46. DISPUTE BETWEEN THE ARCHBISHOP AND ABBOT OF CANTERBURY
Now to the purpose of our matter intended. First, after Lanfranc, who was archbishop twenty years, the see standing vacant five years, succeeded Anselm, and sat seventeen years; after whom, the see standing vacant four years, succeeded Rodulphus, and continued nine years; then followed William, who sat twelve years, and died in the year 1137: after whom came Theobaldus in the time of King Stephen. This Theobaldus, being no great favourer of the monkish generation, fell out with Jeremias, prior of the house of Canter bury, for certain causes between them. for which the archbishop, taking stomach against the prior, would lay the sentence of interdiction aninst him. The prior seeing that, to save himself, made his appeal to Pope Innocent. The archbishop, provoked the more by that, deposed him from the priorship, and placed one Walter in his room. Jeremias, notwithstanding, making his complaint and appeal to Rome, obtained letters from the pope to Henry, bishop of Winchester, being the pope's legate: by the virtue whereof he, against the heart of the archbishop, was restored, and Walter displaced. Nevertheless, the said Jeremy, not willing there to continue with displeasure of the archbishop, shortly after of his own accord renounced his priory, and Walter again was received in his stead. Not long after this followed the general council at Rhemes, in the year 1140. To the which council Theobald, contrary to the commandment of the king, would needs resort, to show his obedience to the pope. Wherefore, at his returning home again, the king took such displeasure with him, that within a while after the archbishop was driven to avoid the realm, and flee into France; where he, by censure of interdiction, suspended divers churches and religious houses which refused to come to the council; and also hearing how the king had seized upon all his goods, he interdicted likewise all the king's lands, whatsoever belonged to the crown: so that the king in conclusion was fain to compound with him, and fall to agreement, which was about the year 1148.
After this, in the year of our Lord 1151. after the death of Hugh, abbot of St. Austin's in Canterbury, Silvester was elected by the convent to be their abbot, in the reign of King Stephen. Which Silvester, when he came unto Theobald the archbishop to make his profession of subjection unto him, and to receive of him consecration, the archbishop was contented, so that the abbot would come to Christ's Church in Canterbury, and there make his profession. But to this Silvester in no case would grant to take his consecration there; but else in any other church, wheresoever the archbishop would, he was contented. Whereunto when the archbishop in no wise would agree, Silvester making a great bag of money, went to Rome, where he obtained of the pope for money (for what cannot money do at Rome?) letters that the archbishop should consecrate the abbot in his own church of St. Austin, and also not exact of him any profession of canonical subjection. Whereupon the archbishop was compelled against his will to come to the abbot's church, and there at the pope's commandment to consecrate him simply, and without any further profession to be required.
Then Walter, prior of Christ's Church in Canterbury, seeing that, and perceiving how prejudicial and derogatory the example thereof would be to the honour and majesty of their church, through counsel of his brother went thither; and notwithstanding the doors were straitly watched and kept, yet by means he at last got in. And as he saw the archbishop attired in his pontificalibus, ready to minister consecration to the abbot, he stepped straight to the archbishop, and eftsoons appealeth him to Rome, for the great injury wrought against the church of Canterbury; forbidding him, in the name of him to whom he appealed, not to proceed any further. And so this holy consecration was for the present time stayed. For the which Silvester with a new purse of money was fain to travel and trot again to Rome, where he complaining of the archbishop, and accusing him of contempt of the pope, in not executing the commandment set down, obtaineth again new letters with more effectual charge to the foresaid archbishop, that he, without any profession, simply should give to Silvester his consecration in his own church, all manner of stay, or let, or appellation to the contrary notwithstanding. And so, in conclusion, the abbot, contrary to whatsoever the archbishop and all the monks of Canterbury could do, was in his own church made abbot, and had the victory for that time. Notwithstanding, the archbishop left not the matter so, but within five years after obtained of Pope Adrian, that Silvester should make profession of his obedience to the archbishop, and so he did.
In few years after this, died King Stephen, A.D. 1154, and after him Theobald the archbishop, A.D. 1159, after he had sat three and twenty years; after whom, through the instant procurement of King Henry the Second, was placed Thomas Beeket, the king's chancellor, A.D. 1162, of whose sturdy rebellion against the king, because sufficient hath been said before, it shall not need to make a double labour now about the same.
After the death of Becket, much ado there was between King Henry and Odo, prior of Canterbury, about the election of a new archbishop. For the king seeing the realm so oftentimes encumbered by those popish archbishops, and fearing lest the monks of Canterbury should elect such another as would follow the steps of Thomas Becket, most humbly, with cap in hand, and courtesy of knee, desired Odo the prior, that at his request, and for contentation of his mind, such a one might be elected whom he would appoint (appointing and naming a certain bishop, which was a good simple man after the king's liking); but the prior dissemblingly answering the king again, that he neither could nor would without the consent of his convent give promise to any man, in fine, contrary to the king's so humble request, agreed to the election of another, which was the prior of Dover, called Richard, A.D. 1173, who continued in that see eleven years.
And here was renewed again the like variance between this archbishop and Roger, abbot of the Austin monks in Canterbury, as was before mentioned between Theobaldus and Silvester. For when the said Roger, after his election to be abbot. must needs take his consecration at the archbishop's hand, neither would the archbishop grant it unto him, uuless he made profession of obedience, according to the ancient custom of his predecessors: then Roger, consulting with his monks, first denied so to do, but at length was contented, so it might not be done in the archbishop's church, but in any other church where he would, underwriting this clause withal, Salvis utriusque ecclesiæ privilegis, that is, Saving the privileges of both churches. To this the archbishop said again, first, that he should make his due and canonical profession, and that he should not come to him with writing or underwriting, but should say in his heart, Salve sancta parens, or Salve festa dies, not Salvis privilegiis, or any such-like thing. Whereunto when the Austin monks in no case would consent, nor the archbishop otherwise would grant his benediction, Roger, the abbot, was fain to post to Rome, and there, to bring the archbishop in hatred in the court of Rome, made his abbey tributary to Pope Alexander.
The pope, well contented with this, not only granteth the abbot his desire, but also, in contumely of the archbishop, dubbeth the abbot with all such ornaments as to a prelate appertain; and so in the year 1178 sent home the abbot triumphantly with his ring and mitre, and other ensigns of victory, with letters also to the archbishop, enjoining him immediately upon the sight thereof to consecrate the abbot in his own church, and without making any profession. Although with these letters the archbishop was shrewdly pressed, yet notwithstanding his stout heart would not stoop for this; but he laid his appeal against the same, and so the consecration for that time was suspended.
Then Roger, for his more defence, getting the king's letters, travelled up the second time to Rome, where grievously he complained to Pope Alexander of the archbishop. At the same time a general council was summoned to be kept at Lateran, where Richard, the foresaid archbishop, was also looked for amongst other bishops to be present. Who then came as far as Paris; but, being there, durst approach no further, and so retired home again. Whereupon the pope being offended with his contempt, without any more delay exalted the abbot with his own consecration, and invested him with all pomp and glory; howbeit providing before that the said consecration should redound to no prejudice against the liberties of the mother church of Canterbury, and so upon the same wrote to the archbishop his letters of certificate with this addition annexed, Saving the liberties and dignity of the church of Canterbury, &c.
After the council ended, Roger, the abbot, returneth home, although with an empty purse, yet full of victory and triumph. The archbishop, again thinking to work some grievance to the Austin monks, had procured in this mean time letters from Pope Alexander unto the bishop of Durham, and abbot of St. Albans, that they should cause the said Roger, abbot of the Austin monks, to show unto the archbishop all the old privileges of his house; which indeed, being showed, seemed to be rased and new written, with points of lead, not after the manner nor style of that age, nor pretending any such antiquity as should seem to reach from the time of Austin, but rather newly counterfeit.
All this notwithstanding, the abbot, bearing him bold upon the pope's favour, ceased not still to disquiet and overcrow the archbishop by all ways he could, in exempting all his priests and laymen, belonging to his jurisdiction, from the archbishop's obedience; forbidding also that any of his should come to his chapters or synods, or fear any sentence of his curse or excommunication. Whereupon the archbishop, about the month of November the same year, sailing over to Normandy where the king was, thought to take his journey to the pope to complain of the abbot; but being stayed by the king, he was not suffered to pass any further, the king labouring what he could to bring them to agreement. Nevertheless the pope and his Romans, (saith my story,) caring more for gold and silver than for justice, still stirred coals of sedition and debate between them.
The next year after this ensuing, which was the year of our Lord 1184, died Richard the archbishop aforesaid, in the eight and thirtieth year of King Henry the Second. After whose decease much trouble happened about the election of a new archbishop, between the king and monks of Canterbury. And now to enter here into the story of Baldwin above mentioned; first the king sent to the monks. that they should consider with themselves about the election of their archbishop, and to be ready against the time that he would send for them to the court. Upon this the convent, gladly assembling together, agreed in themselves upon one, whom they thought chiefly to prefer: yet naming four more, that if the king would refuse one, the other yet might stand. Now the practice in the monks was, first, to keep the election only in their own hands, as much as they could. And, secondiy, ever to give the election either to some prior or monk of their own house, or to some abbot or bishop which sometime had been of their company. Whereby as much inconvenience and blind superstition was bred in the Church of England, so the same disliked both the king and the bishops not a little.
As this passed on, the king, when he saw his time, willed the monks of Canterbury to be cited or sent for, to understand what they had concluded in their election. Whereupon the monks sent up their prior, called Alanus, with certain other monks, to Reading, where the king then lay, about the month of August. Who at first were courteously entertained; but after the king had intelligence whom they had nominated and elected, they were sent home again with cold cheer, the king willing them to pray better, and to advise more earnestly upon the matter amongst themselves. Alanus the prior with his fellows thus departed; who coming home, in conclusion, so concluded amongst themselves, that they would remit no jot of their liberties to the king without the pope's consent and knowledge. The king understanding hereof, sent his ambassadors likewise to the pope, for the fortifying of his cause, being in the mean time grievously offended with the prior, saying that be was proud, and would make archbishop whom he listed, and would be the second pope in England, &c.
Not long after this, as these letters were sent up to Rome, the king sent for Alanus the prior, and more of the monks, to come to him; whom he entreateth, desiring them in gentle speech, that they would show so much gentleness and favour to him, being their lord and king, as becometh his friends and subjects to do, as to confer with the bishops of the realm about this matter, and to take some bet I ter counsel, so as might redound to God's glory, his I honour, and wealth of the public state, with other I like words to the same effect.
To whom when the prior had answered again with thanks and due reverence, according to the king's request, the bishops and monks went to confer together about the matter. And, first, the bishops marvelled why the monks should exclude them out of the election, seeing they were professed and suffragans to the said church of Canterbury: Neither is there any prince, quoth the bishop of Bath, that will refuse our counsel. There be some councils, said the monks, whereat yon may be called; but as touching the doing of this election, it pertaineth not unto you, further than to publish only and denounce the party whom we have chosen. The bishop of London then asked if they had already made an election. No election, said the prior, as yet, but only we have denominated the persons. Then have ye proceeded further, quoth he, than ye ought, having commandment from the pope not to proceed without us. And with that was brought forth the pope's letter. commanding that within forty days the bishops of England, and the prior and convent of Canterbury, should elect an able and fit person to their archbishop. About the scanning of these letters was much ado. The bishops said they were first named, and therefore ought to have most interest in this election. The monks said again, that they also were not excluded, and required to have a transcript of the letter, whereof much doubt was made.
After long contention, when they could not agree, the king, coming between them both, called away the bishops from the monks, supposing, by separating the one from the other, to draw both parties to his sentence. But that would not be; for the monks, stiffly standing to their liberties, would lose no pre-eniinence of their church, still alleging how, by the ancient privileges of the church of Canterburr, the convent should choose their pastor and bishop, and the prior was but to publish and denounce the person. The bishops again replied, that it was their right to appoint their archbishop and metropolitan, which were bishops and suffragans; and, namely, the bishop of London also being dean of the said church of Canterbury. The king then, as umpire between them, yet favouring rather the side of the bishops, desired them to agree together in peace. When that would not prevail, be set the lord steward and other noblemen to entreat the prior to draw to some agreement; at least to be contented with this form of election, which was, that the bishop of London or some other bishops should declare the election in these words.
"We bishops, and the prior and convent of Christ's church in Canterbury, with the assent of our lord the king, do choose such a person to be archbishop," &c. Or else thus; that the prior should pronounce forth the election in these words, saying, "The bishops of England. and I, prior, and the convent of Canterbury, with the assent of our lord and king, do choose such a person." &c.
Upon this, the prior said he would convent with his convent. Who with much ado were content to grant to the king's desire; but afterward, being required to put down the same in writing, that they refused to do; yet notwithstanding relented at last to the king. But when the bishops made excuses for the absence of their fellow bishops, so the matter for that time stayed; and the king, sending home the monks again to their house in peace, deferred that business to a further day, which was till the first day of December; commanding the prior with his fellows the same day not to fail, but to be at London about the choosing of the archbishop.
As the day prefixed came, the prior with his company were also present, who giving attendance all that day and the next day also following, so were driven off till the third day after. At length the lord steward, with other nobles of the realm. were sent unto them from the king to declare, that whereas the king before had divided the bishops from the monks, that they both might have their election by themselves, after the form of a bill which was put down in writing: now the mind of the king was, that the monks, taking another way, should join with the bishops, and so, having the matter in talk together, should proceed jointly in the election.
Against this many things were alleged by the prior and his mates, complaining much upon the bishops, which said that the bishops had ever holden with the kings against the liberties of their church and archbishops. As, first, they stood against Anselm for King William: then against Theobald for King Stephen; after that, against Thomas Becket for King Henry: and after him, did supplant the election of Richard their archbishop: and now again went about to practise and work against this their election present, &c. At last the prior, with his fellows, concluding, desired they might speak with the king himself. Who, eftsoons coming unto them, willed them as good men to be contented, and go talk with the bishops about the election; promising that whom they agreed upon, he also would grant his assent unto the same. To whom when the prior again had objected the writings that before were made, Truth it is, (said the king,) such writings were made, but I neither may nor will go against the council of my realm; and therefore agree, said he, with my bishops and abbots, and remember that the voice of the people is the voice of God.
Upon this the prior with his monks, seeing no other remedy, went to the bishops to confer, according to the king's request, about the election; who then were willed by the bishops to nominate whom they would, and the bishops would likewise name theirs. So that when the prior, with his complices, had named three, after their choosing the bishops said they would nominate but one; and so did, which was the bishup of Worcester, willing the prior to go home, and to confer with his convent about the same. To whom shortly after the bishops sent certain priests, to signify to the convent, that they, according to the pope's letters, should repair to the bishops concerning the election of the archbishop; also declared moreover to them, that the persons whom they had named were good men; but he whom they had to nominate was a more worthy man, whom they both had nominated, and also would elect. The monks, marvelling hereat, sent two monks with the archdeacon of Canterbury to the king.
This done, immediately after the return of the priests, the bishops caused all the bells of the city to be rung, and Te Deum to be sung for the archbishop new elect. Whereof when the two monks brought tidings to the convent at Canterbury what was done at London, they were all in a marvellous dump. The king hearing this, and perceiving the stiffness of the monks, in all haste sent messengers to Canterbury with gentle words, to will the prior to come to the king, and certify him of the purpose of his monks; unto whom the prior, eftsoons being come, declareth, in the name of the whole convent, that in no case he nor the monks would ever, while the world stood, agree to that election of the bishops; unless the king in his own person would come to Canterbury, and there openly, before the whole convent, protest by his own mouth the foresaid election to be nought and void; and so, returning to London again, openly likewise before the clergy and the people would repudiate and reject the same; and furthermore, that the party also elected should open y in the same place protest and say, that he neither would nor ought to take that function upon him, unless he entered by the consent of the prior and convent of Canterbury; and all this to be done in the same place where the bishops had made their election before; and so peradventure, (said they,) at the king's so earnest suit and request, they would gratify his will, and ratify the said election with the voices of their consent, To make the story short, after great hold between the secular clergy on the one side, and the regular order on the other side, and after the king's indignation against the prior, and the swooning of the prior before the king, at length the king, to take up the matter, and to save the prior's life, was fain to perform in his own person all those conditions above prescribed by the monks.
And thus have ye heard the tragical election of the bishop of Worcester, named Baldwin, made archbishop of Canterbury. Now what a troublesome time the said Baldwin had with the monks in governing the church of Canterbury, here followeth likewise not unworthy to be considered.
In the first year the archbishop showed himself friendly and loving to the monks; the next year following he began to appear somewhat rough unto them. The manner then was of the house of Christ's Church, toward the time of the Nativity and of Easter, to receive certain presents or gifts of their farmers or tenants, which the cellarer should take and lay up. Those presents the archbishop began first to intercept from the monks, and to bestow them upon his secular clerks. After this, he took three churches or benefices, (which the monks claimed as proper to themselves,) and placed in them three of his chaplains. After this, he encroacheth to his hands certain tenements, revenues, and victuals, belonging before to the monks, (as they said,) and committed the custody thereof to certain of his own clerks and household servants.
The monks, which had home so much with the archbishop before, seeing this, could forbear him no longer, but needs would make their appeal against him. The archbishop, not much regarding that, waxed thereby more fierce against them, in somuch that such farms and tenements as he before had let alone, now he received to his own occupying, with many other grievances wherewith he greatly vexed the monks, so that three abbots were fain to come and reconcile the archbishop and the monks; which reconciliation was this, that the monks should let fall their appeal, and the archbishop should restore again to them their farms and tenements. But as touching the benefices and the presents, the archbishop still kept them in his hands, for a further trial of their obedience and patience. Nevertheless, some there were of the ancient monks which in no case would give over the foresaid appeal, before the archbishop made a full restitution of all together.
After this agreement, such as it was, between the monks and him, the archbishop soon after sent up to Rome one of his chaplains, (unto whom be had given one of the benefices afore mentioned,) partly for confirmation of his benefice, partly also to obtain licence for the archbishop to build a church, which he intended to erect of secular priests, near unto the town of Canterbury. Which being obtained of the pope, the archbishop, not a little glad thereof, began now more and more to war fierce against the monks, not only in taking from them their churches and oblations, but also in aggravating the whole state of their house, which he intended either to subvert, or greatly to diminish, to pluck down the pride and stubbornness of the monks. Wherefore, taking with him certain other bishops, (whom he knew bare no good will to that monkish generation,) he went to the king, declaring how he had a good purpose in his mind to erect a new and a solemn church, in the honour of St. Thomas of Canterbury, of secular priests or canons; and therefore desired of the king to have his favourable licence to the same. The king right well perceiving the purpose of the archbishop whither it tended, as to the bridling of the stiffnecked monks, was the, more willing to give assent, if he were not also the chief worker of that matter himself.
The intent of the archbishop in planting of that new church was, to found there divers prebends, and to make both the king, and every bishop being his suffragans, prebendaries thereof, so that every one of them should confer one prebendship to the same foundation; minding there to consecrate bishops, to make his chrismatory, to celebrate his synods, and to administer all other things belonging unto the function of his see, and the same to be called Hakington church. The monks, not ignorant how the archbishop privily intended the desolation and subversion of their house and liberties, consulting upon the matter, determined at length among themselves to appeal to the see of Rome, namely, for these three causes against the archbishop: First, for spoiling them of their gifts and oblations; secondly, for depriving them of their churches and benefices; and thirdly, for erecting a new foundation of secular canons, to the derogation and overthrow of their religious order; giving admonition to the archbishop before by their monks sent to him of this their appellation. To whom the archbishop answered, that the foundation which he went about was to no derogation, but rather to the fortification and honour, of their house. Who answered again, that it was, and could not otherwise be, but to their subversion. And what should let me then, (said the archbishop,) but I may build in mine own ground what I will? No, (said they,) no ground of yours, but your ground is our ground, as all other things that you have by right are ours, forsomuch as you have them not of yourself, but of the church and for the church's cause. All which things have been given neither to you, nor to the archbishops, but unto the church of Chist; and therefore (said they) all such as appertain unto us inwardly and outwardly, with the persons also, and the whole state of our church, we submit unto the pope's protection, and now here make our appeal to the see apostolic, assigning also the term when to prosecute the same.
The archbishop receiving this appellation, and saying that he would answer to the same either by himself, or by his responsal, within three days after, which was the sixteenth of December, came to Canterbury; where the monks understanding how he was in mind to place new secular priests in the church of St. Stephen, where the monks had served before, came to the church to stop the proceeding of the archbishop by way of appeal. Whereof the archbishop having warning before, deferred the matter till the next day after. On which day the monks, again being sent by Honorius the prior into the church, charged the archbishop, in the name of Almighty God, and by virtue of their appeal made to the apostolic see, to surcease those his doings; charging also the parson of the church in no wise to suffer those secular clerks to be admitted into the church. All which yet notwithstanding the archbishop proceedeth in his business, And, first, placing in his clerks, be suspendeth the prior from his administration. Then he adjureth the porters of the gate, upon their oath. to let none of the monks pass out of the house without his licence. The monks likewise he commanded, by virtue of obedience, not to stray any where abroad without his leave. And furthermore, one of the foresaid monks, which served the appeal against him, he utterly banished from that convent. Upon this, the day next following, Honorius the prior, trusting (saith the story) on God and St. Thomas, took his way to Rome, sent in commission by the convent, to pro secute the appeal against the archbishop.
In this mean season a new war began between the said archbishop and the monks about their rents and revenues, which the archbishop would have committed to the receiving and keeping of three monks, but the sub-prior Geoffrey, with the convent, in no case would suffer that; whereabout there was a foul stir. The archbishop, craving the aid of the king, fIrst had three bishops sent down to him, of
Coventry, Norwich, and Worcester. Who, being instant with the monks to submit their cause into the king's hands, like as the archbishop had done, they utterly refused it; especially seeing they had already referred the whole state of their cause to the determination of the apostolical see. The king, seeing no other remedy, came himself with the archbishop into the chapter house; where he commanded first the doors to be kept fast, that none should enter but which by name were called for. Amongst whom were two bishops, to wit, of Norwich and Durham, and one Peter Blessensis, a learned man, (whose epistles be yet extant in libraries,) a chief worker in this matter against the monks. Then was called in Geoffrey the sub-prior, with a few other monks whom he brought with him, The king then first talking with the archbishop and his company, and afterwards with the monks, laboured to entreat them that they would let fall their appeal, and so stand to the arbitrement of him and of the bishops, concerning the cause which was between the archbishop and them in traverse.
To this the monks answered, that these were good words, but served not for that time, forsomuch as their cause was already translated to the court of Rome, and now was presently in hearing before the pope's Holiness; and therefore they could not, nor would, do that injury to their lord pope, to refuse him, and to put the matter unto the judgment of any other. Then was it required of the monks, that they would put the matter in compromise, in case the prior would consent thereto; upon this intent, that if the prior consented, and the monks not, then should they run in contempt and disobedience; or if the monks would consent, and the prior not, then should the prior be excluded the realm. The wily monks, being not unprovided of this subtlety, made their answer, that seeing they had sent their prior forth in their commission, it stood not with their honesty to give any determinate consent, without the knowledge and before the return of the said prior; unless the archbishop first would promise to make full restitution of all that he had wrongfully wrested from them. When the king could get no other answer of the monks, neither could move the archbishop to release the sentence of their suspension, unless they would confess and acknowledge their fault, he, so parting from them, passed over into France.
Not long after this came a messenger from Rome, bringing letters from Pope Urban to the archbishop, wherein the pope considering and tendering (as he said) the enormous grievances done against the monks, straitly enjoined and commanded him, within ten days after the receiving thereof, to release the sentence of his suspension against the prior and others of the said convent, and also to retract and restore again to the monks whatsoever he plucked from them since the time of their appeal first made. Who in case he should deny, or neglect the doing hereof, commission was given to three abbots, of Battle, of Feversham, and of St. Austin's, with ample authority to perform the same, &c. The archbishop, receiving these letters, brought to him by a monk of the foresaid house, first made his excuse, that the pope was misinformed. But the monks, not contented with that excuses when they would needs know what answer be would make to the pope's nuncio, his answer was, that he had yet ten days given him of the pope. In which mean time the archbishop went to London, and there in the church of St. Paul consecrated his holy oil and cream, (making one of the pope's seven sacraments,) which was grievously taken in the church of Canterbury. At last the ten days being ended, when the archbishop refused to accomplish that which was in the pope's letter enjoined him, the three abbots aforesaid, to execute the pope's commandment, came at their day assigaed to Canterbury, and there assoiled all such as the archbishop before had suspended, and in the end certified Pope Urban by letters what they had done.
The archbishop hearing this, within four days after sent two of his clerks, which appealed the three abbots aforesaid up to Rome; and he himself in the mean time prepared busily for the building up of his church, sending to all churches in England, upon releasement of their sins, to confer unto the same; and, to make the more haste. For lack of free-stone he made up his building with timber, and such other stuff as he could get.
The prior, Honorius, all this while remained still at the court of Rome, giving attendance upon the pope; who, having intelligence of the archbishop's doings, procured another letter of Pope Urban to the whole clergy of England, straitly enjoining them, that none should confer to the new fraternity of Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury. To these letters the archbishop showed such reverence, that where before he had planted his chapel of wood and boards, now he provided the same to be builded of lime and stone.
By this time Peter Blessensis, with other messengers of the archbishop, seeing Honorius the prior to be gone from the court of France, resorted to the court of Rome, bringing with them letters of credit from the king, from the archbishop, and also from other bishops of the realm; but the pope, reading only the king's letters, and the archbishop's, the residue he cast into a window by, saying he would read them at further leisure. Then the pope giving audience in his consistory to hear their cause, first came in Peter Blessensis with the agents of the archbishop, exhibiting their letters and propounding their requests to the pope, which were, that restitution should be made by the monks to the archbishop, wherein they had injured him. Item, that the things which had been granted before to the prior in that court might be called in again. Thirdly, that the archbishop might have licence to proceed in building his college of canons, &c. After this was called in M. Pilleus, the attorney for the monks of Canterbury. Who, alleging many great things against the archbishop for his contempt and disobedience to the pope's precepts, required that he should make restitution to the monks for his injuries done to them; and also that his new foundation of secular canons, tending to the overthrow of the conventual church of Canterbury, should be utterly razed and thrown down to the ground. Thus between these parties pleaing and repleaing one against the other, much hard hold there was; but in conclusion, for all the king's letters, and for all that the archbishop and bishops could do, the matter went on the monks' side. So that there was no remedy, but the pope would needs have the archbishop's new building come down, and the monks to be restored again to their full possessions. The execution whereof was committed to the three abbots aforesaid, to wit, of Battle, of Feversham, of St. Austin's in Canterbury, and to Geoffrey, sub-prior of Canterbury.
Which things being thus determined at Rome, then Radulph Glanvile, lord steward of England, writing to the said abbot of Battle, and to the subprior and convent of Canterbury, commandeth them in the king's name, and upon their oath and fealty given unto him, that they nor any of them do proceed in this controversy between the monks and the archbishop of Canterbury, before they come and talk with him, there to know further of the king's pleasure; and furthermore charging the convent of Canterbury not to enter further in any examinations as concerning the archbishop's matters; and also citing the sub-prior of the said house, to appear before him at London, at the feast of St. James the same year, which was 1187. Notwithstanding he, excusing himself by sickness, sent two monks in his stead, and so kept himself at home. To whom commandment was given, that the monks of Canterbury within fifteen days should sail over to Normandy to the king, and there show the tenor and evidences of their privileges; and also that such stewards and bailiffs whom they had placed in their farms and lordships, contrary to the will of the archbishop, should be removed. And likewise the three abbots in the king's name were commanded in no wise to execute the pope's commandment against the archbishop. Not long after this the archbishop took shipping at Dover, and went over to the king, where he ordained three principal officers over the monks of Christ's Church, the sacrist, the cellarer, and the chamberlain, contrary to the will of the convent, with other grievances more, whereby the monks were not a little offended, so that upon the same they made a new appellation to the pope. Whereupon Pope Urban, by the setting on of Honorius the prior, who was now come again to the court, wrote to him another letter after a sharper and more vehement sort, to the effect as followeth.
"In that we have borne with your brotherhood hitherto, and have not proceeded in such grievous manner against you as we might, although being thereto greatly provoked, the chiefest cause was this, that we supposed your heart would have relented from the oppression of the conventual church of Canterbury committed unto you, if not for our reverence, which you seem to have contemned more than became you, yet at least for fear of God's judgment. For well we hoped, our conscience persuading us to the same, that after you had obtained that high state and dignity in the Church of England, you would have been an example to others of obedience and reverence to be given to the see apostolic of all ecclesiastical persons. Wherefore at the first beginning both of our and also of your promotion, we did not spare to advance and honour you as we have done few others besides, thinking no less but that we had found a faithful friend of the church for our honour. Wherein we perceive now (which maketh us not a little to marvel) our expectation greatly deceived. And whom we well trusted to be a sure stay for the maintenance of our estate, him now we find a persecutor against us in our members.
"For whereas we sundry times have written to you in the behalf of our brethren, and the church committed to your charge, that you should desist from disquieting them, and not vex or disturb their liberties, at least for reverence of us; you not only in this. but in other things more, (as commonly is reported of you in all places,) set at light our letters, and appellations made unto the apostolical see. What you have wrought against them after their so manifold appellations laid unto us, and our inhibitions again unto you, we are ashamed to utter. But revolve and consider in your mind, if ye have well done, and advise in your own conscience what you have done. We for our part, because we neither may nor ought with deaf ears to pass over the clamours of the brethren, and such contempt of the apostolic see; although our biddings and warnings given to you seem to be all in vain, yet notwithstanding we send our mandates again unto your brotherhood, in these apostolical writings, directly and in virtue of obedience commanding you, that whether you be present in your church, or absent, all that notwithstanding, whatsoever you have done in building of your chapel, (which you to the destruction of the monastery of Canterbury have erected) after the time of their appeal made to us, or our inhibition sent to you, you fail not of your proper costs and charges to demolish; undoing again, and making void, whatsoever ye have begun and innovated concerning the institution of the canons, and other things belonging to the erection of the said chapel; accounting, moreover, and reputing the place where the chapel was to be accursed and profane; and also that all such, whosoever have celebrated in the same place, shall stand suspended till the time they appear before our presence. Commanding furthermore, that all those monks whom you have presumed to remove from their office, or to excommunicate, since the time of their appeal made, you restore and assoil again; renewing also and restoring all such farms, manors, tenements, and oblations as you, after their appeal made, have inveigled from them; and, finally, that you innovate nothing touching the state of that monastery during the time of this controversy depending before us. Giving you to understand, that in case you shall continue in your stubbornness and rebellion upon this present warning, or defer the execution of this precept thirty days after the receiving hereof, we shall appoint others to execute the same; enjoining also your suffragans, that as you shall show yourself disobedient and rebelling to us, so they all shall refuse likewise to give any obedience or reverence unto you," &c.
Another letter besides this the pope also sent to the three abbots aforesaid for the correction of these enormities. Likewise another letter was sent to King Henry the Second, wherein the pope enjoineth and requireth him, upon remission of his sins, not to dissemble and bear with the archbishop in his oppression of his monks, but to help that those things may be amended, where he hath trespassed against them.
These pontifical letters were written A.D. 1187, the third day of October; and in the nineteenth day after, the same month, the said Pope Urban died. In the which year, and about the which month, Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, was taken with many noblemen of Soldan the Saracen, and Jerusalem lost, after that it had been in the possession of the Christians, and so continued the space of eightyeight years and eighty days, from the time that Godfridus Bolonius did first win it from the infidels.
After the receiving of those letters of Pope Urban above specified, both the king and archbishop, with all the bishops of the realm, were marvellously quailed, glad now to please and speak fair to the monks, promising all things to be done and restored to them after the best sort. Neither was the king now and archbishop so submiss; but the monks on the other side were as brag and jocund, being fully assured that all now was their own. In the narration of which history (as it is set in Gervasius at large) this we have to note by the way. in what fear and thraldom kings in those days were under the pope, who could not be masters over their own subjects, but that every pilled monk, or pelting prior, upon virtue of their appeal to the court of Rome, and making their house tributary to the pope, was able not oaly to match, but to give checkmate unto the best king christened, as not in this story only may appear.
It followeth then in the story of these monks, that as they were thus in the midst of their joy and jollity, suddenly cometh news of the death of Pope Urban, their great calipha, and also how that Gregory the Eighth was placed in his room. who was a special friend and favourer of the archbishop; which as it did greatly encourage the king and the archbishop, so the monks on the other side were as much discomforted, so that now all was turned up side down. For whereas the king and the archbishop before thought they had lost all, and were glad to compound with the monks and to seek their favour; now were the monks on the contrary side fain to crouch to the king, and glad to have a good countenance; who then resorting to him, and finding him altered both in word and gesture, desired he would confirm and grant that which of late before he had promised. To whom it was answered again by the king, that seeing the archbishop had granted to them their sacrist, their chamberlain, and their cellarer, they should have no more restored of him; neither would he suffer the liberties and privileges of the archbishop to be impaired or take any wrong. And touching the new chapel of St. Thomas, (said he.) whereabout ye strive so long. with the canonships and other buildings belonging thereto, the same I receive into my hands, so that none shall have anything to do therein but my self, &c. In like manner of the archbishop such another like answer they received, and of bishops little better. So the monks, sent away with a flea in their ear, went home again out of Normandy to their cell.
Now the archbishop, having the monks where he would, wrought them much grievance; but that continued not very long. For within two months after, and less, died Pope Gregory the Eighth, about the sixteenth day of December following. After whom succeeded Pope Clement the Third, who, following the steps of Urban, bent all his power with the monks against the archbishop, sending divers precepts and mandates in the year next following, which was the year 1188, with an imperious letter, willing and commanding him to desist from his oppression of the monks, and to throw down his new chapel. Whereupon the archbishop made his appeal, and minded to go to Rome; but was called back of the king, being ready to sail over. In the which year Honorius the prior died at Rome of the plague, which was some help and comfort to the archbishop, for whom the archbishop made Roger Noris prior, against the wills of the convent. After this, about the latter end of the same year, Pope Clement sent down his legate, called Radulphus, a cardinal, to Canterbury with another letter more sharply written to the same effect unto the archbishop.
Furthermore, in the year next after, which was 1189, he wrote also the third letter to him. In the which year also died King Henry the Second; after whom succeeded King Richard his son, who, joining likewise with the archbishop, took his part strongly against the said monks. At last, after much ado on both parts, and after great disturbance, and imprisoning divers of the monks, King Richard, preparing his voyage towards Jerusalem, and studying first to set peace between them, consulted and agreed with the bishops and abbots about a final concord in this matter between the archbishop and monks of Canterbury; which at length on both parts was made, upon these conventions which follow.
1. That Roger Noris should be deposed, whom the archbishop had made prior against their wills; whom the king then at the request of the archbishop promoted to be abbot of Eusham. 2. Item, that the archbishop should pluck down his chapel, which he builded in the suburbs of Canterbury, against the minds of the monks. 3. Item, that the foresaid monks should make profession of their obedience and subjection to the archbishop, as they had done to his other predecessors before him. 4. Item, as touching all other complaints and injuries, except only the chapel. and deposition of Roger Norris, the prior.) the monks should stand to the arbitrement of the king, of the archbishop, and the prelates. 5. Item, that the monks, kneeling down before the king in the chapter-house, should ask the archbishop forgiveness. Which being done, they went all together to the church, and sang Te Deum for this reformation of peace.
The next day after the archbishop, coming into the chapter, restored to the convent their manors and farms again; also he discharged the prior which he had made before; desiring them likewise, that if he had offended them either in word or deed, they would from their heart remit him. This reconciliation being made between the archbishop and the convent, then the archbishop going about to dissolve the building of his new church, though he changed the place, yet thought not to change his intent; and therefore making exchange of lands with the bishop and monks of Rochester. purchased of them their ground in Lambeth, A.D. 1191. Which done, he came to his clerks whom he had placed to be canons in his new college of Hakington, and also willed them to remove all their goods and furniture to Lamheth over against Westminster, where he erected for them another church, and there placed the said canons. About which college of Lambeth afterwards much trouble likewise ensued, by the stirring of the said monks of Canterbury, in the time of Hubert the archbishop. in the reign of the said King Richard. and in the year of our Lord 1196. Furthermore, after the deposing of Roger Noris, prior of Canterbury aforesaid, Baldwin the archbishop, enforced to grant them another prior, by the assent of the king and of the convent assigned Osbernus to be their prior, who had taken part before with the archbishop; but the monks, not pleased with him, after the death of Baldwin the archbishop removed him again.
And thus have you the tedious discourse of this catholic tragedy. between the monks of Canterbury and their archbishop, scarce worth the rehearsal; notwithstanding. this I thought to give the reader to see of purpose, first, to show forth unto the world the stout sturdiness of this monkish generation, who, professing profound humility in their coat, what little humility they had in their heart, what pride and arrogancy in their conversation, and what hypocrisy in their religion, this one example among a thousand others may give some experience. Se condly, that the posterity now may see how little kings could then do in their own realms for the pope. And thirdly, to the intent it may more no toriously appear to all readers what strife and de bate, what dissension and division, what little unity and concord, hath always followed the pope's catho lic church, wheresoever the corrupt religion and usurped ambition of the pope prevailed. For, not to speak only of this monkish house of Canterbury, what church cathedral, collegiate, or conventual, what see, church, monastery, or chapel, was under all the pope's government, but ever there happened some variance, either between the king and the archbishop, as between King William and Lanfranc, King Henry the First and Anselm, King Stephen and Richard, King Henry the Second and Becket, King John and Stephen Langton, King Henry the Third and Bonifaee, &c.? or else between archbishop and archbishop, for making profession, for carrying the cross, for sitting on the right hand of the popes legate, &c.? or else between archbishops and their suffragans, or between archbishops and their convents, or between bishops and monks, between dean and chapter, between monks and secular priests, monks of one sort against another, friars of one order against another, students against friars, townsmen against scholars, &c.? As, for example, what discord was between the archbishop of Canterbury and Richard, archbishop of York; between Lanfranc and Archbishop Thomas; between Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, and Silvester, abbot of St. Austin's; between Walter of Christ's Church, and Silvester, abbot aforesaid; between William, archbishop of Canterbury, and Jeremias. prior of Canterbury, A.D. 1144; between the monks of Canterbury and Odo their prior, for translating the relics of Dunstan; between King Stephen and Roger, bishop of Salisbury, the bishop of Lincoln and Roger, bishop of Ely, his son, A.D. 1138; between Pope Innocent and Anacletus the space of seven years, the cardinals for money (saith Gervasius) sometimes holding with the one, sometimes with the other; at last the election was determined by a sore battle between Lotharius, emperor, and Rogerius, duke of Apulia, A.D. 1137; also between Pope Innocent the Fourth, and Frederic the Second, emperor; between King Henry the Third and William Rale, bishop of Winchester, when the king had the gates of Winchester town to be shut against him, A.D. 1250; between Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, and canons of St. Paul: item, between the said Boniface and monks of St. Bartholomew, who sat there in harness in his visitation, A.D. 1250; between the abbot of Westminster and monks of the same house, A.D. 1251: item, between the foresaid Wiffiam Rale, bishop of Winchester, and Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, for a priest of the hospital in Southwark, A.D. 1252; between the said Bonifaee and canons of Lincoln after the death of Robert Grosthead, for giving of prebends, A.D. 1253; between the monks of Coventry and canons of Lichfield, for choosing their bishop in the time of King Henry the Third?
And what should I speak of the discord which cost so much money between Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, and the monks of Rochester, for choosing Richard Wandor to be their bishop, A.D. 1328; between Robert Grosthead, bishop of Lincoln, and canons of the same house, for which both he and they were driven to travel to Rome, A.D. 1244; between Gilbert, bishop of Rochester, delegate to Archbishop Baldwin, and Robert, the pope's legate, for sitting on the right band of the legate in his council at Westminster, A.D. 1190; between the abbot of Bardeny and the said Grosthead about the visitation of their abbey, A.D. 1242: item, between the convent of Canterbury and the said Robert, bishop of Lincoln, A.D. 1243; between Hugo, bishop of Durham, and Hubert, bishop of Sarum, and Geoffrey, archbishop of York, A.D. 1189; between William, bishop of Ely, the king's chancellor, and the canons of York, for not receiving him with procession, A.D. 1190; between the abbot of Westminster and his convent of black monks, whom King Henry the Third had much ado to still and agree, A.D. 1249: item, between the foresaid bishop of Lincoln and the abbot of Westminster; likewise between Nicholas, bishop of Durham, and John, abbot of St. Alban's, A.D. 1246; also between Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury. and the monks there for the house of Lambeth, A.D. 1146? And what a stir was between the preaching friars and the grey friars, mentioned in Matthew Paris, for superiority, A.D. 1243; also between the said grey friars and the prelates and doctors of Paris about nine conclusions, condemned of the prelates to be erroneous?
1. Concerning the Divine essence, that it cannot be seen of the angels or men glorified.
2. Concerning the essence of the Holy Ghost.
3. Touching the proceeding of the Holy Ghost, as he is love.
4. Whether men glorified shall be in c?lo empyreo, or in c?lo crystallino.
5. That the evil angel at his first creation was evil, and never good.
6. That there have been many verities from the beginning which were not of God.
7. That an angel in one instant may be in divers places.
8. That the evil angel never had whereby he might stand, no more had Adam in his state of innocency.
9. That he which hath meliora naturalia, that is to say, more perfect strength of nature working in him, shall have more full measure of necessity to obtain grace and glory. To the which articles the prelates answering, did excommunicate the same as erroneous, affirming that grace and glory shall be given according to that God hath elected and predestinated, &c.
In like manner, between the said Dominic friars and the grey friars, what a brawl and tumult was about the conception of our Lady, whether she was without original sin conceived or not, in the reign of King Henry the Seventh, and King Henry the Eighth? Add moreover to these the four and twenty heinous schisms, and not so few, which happened between pope and pope in the Church and see of Rome. But what do I stand to recite the divisions and dissensions of the pope's church, which is as much almost as to reckon the sands of the sea? For what church, chapter, or convent was in all that religion, which either had not some variance with themselves or with others? Upon which continual strife and variance among them, the readers hereof may judge of them and their religion as pleaseth them; in the mean time, my judgment is this, that where such dissension dwelleth, there dwelleth not the Spirit of Christ.