matter of these two orders of friars, by the occasion hereof I thought a little by the way to digress from our story, in reciting the whole catalogue or rabblement of monks, friars, and nuns of all sects, rules, and orders, set up and confirmed bythe pope. The names of whom here in order of the alphabet follow.

The rabblement of religious orders.

Augustinians, the first order.

 

Ambrosians, two sorts,

490

Antony's heremites,

324

Austin's heremites,

498

Austin's Observants,

490

Armenians' sect.

 

Ammonites and Moabites.

 

Basilius's order,

384

Benet's order,

524

Bernardus's order,

1120

Barefooted Friars,

1222

Bridget's order.

1370

Beghearts, or White Spirits.

1399

Brethren of Jerusalem.

1103

Brethren of St. John De Civitate, Black Friars,

1220

Brethren of wilful poverty.

 

Cluniacensis's order,

913

Canons of St. Augustine,

1080

Charterhouse order,

1086

Cisterciensis order,

1098

Cross-bearers, or Crossed Friars,

1216

Carmelites. or White Friars,

1212

Clare's order,

1225

Celestine's order. 1297

 

Camaldulensis order,

950

Cross-starred brethren.

 

Constantinopolitanish order.

 

Cross-bearers.

 

Chapter monks.

 

Dutch order.

l216

Dominic Black Friars.

1220

Franciscans.

1224

Grandmontensis order,

1076

Gregorian order,

594

George's order,

1417

Giilielmites,

1246

Genindinensis order.

 

Galilei, or Galilean.

 

Heremites.

 

Helen's brethren, Humiliati,

1166

Hospital brethren.

 

Holy Ghost order.

 

Jerome's orders, two sorts,

1412

John's heremites.

 

Justin's order,

1432

John's order, Joannites
otherwise Knights of Rhodes

380
1308

Injesuati,

1365

Jerome's heremites.

490

Joseph's order.

 

Jacobites' sect.

 

James's brethren order.

 

James's brethren with the sword.

 

Indians' order.

 

Katharine of Sene's order,

1455

Keiedmonks, Knights of Rhodes.

 

Lazarites of Mary Magdalen's our Lady's brethren,

1034

Lords of Hungary.

 

Minorites, which be divided into.
Conventuals.
Observants.
Reformat.
Collectan.
De Caputio.
De Evangelio.
Amedes.
Clarini and others.

 

Minors, or Minorites,

1224

Mary's servants,

1304

Monks of Mount Olivet.

1046

Marovinies sect.

 

Monorites' sect.

 

Monachi and Monachæ.

 

Morbonei and Meresti.

 

Menelaish and Jasonish sect.

 

New canons of St. Austin

1430

Nestorini.

 

Naiheart brethren.

 

New order of our Lady.

 

Nazaræi.

 

Paul's heremites,

345

Præmonstratensis order,

1119

Prachers' order, or Black Friars.

 

Peter the Apostle's order,

1409

Purgatory brethren.

 

Rechabites.

 

Sarrabites.

 

Sambonites,

1199

Scourgers, the first sect,

1266

Soldiers of Jesus Christ,

1323

Scopenites, or St. Salvator's order,

1367

Specularii,or the Glass order.

 

Sepulchre's order.

 

Sheere order.

 

Swerd's order.

 

Starred monks.

 

Starred friars.

 

Sclavonie order.

 

Scourgers, the second sect, called Ninevites.

 

Stool brethren.

 

Scotland brethren order.

 

Sicarli.

 

St. Sophia's order.

 

Templar Lords,

1110

Templar Knights,

1120

The Vale of Josaphat's order.

 

Vallis Umbrosæ,

1400

Wentzelaus's order.

 

Wilhelmer order.

 

White Monks of Mount Olivet.

1406

Zelotes' order.

 

    Thus hast thou, if thou please, gentle reader, to know what orders and what sects of religion have been set up by the pope, the catalogue and number of them all, so far as we could search them out, not only in books printed of late in Germany, namely, by the reverend father Martin Luther; but also conferred with another English book which came to our hands, containing the same like notes of ancient antiquity, the number of which rabblement of religious persons came to 101. Now as I have reckoned up the names and varieties of these prodigious sects, it cometh to mind consequently to infer to the prophecy of Hildegard, as well against the whole rout of Romish prelates, and the fall of that church, as especially against the begging friars and such other unprofitable bellies of the church. This Hildegard is bolden of the papists themselves to be a great prophetess; whose prophecy proceedeth in this manner, first against the priests and prelates of the Romish church, as followeth.

The prophecy of Hildegard of the ruin of Rome, and against the begging friars.

    Hildegard, a nun and (as many judged) a prophetess, lived in the year 1146. In her prophecies she doth most grievously reprehend, not only the wicked and abominable life of the spiritual papists, but also the contempt of the ecclesiastical office, and also the horrible destruction of the Church of Rome. In a certain place she hath these words:

    "And now is the law neglected among the spiritual people, which neglect to teach and to do good things; the master likewise and the prelates do sleep, despising justice, and laying it aside. In a certain vision the church appeared to her in the shape of a woman, complaining that the priests had bewrayed her face with dust, and rent her coat, &c., and that they did not shine over the people, either in doctrine, either in example of life; but rather contrariwise, that they have driven the innocent lamb from them, She said, moreover, that all ecclesiastical order did every day become worse and worse, and that priests did not teach but destroy the law of God; and for these horrible crimes and impieties she threateneth and prophesieth unto them God's most heavy wrath and displeasure, and doleful punishments." There is no cause why the spiritual papists should flatter themselves upon this, that she promised again to the ministers of the church those good things to follow, like as Johannes de Rupescissa doth, and other such-like prophets; for they say it will come to pass, that they must repent before the times be amended. By which thing undoubtedly they mean the godly ministers in the Reformed churches, which for the most part were of the spiritual number, and yet did forsake the dishonest life and those wicked idolatries. Now, whereas the priests and monks, that is, the whole rabble and spiritualty, do account Hildegard for a true prophetess, they ought to consider that by her they are more severely accused, not as by a woman, but as by God himself. And, I pray you, what abomination, impiety, and idolatry hath not been committed since that time by the spiritualty? I will note here a certain prophecy of hers, taken out of the common places of Henry Token, because we see it manifestly fulfilled in our time. She prophesieth of the reformation of religion, and saith that it shall be most godly.

    "Then shall the crown of apostolical honour he divided, because there shall be found no religion among the apostolical order, and for that cause shall they despise the dignity of that name, and shall set over them other men and other archbishops. Insomuch that the apostolic see of that time (by the diminution of his honour) shall scarce have Rome, and a few other countries thereabout, under his crown. And these things shall partly come to pass by incursion of wars, and partly also by a common counsel and consent of the spiritual and secular persons. Then shall justice flourish, so that in those days men shall honestly apply themselves to the ancient customs and discipline of ancient men, and shall observe them as ancient men did.

    About the same time that the Franciscans and Dominic friars began (which are above mentioned) sprang up also the Cross-bearers, or Crutched Friars, taking their original and occasion of Innocent the Third, which Innocent raised up an army (signed with a cross on their breast) to fight against the Albigenses, whom the pope and his sect accounted for heretics about the parts of Tholouse. What these Albigenses were it cannot be well gathered by the old popish histories; for if there were any that did hold, teach, or maintain against the pope or his papal pride, or withstand and gainsay his beggarly traditions, rites, and religions, &c., the historians of that time (for the most part in writing of them) do so deprave and misreport them, suppressing the truth of their articles, that they make them and paint them to be worse than Turks and infidels. And that, as I suppose, caused Matthew Paris, and others of that sort, to write so of them as they did: otherwise it is to be thought (and so I find in some records) that the opinions of the said Albigenses were sound enough, holding and professing nothing else but only against the wanton wealth, pride, and tyranny of the prelates, denying the pope's authority to have ground of the Scriptures; neither could they away with their ceremonies and traditions, as images, pardons, purgatory of the Romish Church, calling them (as some say) blasphemous occupyings, &c. Of these Albigenses were slain at times and burned a great multitude, by the means of the pope and Simon Ecclesiasticus, with others more. It seemeth that these Albigenses were chiefly abhorred of the pope, because they set up a contrary pope against him about the coasts of Bugarorum; for the which cause the bishop called Portinensis, being the pope's legate in those quarters, wrote to the archbishop of Rome and other bishops.

    As Henry this king succeeded King John his father, so after Innocent the pope came Honorius the Third, then Gregory the Ninth, &c. And after Otho the emperor (whom the pope had once set up, and after deprived again) succeeded Frederic the Second, as is partly before touched. In the days of these kings, popes, and emperors, it were too long to recite all that happened in England, but especially in Germany, betwixt Pope Honorius, Grcgorius, and Frederic the emperor; the horrible tragedy whereof were enough to fill a whole book by itself. But yet we mean (God willing) somewhat to touch concerning these ecclesiastical matters, first beginning with this realm of England.

    After the kingdom of England had been subjected by King John, (as hath been said,) and made tributary to the pope and the Romish Church, it is incredible how the unsatiable avarice and greediness of the Romans did oppress and wring the commons and all estates and degrees of the realm, especially beneficed men, and such as had any thing of the church. Who, what for their domestical charges within the realm, what for the pope, what for the legates, what for contributing to the Holy Land, what for relaxations, and other subtle sleights to get away their money, were brought into such slavery, captivity, and penury, that whereas the king neither durst nor might remedy their exclamations by himself; yet, notwithstanding, by his advice, Simon Montfort, and the earl of Leicester, with other noblemen, (not forgetting what great grievances and distresses the realm was brought into by the Romans,) thought to work some way how to bridle and restrain the insatiable ravening of these greedy wolves. Wherefore they devised their letter, giving strait commandment to the religious men, and to such as had their churches to farm, that henceforth they should not answer the Romans on account of such farms and rents any more, but should pay the said farms or rents unto their own proctors appointed for the same purpose, as by their writings sent abroad to bishops or chapters, and other ecclesiastical houses. may appear, in this form and effect as followeth.

A complaint of the nobles of England against the intolerable covetousness of the pope and prelates of Rome.

    "To such and such a bishop, and such a chapter, all the university and company of them, that had rather die than to be confounded of the Romans, wisheth health. How the Romans and their legates have hitherto behaved themselves toward you, and other ecclesiastical persons of this realm of England, it is not unknown to your discretions, in disposing and giving away the benefices of the realm after their own lust, to the intolerable prejudice and grievance both of you and all other Englishmen. For whereas the collation of benefices should and doth properly belong to you and other your fellow bishops, (ecclesiastical persons,) they, thundering against you the sentence of excommunication, ordain that you should not bestow them upon any person of this realm, until in every diocess and cathedral church within the realm five Romans (such as the pope shall name) be provided for, to the value of every man a hundred pounds by year. Besides these, many other grievances the said Romanists do inflict and infer, both to the laity and nobles of the realm, for the patronages and alms bestowed by them and their ancestors, for the sustentation of the poor of the realm, and also to the clergy and ecclesiastical persons of the realm touching their livings and benefices. And yet the said Romanists, not contented with the premises, do also take from the clergy of this realm the beneflces which they have, to bestow them on men of their own country, &c.

    Wherefore, we, considering the rigorous austerity of these foresaid Romanists, which, once coming in but as strangers hither, now take upon them not only to judge, but also to condemn us, laying upon us insupportable burdens, whereunto they will not put to one of their own fingers to move, and laying our heads together upon a general and full advice had among ourselves concerning the same, have thought good (although very late) to withstand them, rather than to be subject to their intolerable oppressions, and greater slavery more hereafter to be looked for. For the which cause we straitly charge and command you (as your friends going about to deliver you. the church, the king, and the kingdom from that miserable yoke of servitude) that you do not intermeddle or take any part concerning such exactions or rents to be required or given to the said Romans. Letting you to understand for truth, that in case you shall (which God forbid) be found culpable herein, not only your goods and possessions shall be in danger of burning, but you also in your persons shall incur the same peril and punishment as shall the said Romish oppressors themselves.

    Thus fare ye well."

    Thus much I thought here to insert and notice concerning this matter, for that not only the foul and avaricious greediness of the Romish Church might the more evidently unto all Englishmen appear: but that they may learn by this example how worthy they be so to be served and plagued with their own rod, which before would take no part with their natural king against foreign power, of which now they are scourged.

    To make the story more plain, in the reign of this Henry the Third (who succeeding, as is said, after King John, his father, reigned six and fifty years) came divers legates from Rome to England. First Cardinal Otho, sent from the pope with letters to the king, like as other letters also were sent to other places, for exactions of money.

    The king opening the letters, and perceiving the contents, answered, that he alone could say nothing in the matter, which concerned all the clergy and commons of the whole realm. Not long after a council was called at Westminster, where the letters being opened, the form was this: We require to be given unto us, first, of all cathedral churches two prebends, one for the bishop's part, the other for the chapter; and likewise of monasteries where be divers portions, one for the abbot, another for the convent; of the convent so much as appertaineth to one monk, the portion of the goods being proportionally divided; of the abbot likewise as much. The cause why he required these prebends was this: It hath been (saith he) an old slander, and a great complaint against the Church of Rome, and it hath been charged with insatiable covetousness, which, as ye know, is the root of all mischief, and all by reason that causes be wont commonly not to be handled nor to proceed in the Church of Rome without great gifts and expense of money. Whereof, seeing the poverty of the church is the cause, and the only reason why it is so slandered and evil spoken of, it is therefore convenient that you (as natural children) should succour your mother. For unless we should receive of you and of other good men as you are, we should then lack necessaries for our life, which were a great dishonour to our dignity, &c.

    When those petitions and causes of the legate were propounded in the foresaid assembly at Westminster on the pope's behalf, (the bishops and prelates of the realm being present,) answer was made by the mouth of Master John Bedford on this wise: That the matter there propounded by the lord legate in especial concerned the king of England, but in general it touched all the archbishops with their suffragans, the bishops, and all the prelates of the realm. Wherefore, seeing both the king by reason of his sickness was absent, and the archbishop of Canterbury with divers other bishops also were not there, therefore in the absence of them they had nothing to say in the matter, neither could they so do without prejudice of them which were lacking. And so the assembly for that time brake up.

    Not long after, the said Otho, cardinal, coming again from Rome, indicted another council at London, and caused all prelates, archbishops, bishops, abbots. priors, and other of the clergy to be warned unto the same council, to be had in the church of St. Paul's at London about the feast of St. Martin. The pretence of which council was for redress of matters concerning benefices and religion; but the chief and principal was to hunt for money; for putting them in fear and in hope, some to lose, some to obtain, spiritual promotions at his hand, be thought gain would rise thereby, and so it did. For in the mean time divers precious rewards were offered him, in palfreys. in rich plate and jewels, in costly and sumptuous garments so richly furred, in coin, in victuals, and such-like things of value well worthy of acceptation. Wherein one endeavoured to go beyond another in munificence, not considering, by means of the servility wherewith they were oppressed of those popish shavelings and shameless shifters, that all was mere pillage and extortion. Insomuch that only the bishop of Winchester, (as the story reporteth,) hearing that he would winter at London, sent him fifty fat oxen, a hundred coomb of pure wheat, eight tun of chosen wine, toward his house-keeping. Likewise other bisbops also for their part offered unto the cardinal's box after their ability.

    The time of the council drawing nigh, the cardinal commanded at the west end of Paul's church a high and solemn throne to be prepared, rising up with a glorious scaffold upon mighty and substantial stages I strongly builded, and of great height. Thus against the day assigned came the said archbishops, bishops, abbots, and other of the prelacy, both far and near throughout all England, wearied and vexed with the winter's journey, bringing their letters procuratory. Who being together assembled, the cardinal beginneth his sermon. But before we come to the sermon, there happened a great discord between the two archbishops of Canterbury and York, for sitting at the right hand and left hand of the glorious cardinal; for the which the one appealed against the other. The cardinal, to pacify the strife between them both, so that he would not derogate from either of them, brought forth a certain bull of the pope; in the midst of which bull was pictured the figure of the cross. On the right side of the cross stood the image of St. Paul, and on the left side St. Peter. Lo, saith the cardinal, (holding open the bull with the cross. here you see St. Peter on the left hand of the cross,) and St. Paul on the right side, and yet is there between these two no contention, for both are of equal glory. And yet St. Peter, for the prerogative of his keys, and for the pre-eminence of his apostleship and cathedral dignity, seemeth most worthy to be placed on the right side. But yet because St. Paul believed on Christ when he saw him not, therefore hath he the right hand of the cross; for blessed be they (saith Christ) which believe and see not, &c. And from that time forth the archbishop of Canterbury enjoyed the right hand, and the archbishop of York the left. Wherein yet this cardinal is more to be commended than the other cardinal Hugo mentioned a little before, which in the like contention between these archbishops ran away.

    Thus, the controversy ceased and composed between these two, Otho the cardinal, sitting aloft between these two archbishops, beginneth his sermon, taking this theme of the prophet: In the midst of the seat, and in the circuit about the seat, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind, &c. Upon this theme the cardinal proceeded in his sermon, sitting like a god in the midst. He compared them about him to the four beasts about the seat, declaring how they ought to have eyes both before and behind; that is, that they must be provident in disposing of secular things, and circumspect in spiritual matters, continuing and joining wisely things past with things to come; and this was the greatest effect of his clerkly sermon. That done, he giveth forth certain statutes for ordering of churches, as for the dedication of temples, for seven sacraments, for giving of orders, for framing of benefices, collations and resignations of benefices and vicarages, priests' apparel, and single life, for eating of flesh in religious houses, or archdeacons, bishops, proctors, and such other like matters. But the chiefest intent of all his proceeding was this, that they should be vigilant, provident, and circumspect, with all their eyes (both before and behind) to fill the pope's pouch, as appeared not only by this, but all their other travails besides. Insomuch that the king, dreading the displeasure of his commons for the doings of the legate, willed him to repair home to Rome again, but yet could not so be rid of him; for he, receiving new commandments from the pope, applied his harvest, still gleaning and raking whatsoever he might scrape.

    And, moreover, note again the wicked and cursed trains of these Romish rakehells, who, to pick simple men's purses. first send out their friars and preachers to stir up in all places and countries men to go fight against the Turks; whom when they have once bound with a vow, and signed them with the cross, then send they their bulls to release them, both of their labour and their vow, for money.

    The cause why the pope was so greedy and needy of money was this; because he had mortal hatred, and waged continual battle the same time, against the good emperor Frederic the Second, who had to wife King John's daughter, and sister to King Henry the Third, whose name was Isabel, And therefore, because the pope's war could not be sustained withont charges, that made the pope the more importunate to take up money in all places. but especially in England. Insomuch that he shamed not to require the fifth part of every ecclesiastical man's living, as Parisiensis writeth. And not only that, but also the said Pope Gregory (conventing with the citizens of Rome) so agreed with them, that if they would join with him in vanquishing the foresaid Frederic, he would (and so did) grant unto them, that all the benefices in England which were or should be vacant, namely, pertaining to religious houses, should be bestowed at their own will and commandment to their children and kinsfolks. The pope sent in commandment to the archbishop of Canterbury and four other bishops. that provision should be made for three hundred Romans in the chiefest and best benefices in all England at the next voidance; so that the foresaid archbishop and bishops should be suspended in the mean time from all collation or gift of benefices, until these foresaid three hundred were provided for. Whereupon the archbishop the same time, seeing the unreasonable oppression of the Church of England, left the realm and went into France.

    Again, mark another as much or more easy sleight of the pope in procuring money. He sent one Petrus Rubeus the same time with a new device, which was this: not to work any thing openly, but privily to go betwixt bishop and bishop, abbot and abbot, &c., telling in their ears, Such a bishop, such an abbot, hath given so much and so much unto the pope's Holiness, trusting that you also will not be behind for your part, &c. By the means whereof it is incredible to think what a mass of money was made out of the realm unto the pope.

    At length the foresaid bishops, abbots, and archdeacons, feeling their own smart, came to the king (whose father before they did resist) with their humble suit, lamentably complaining of the unmeasurable exactions of the pope, and especially against Petrus Rubeus and his fellow, Otto the legate; desiring the king, that seeing the matter toucheth not themselves alone, but the whole church, and seeing the valuation of churches was known better to their archdeacons than to themselves, therefore there might be a general calling and talk had in the matter. In the octaves of St. John the Baptist, the day and place was assigned where they should talk; at which day and place the prelates of England, conventing together, durst not give any direct denial of that contribution, but after a modest sort did insinuate certain exceptions against the same.

    1. First they say, that forsomuch as the contrihution is demanded to war against him, who was joined in matrimony with their prince, they were not bound so to do.

    2. Secondly, for that the said contribution tended to the shedding of Christian blood; for so the form of the bill pretended, to fight against the emperor.

    3. Thirdly, because it was against the liberty of the church; for so it is in the bill, that they that would not should be excommunicate.

    4. Fourthly, because that when of late they gave the tenth part of their goods, it was with this protestation, that they should contribute to the pope no more hereafter.

    5. Item, because they had contributed before, if they should now contrihute again, it were to be feared lest an action twice done should grow into a custom, as is in the law.

    6. Item, forsomuch as they shall have causes continually to seek to Rome through the emperor's land, it were to be feared lest the said emperor by the way would work their annoyance.

    7. Item, because the king hath many enemies abroad, and for his wars hath need of much money at home, it is not convenient that the goods of the realm should be alienated out of the realm.

    8. Item, because that could not be done without prejudice to the patrons of their churches, not knowing whether their patrons did or would agree unto the same.

    9. Lastly, because they hear say that the general state of the church is in danger, for the which they understand there shall be shortly a general council, wherein such matters shall be determined; and therefore if they should contribute now, it should be to the hinderance and damage of the church.

    The legate and his fellow hearing these allegations, seeing their own confusion, were the less importunate.

    Not long after this followed a general council at Lyons, called by Pope Innocentius the Fourth, in the which council the English nation did exhibit certain articles of their grievances not unworthy to be known.

    1. The kingdom of England is grieved that the pope, being not contented with his Peter pence, rcquireth and extorteth from the clergy great exactions, (and more is like,) both without the consent of the king, and against the customs of the realm.

    2. Item, the church and kingdom of England is grieved, that the patrons of the same cannot present, as they were wont, into their churches for the pope's letters; but the churches are given to Romans, which know neither the realm nor the tongue thereof, both to the great peril of souls and robbing away the money out of the realm.

    3. Item, it is grieved, for that the pope promising by the tenor of his letters that, in requiring of pensions and provisions in the realm of England, he would require but only twelve benefices, now, contrary to the tenor thereof, many more benefices and provisions are bestowed away by him.

    4. Item, the realm is grieved and complaineth, that in the benefices in England one Italian succeedeth another, the Englishmen being not only excluded, but also compelled for the determining of their matters to seek to Rome, contrary both to the customs of the realm, and also to the privileges granted by the pope's predecessors to the king and kingdom of England.

    .5. The fifth grievance is, for the oft recourse of that infamous legate, by whom both faith and fidelity. the ancient customs of the realm. the authority of old grants, statutes, laws, and privileges, are imbeciled and abrogate, whereby an infinite number in England be grievously afflicted and oppressed.

    6. The said realm is also grieved in general tallages, collections, and assizes, made without the king's consent, the appellation and contradiction of the king's proctors to the contrary notwithstanding.

    7. Seventhly, the foresaid realm complaineth and is grieved, that, in the benefices given to Italians, neither the old ordinances, nor relief of the poor, nor hospitality, nor any preaching of God's word, nor care of men's souls, nor service in the church, nor yet the walls of the churches, be kept up and maintained, as the manner and custom of the same realm requireth. Over and above these foresaid grievances, there came moreover from the pope other fresh letters, charging and commanding the prelates of England to find of their proper costs and charges for one whole year, some ten armed soldiers, some five, some fifteen, to be ready at the pope's commandment there where be should appoint.

    After these and other grievances and enormities of Rome, the states of England consulting together direct their letters to the pope, for reformation thereof; first the abbots and priors, then the bishops and suffragans, after the nobles and barons, last of all the king himself. But as the proverb is, Venter non habet aures; so the pope's purse had no ears to hear. And as our common saying goeth, As good never a whit as never the better; so went it with the pope, who not long after the same sent for new tallages and exactions to be collected. Which thing, when it came to the king's ear, he, being moved and disturbed vehemently withal, writeth in this wise to the bishops, severally to every one in his diocess.

    "Henry the Third, by the grace of God, to the reverend in Christ bishop of N. Whereas we have heretofore written unto you once, twice, thrice, as well by our privy seals, as also by our letters patents, that you should not exact or collect, for the pope's behalf, any tallage or other help of our subjects, either of the clergy or of the laity, for that no such tallage nor help either can or is used to be exacted in our realm without the great prejudice of our princely dignity, which we neither will nor can suffer or sustain; yet you, contemning and vilipending our commandment, and contrary to the provision made in our last council at London, (granted and agreed upon by our prelates, earls, and barons,) have that notwithstanding proceeded in collecting the said your taxes and tallages. Whereupon we do greatly marvel and are moved, (especially seeing you are not ashamed to do contrary unto your own decrees,) whereas you and other prelates in the said council in this did all agree and grant, that no such exactions should be hereafter, until the return of our and your ambassadors from the court of Rome, sent thither purposely of us, and in the name of the whole realm for the same, to provide redress against those oppressions. Wherefore we straitly will and command you, that from henceforth you do not proceed any more in collecting and exacting such tallages or helps, as you will enjoy our favour and such possessions of yours as within this our kingdom you have and hold. And if you have already procured or gathered any such thing, yet that you suffer not the same to be transported out of our realm, but cause it to be kept in safe custody till the return of the said ambassadors, under the pain of our displeasure in doing of the contrary, and alsoof provoking us to extend our hand upon your possessions further than you will think or believe. Moreover, willing and charging you that you participate and make common this our inhibition, with your archdeacons and officials, which we here have set forth for the liberties of the clergy and of the people, as knoweth God," &c.

    At length the ambassadors which were at Rome came home about the latter end of December, bringing word that the pope, hearing what was done in the Council of Winchester and of the king. was greatly displeased with him and the realm. Whereupon, when the ambassadors began to speak in the king's behalf; from that time they were half counted for schismatics, and could no more be heard in the court of Rome. The king hearing this was marvellously incensed therewith, commanding by general proclamation through all his realm, that no man should hereafter consent to any tax or subsidy of money for the court of Rome. When this came to the pope's ear, upon a cruel rage he directed his letters to the prelates of England, charging that, under pain of suspense or interdiction, they should provide the same sum of money to he collected against the feast of Assumption, the charge being given to the bishop of Worcester to be executor of the said curse. The king, who lately intended to stand to the liberties of the church, now, for fear of the pope, and partly for persuasions of the said bishop of Worcester and other prelates, durst not stand to it, but gave over. Moreover, the greedy gulf of the Romish avarice waxed so immeasurable, that at length the pope shamed not, upon the censure of his curse, to ask the third part of the church goods, and the yearly fruit of all vacant benefices. The chief doers and legates in England were Otho, Stephanus Capellanus, Petrus Rubeus, the nuncio, Mag. Martin, and Mag. Marinus. Of whom to speak further (for that I have matter much more to write) for this present time I think best to desist, lest, in opening all the detestable doings and pestilent workings of those men, I might perhaps not only molest good ears, but also infect the air, Yet one thing concerning the said Otho I cannot well overpass.

    This Otho, as he left no place unsought where any vantage might be got; so amongst all others he came to Oxford, where, lying in the house of Osney, he was received with great honour, the scholars presenting him honourably with such dishes and rewards as they had, thinking to gratify the cardinal after the best manner. This being done before dinner, and the dinner ended, they came reverently to see and welcome him, supposing that they also should with like courtesy again of him be entertained. As they came to the gate, the porter (being an Italian) with a loud voice asketh what they would have. They said they came to see the lord legate. But Cerberus the porter, holding the door half open, with proud and contumelious language thrust them out, and would not suffer them to enter. The scholars seeing that, by force thrust open the gate and came in; whom when the Romans which were within would have repelled with their fists, and such staves as they had in their hands, they fell to alarum and by the ears together, with much hoving and shoving and many blows on both sides. In the mean time, while some of the scholars ran home for their weapons, there chanced a poor scholar, an Irishman, to stand at the gate waiting for his alms. Whom when the master saw at the gate, he, taking hot scalding water out of the pan where the meat was sodden, did cast it in his face. One of the scholars, a Welchman, that came with his bow and shafts, seeing that, letteth drive an arrow, and shooteth this Nabuzardan (that master of cooks) clean through the body, and slayeth him out of hand. The cook falling dead, there was a mighty broil and a great clamour throughout all the house. The cardinal, hearing the tumult and great noise about him, like a valiant Roman, runueth as fast as he could into the steeple, and there locketh the doors fast unto him, where he remained till midnight. The scholars in the mean while, not yet all pacified, sought all comers about for the legate, exclaiming and crying out, Where is that usurer, that simoniac, that piller and poller of our livings, that prowler and extortioner of our money, which perverteth our king, and subverteth his kingdom, enriching himself with our spoils, &c.? All this heard the cardinal, and held his peace. When the night approaching had broken up the field, the cardinal, coming out of his fort, and taking his horse, (in silence of the night,) was privily conveyed over the river toward the king, conveying himself away as fast as he could. After the king heard this, he sendeth to Oxford a garrison of armed men, to deliver the Romans which were there hidden for fear of scholars. Then was Master Otho, a lawyer, with thirty other scholars, apprehended, and carried to Wallingford castle, and from thence had in carts to London: where at length (through much entreaty of the bishops) they, being brought barefoot to the legate's door, had their pardon, and the university released of interdiction. And thus much concerning the pope's legate in England.

    Thus partly you have heard and do understand the miserable thraldom and captivity of this realm of England, and the clergy of the same, who before refused to take part with King John, their natural prince, against the foreign power of the pope: and now how miserably they are oppressed and scourged of the same pope; whose insatiable extortion and rapacity did so exceed in pilling and polling of this realm long alter this, that neither the king now could help them, neither could the pope with any reasonable measure be content. Insomuch that writers record that in the days of Sudbury, archbishop of Canterbury. A.D. 1360, the pope by his proctors gat from the clergy, in less than one year, more than forty thousand florins of mere contribution; besides his other avails and common revenues out of benefices, prebendaries. firstfruits, tributes. Peter pence, collations, reservations, relaxations, and such merchandise. &c.

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