68. KING EDWARD I (CONTD).
Now, after the long debating of this matter between the French king and Pope Boniface, let us proceed in our English story. About this time, in the days of King Edward, the Church of Rome began daily more and more to rise up, and swell so high in pride and worldly dominion, that no king almost in his own country could do any thing but as pleased the pope, who both had and ruled all in all countries, but chiefly here in England, as partly by his intolerable tallage and pillage before signified may appear, partly by his injunctions and commandments sent down, also by his donations and reservations of benefices and church livings; also in deposing and disposing such as him listed in place and office to bear rule; insomuch that when the king and the church of Canterbury in their election had chosen one Robert Burnell, bishop of Bath, to be archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Boniface of his own singular presumptuous authority, ruling the matter after his pleasure, frustrated their election, and thrust in another, named John Peckham; for among all other this hath always been one practice of the court of Rome, ever to have the archbishop of their own setting, or such one as they might be sure of on their side, to weigh against the king and other, whatsoever need should happen. To this John Peckham Pope Boniface directed down a solemn bull from Rome, as also unto all other quarters of the universal church. In the which bull was contained and decreed, directly against the rule of Scripture and Christian obedience, that no church, nor ecclesiastical person, should henceforth yield to his king or temporal magistrate either any giving or lending, or promising of tribute or subsidy, or portion whatsoever, of the goods and possessions to him belonging; but should be clearly exempted and discharged from all such subjection of tallage or subvention to be exacted of them in the behoof of the prince and his affairs. Which decree manifestly rebelleth against the commanded ordinance of God, and the apostolical canon of St. Peter, and all other examples of Holy Scripture. For as there is no word in the Scripture that excludeth spiritual men more than temporal from obedience and subjection of princes; so if it chance the prince in his exacting to be too rigorous or cruel in oppression, that is no cause for the clergy to be exempted, but to bear the common burden of obedience, and to pray to God to turn and move the prince's mind, and so (with prayer and patience, not with pride and disobedience) to help and amend that which is amiss.
This bull being directed (as is said) from Rome to the archbishop of Canterbury, and likewise through the whole universal church, under the pope's authority, it chanced not long after the king held his parliament at St. Edmundsbury, where was granted to him all cities and boroughs an eighth, and of the commons a twelfth, of their goods. Only the clergy, by virtue of his bull, stood stout, denying to pay any thing to the king. This answer not well pleasing the king, he willeth them to deliberate better with themselves upon the matter; and after long advisement, so to give him answer against the next parliament, which should be holden the next Hilary term at London.
In conclusion, the parliament came, the clergy persisteth still in the denial of their subsidy, alleging the pope's bull for their warrant and discharge. Whereupon the king likewise secludeth them from under his protection and safeguard of his laws. And as concerning the archbishop of Canterbury, above mentioned, because he was found more stubborn than the rest, and was the inciter to the other, he seized upon all his goods, and caused an inventory of the same to be enrolled in the exchequer. Notwithstanding, divers of the other bishops relented soon after to the king, and contributed the fifth of their goods unto him, and were received again to favour.
In the life of this king's father, it was declared before how the said King Henry the Third, father to this king, after divers wars and commotions had with his barons, had granted certain liberties and freedoms written and contained in Magna Charta, and in Charta de Foresta. Concerning which matter much business happened in this king's days also in the realm, between the king and his barons and commons. The occasion was this: A pack of wool, which before paid but a mark to the king, was now by this king raised up to forty shillings. After this the king having a journey to make into Flanders, sent to his barons and divers other to give their attendance and service in the same, which they refused and denied to do. Notwithstanding, the king persisting in his purpose, with such a power as he had prepareth toward his journey. To whom, being in his way at Winchelsea, the aforesaid earls and barons and commons sent certain petitions contained in writing under the name of the archbishops, bishops, abbots, and priors, earls, and barons, with the commonalty of the realm. In which writing, first lamenting and complaining of their afflicted state and misery, after humble manner they desired their lord the king to redress and amend certain grievances among them. And first they declared, in the name of the whole commons, that the promotion or writs directed to them for their attendance upon his Grace into Flanders was not sufficient; for that there was no certain place in the said writs specified unto them, whether to come for making their provision, and preparing money and other things according to the same. And if the place had been to them signified, yet, because none of their ancestors ever served the king over into Flanders before, the commons, therefore, thought themselves not bound to any service in that country. And albeit they had been so bound thereunto, yet they were not able to do it, being so heavily oppressed with so many tallages, taxes, tolls, customs, and prices of corn, oats, tin, wool, leather, oxen, kine, flesh, fish, &c. And besides all this, having no penny of wages given them to relieve their charges. Over and besides, the lack of the king's wages not paid them, their own poverty like a heavy burden did so miserably lie upon them, that some of them had no sustentation, some of them were not able to till their own ground. They alleged, moreover, that they were not now handled after the old laws and customs of the land, as their ancestors were wont. Many also found themselves grieved, in that they were not used according to the articles contained in Charta Magna; and again, that the Charta de Foresta was not observed nor kept as it was wont to be. Wherefore most humbly they beseeched the king, both for his own honour and for the wealth of his people, that of these things they might find redress. For the custom, moreover, of woo], the whole commons bewailed to the king their grief, in that for every pack of wool was fined to the king forty shillings, and for every sack of tosed wool seven marks. The which wool of England, as it doth rise up to the value of half the realm, so the tollage of the same surmounteth to the fifth part of the valuation of the whole land. And because, therefore, the commons wished the honour and preservation of their king, (as they were bound to do,) they thought it not good for his Grace to sail over to Flanders, unless he had better assurance of their fidelity, especially at this time, the Scots being so busy; who, if they began to rebel, he being at home in his land, much more were they like to stir, he being abroad out of the land. And that not only for the Scots, but also for that the like peril was to be doubted of other foreign nations and kingdoms, which as yet were in no firm peace with England.
To these petitions the king said that he could as yet make no resolute answer, for that some of his council was gone over already to Flanders, some were yet at London. Notwithstanding, at his return again from Flanders, which he trusted should be speedily, they should then hear his answer, and know more of his mind concerning the same. In the mean time this he required of them, to keep good rule at home while he was forth. What answer the king had minded to make them at his return it is uncertain, which peradventure had turned to a bloody answer; but occasion served otherwise, and turned all to agreement. For the Scots, with their captain, William Wallace, above specified, in the mean time, the king being absent, invaded the realm with such violence, that Prince Edward, the king's son, who was left to rule in his father's stead, was forced to assemble a parliament, and to call for the earl of Hereford, the earl of Norfolk, high marshal of England, earl of Essex, high constable, with other earls, barons, knights, and esquires, to treat peace and concord between his father and them. Who, coming up to London with fifteen hundred well-armed soldiers, and obtaining the gates of the city with their own men, fell at length to agreement with the prince upon composition to have the articles of Magna Charta and of Charta de Foresta confirmed; and that by his means and mediation they might be assured of the king's displeasure to be removed from them. The which foresaid articles of Magna Charta, with the other articles adjoined withal, here follow under written.
First, no tollage or subsidy by the king or his heirs to be imposed or levied hereafter within the realm of England, without the common assent of the archbishops, bishops, abbots, and other prelates, earls, barons, knights, burgesses, and commons of the realm.
Item, no taker or servitor of the king, or of his heirs, henceforth within this realm to take grain, wool, leather, or any goods of any man, without the will and consent of him which is the owner.
No taking to be hereafter, in name of tribute, for any pack of wool.
Item, to be granted by the king and his heirs after him, both to the clergy and laity of this foresaid realm, to have and to enjoy their laws, liberties, and customs, in as ample manner as they were wont at any time heretofore.
Item, if any decrees or statutes shall hereafter be made and set forth contrary to these foresaid articles, the same to stand void and of no effect for ever.
Besides these articles also, in the same composition was contained, that all grudge and displeasure between the king and the barons for not going to Flanders ceasing, the earls and barons might be assured to be received again into the king's favour.
These things thus agreed upon, and by mediation of the prince also confirmed and sealed with the king his father's seal, so was all the variance pacified, to the great comfort of the people, and no less strength of the realm against their enemies; and most chiefly to the commendation of the gentle and wise nature of the king, who, as he was gentle in promising his reconcilement with his subjects, so no less constant was he in keeping that which he had promised.
After the death of John Peckham, archbishop of Canterbury, above mentioned, who in the parliament had resisted the king in the right of certain liberties pertaining to the crown, touching patronages and such church matters, succeeded Robert Winchelsea, with whom also the king had like variance, who accused him to the pope for breaking the peace, and took part with them that rebelled against the king about usages and liberties of the realm. Wherefore, the king being cited up to the court of Rome, and there suspended, by the means of the said archbishop, directed his letters again to the pope, taken out of the parliament rolls, where I find divers letters of the king to Pope Clement against the said Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, the contents whereof here follow in substance. And as this king was troubled in his time with both the archbishops, John Peckham, and also Robert Winchelsea; so it happened to all other kings, for the most part, from the time of Lanfranc, (that is, from Pope Hildebrand,) that every king in his time had some business or other with that see. As William Rufus and Henry the First were troubled with Anselm; Henry the Second with Thomas Becket; King Richard and all England with William, bishop of Ely, the pope's legate; King John with Stephen Langton; King Henry the Third with Edmund, archbishop, called St. Edmund. Likewise this King Edward the First with John Peckham and Robert Winchelsea aforesaid. And so other kings after him with some prelate or other. Whereby ye have to understand how and about what time the Church of Rome, which beforetime was subject to kings and princes, began first to take head above and against kings and rulers, and so hath kept it ever since.
By this John Peckham afore mentioned it was ordained, that no spiritual minister should have any more benefices than one, which also was decreed by the constitutions of Octo and Octobonus, the pope's legates the same time in England.
About the beginning of this king's reign, after the decease of Walter, archbishop of York, William Wicewanger succeeding in that see, minding to go on visitation, came to Durham to visit the church and chapter there. But the clergy and the people of the city shut the gates against him, and kept him out, whereupon rose no small disturbance. The archbishop let fly his curse of excommunication and interdiction against them. The bishop of Durham again, with his clergy, despised all his cursings, grounding themselves upon the constitution of Innocent the Fourth. And so they appealed to Rome, saying that he ought not to be received there before he had first begun to visit his own chapter and diocess, which he had not done. For so say the words of the constitutions, "We ordain and decree, that every archbishop that will visit his province, first must procure to visit his own church, city, and diocess," &c.
Among other things in this king to be noted, that is not to be passed over, that where complaint was made to him of his officers, as justices, mayors, sheriffs, bailiffs, eschetors, and such other, who, in their offices abusing themselves, extortioned and oppressed the king's liege people, otherwise than was according to right and conscience, the said king, not suffering such misorder to be unpunished, did appoint certain officers or inquisitors, to the number of twelve, which inquisition was called Traibaston, or Trailbastoun; by means of which inquisition divers false officers were accused, and such as were offenders were either removed from their place, or forced to buy again their office at the king's hand, to their no small loss, and great gain to the king, and much profit to the commonwealth.
In the chronicle of Robert Amesbury, it is recorded of the said king, that he being at Amesbury to see his mother, (who was then in that monastery professed,) there was a certain man, that feigned himself blind a long time, brought to the presence of the said Eleanor, the king's mother, saying how that he had his sight again restored at the tomb of King Henry, her late husband, insomuch that she was easily persuaded the miracle to be very true. But King Edward her son, knowing the man a long time to be a vile dissembler, and a wicked person, used to lying and crafty deceiving, persuading his mother not to give credit to the vile vagabond, declaring that he knew so well of the justice of his father, that, if he were alive, he would twice rather pluck out both his eyes than once restore him one. Notwithstanding, the queen his mother, remaining still in the former fond persuasion, would hear or believe nothing to the contrary, but was so in anger with her son, that she bid him depart her chamber; and so he did. By the example whereof may easily be conceived how and after what sort these blind miracles in those days, and since, have come up among the blind and superstitious people. For had not the king here been wiser than the mother, no doubt but this would have been rung a miracle, and perchance King Henry been made a saint.
But as this was a feigned miracle, and false no doubt; so in the same author we read of another manner of miracle, sounding more near the truth, and so much the more likely, for that it served to the conversion unto Christian faith; to which use properly all true miracles do appertain. The miracle was this. In the reign of this king, and the latter year of his reign, Cassanus, king of the Tartarians, (of whom come these whom now we call Turks,) fighting against the soldan, king of the Saracens, in the plain of Damascus, slew of them a hundred thousand of Saracens; and again at Babylon, fighting with the said soldan, slew him in the field, and two hundred thousand of the Saracens, calling upon the help of Christ, and thereupon became Christian. This Cassanus, I say, had a brother a pagan, who being in love with the daughter of the king of Armenia, a Christian woman, desired of her father that he might marry with her. Whereunto the king her father would not agree, unless he promised to be a Christian. Notwithstanding, the other being stronger in power, and threatening to get her by war, the king at length was forced to agree. In conclusion, it happened that the child being born betwixt them was overgrown and all rough with hair, like the skin of a bear; which child being brought to the father, he commanded it to be thrown into the fire and burnt. But the mother, desiring first to have the child baptized, caused all things thereunto to be prepared. The infant being three times in water plunged, after the sacrament of holy baptism received, incontinently was altered and turned from all his hairy roughness, and seen as fair and smooth-skinned as any other. The which thing after the father saw and beheld, he was christened himself, and all his house, &c.
In the reign of this king Walter Merton, bishop of Rochester, builded Merton college in Oxford. In whose reign also lived Henricus de Gaudano, Arnoldus de Villa Nova, Dantes, and others; also Scotus, called Duns, who, in his fourth book of Sentences, Dist. 18, complaineth of the abuse of excommunication and of the pope's keys. Whereas before excommunication was not used but upon great and just causes, and therefore was feared; now, saith he, it is brought forth for every trifling matter, as for not paying the priests' wages, &c., and therefore, saith he, it groweth in contempt. Under the same king, about the beginning of his reign, was the year so hot and so dry, that from the month of May until the month near of September fell no rain; insomuch that many died for heat, and the vulgar people, in their reckoning of years, did count the time from the said dry year long after.
After Pope Benedict above mentioned succeeded Pope Clement the Fifth, who translated the pope's court to Avignon in France, where it remained the term of seventy-four years after. At the coronation of this Clement was present Philip, king of France, Charles, his son, and Duke John, duke of Brittany, with a great number of other men of state and nobility. At which coronation, they being in the middle of the pomp, or procession, a great wall brake down and fell upon them; by the fall whereof Duke John with twelve other were slain, King Philip hurt and wounded, the pope struck from his horse, and lost out from his mitre upon his head a carbuncle, esteemed to the value of six thousand florins. By this Clement was ordained, that the emperor, though he might he called king of the Romans before, yet he might not enjoy the title and right of the emperor before he was by him confirmed. And that the emperor's seat being vacant, the pope should reign as emperor, till a new emperor was chosen. By him the order of the Templars (who at that time were too abominable) was put down at the council of Vienna, as hereafter (Christ willing) shall be declared. He also ordained and confirmed the feast of Corpus Christi, assigning indulgences to such as heard the service thereof. And as Pope Boniface before heaped up the book of Decretals, called Sextus Decretalium; so this Clement compiled the seventh book of the Decretals, called of the same Clement the Clementines. In the time of this pope, Henricus, the sixth of that name, emperor, was poisoned in receiving the sacrament, by a false dissembling monk called Bernard, that feigned himself to be his familiar friend; which was thought to be done not without the consent of the pope's legate. The emperor, perceiving himself poisoned, warned him to flee and escape away; for else the Germans would sure have slain him; who although he escaped himself, yet divers of his order after that with fire and sword were slain.
As this Pope Clement the Fifth had well provided now, as ye have heard, against the empire of Rome to bring it under his girdle, insomuch that, without the pope's benediction, no emperor might take the state upon him, &c., now he proceedeth further to intermeddle with the empire of Constantinople. Where he first exerciseth his tyranny and power of excommunication against Andronicus Paleologus, emperor of Constantinople, A.D. 1306, declaring him to be a schismatic and heretic, because he neither would nor durst suffer the Grecians to make their appeal from the Greek church to the pope, neither would acknowledge him for his superior, &c. Whereby it may appear, that the Greek church did not admit the pope's superiority as yet, nor at any time before; save only about the time of Pope Innocent the Third, A.D. 1202, at what time the Frenchmen with their captain Baldwin, earl of Flanders, joined together with the Venetians, were set against the Grecians, to place Alexius in the right of the empire of Constantinople, upon condition (as writeth Platina) to subdue the Greek Church under the Church of Rome. Which Alexius being restored, and shortly after slain, the empire came to the Frenchmen, with whom it remained the space of fifty-eight years, till the coming of Michael Paleologus, in the days of Pope Gregory the Ninth, who restored the empire from the Frenchmen unto his pristine state again. During all which time of the French emperors the Greek Church was subject to Rome, as by the decretals of Pope Gregory the Ninth may appear. Then followed after this, that the foresaid Michael, emperor of Constantinople, being called up to a council at Lyons, by Pope Gregory the Tenth, about the controversy of the proceeding of the Holy Ghost, (as is above specified,) and obedience to the Church of Rome; there, because the said Michael the emperor did submit himself and the Grecians to the subjection of Rome, as testifieth Baptist Egnat., he thereby procured to himself such grudge and hatred among the Greek monks and priests, that after his death they denied him the due hononr and place of burial. The son of this Andronicus was Michael Paleologus above mentioned; who, as ye have heard before, because he was constrained by the Grecians not to admit any appellation to the bishop of Rome, was accursed by the pope's censures for a heretic. Whereby appeareth, that the Grecians, recovering their state again, refused all subjection at this time unto the Church of Rome, which was the year of our Lord 1327, &c. After this Clement the Fifth followed Pope John the Twenty-second, with whom Louis the emperor had much trouble. After whom next in course succeeded Pope Benedict the Twelfth. Which Benedict, upon a time, being desired to make certain new cardinals, to this answered again, that he would gladly so do, if he also could make a new world. For this world (said he) is for these cardinals that be made already. And thus much of the popes; now to return a little back to the king's story again.
In the year of our Lord 1307, which was the thirty-fourth of the reign of this king, in the beginning of Hilary term, the king kept a parliament at Carlisle, where great complaints were brought in by the nobles and ancients of the realm, concerning the manifold and intolerable oppressions of churches and monasteries, and exactions of money by the pope's legate William Testa, (otherwise termed Mala Testa,) lately brought into the realm of England. The coming of which William Testa was upon this occasion, as followeth: Pope Clement, who, as ye heard before, had translated his court from Rome into France, where he had been archbishop before, because he contemned to come and remain at his own see, the princes of Rome thought him therefore unworthy to enjoy Peter's patrimony. And so by that means, falling into bareness and poverty, he lived only of such money of bishops as came to him to be confirmed, and with such other shifts and gifts. So that by this means, partly of bishops and other religious men and persons, partly under the name of courtesy and benevolence, partly under the pretence of borrowing, he had within the first year 9500 marks of silver, all his other charges and expenses, which he largely that year bestowed, clearly borne. Besides this, he sent moreover the foresaid legate William Testa into England with his bulls; in the which he reserved the first-fruits of the first year of all churches being vacant at any time, or by any man, within the realms of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and also the fruits of abbeys and priories within the said realms, &c. Whereupon the king with his nobles, seeing the inconvenience and harm thereof ensuing to the whole realm, in the foresaid parliament, holden at Carlisle, withstood the said legate, charging and commanding him by the assent of the earls and barons, that henceforth he should abstain from all such exactions. And as concerning his lord the pope, he would direct certain his messengers unto him purposely for the same matter appointed; by the which ambassadors the king wrote unto the aforesaid pope, declaring and admonishing the pope, as right and reason was, that he should not exact the first-fruits of churches and abbeys, by his predecessors and noblemen of the land, founded for the honour and maintenance of God's service, for alms and hospitality; which otherwise, in so doing, should all be overthrown. And so by this means the pope at that time changed his purpose as concerning abbeys. But after that the fruit of English churches was granted to the king for two years, in which space he obtained the fruits of the foresaid churches, &c.
During the which parliament afore specified, as men were talking many things of the pope's oppressions, which he began in the English church, in the full of the parliament suddenly fell down, as sent from heaven, among them a certain paper, with this superscription.
An epistle of Cassiodorus to the Church of England, concerning the abuses of the Romish Church.
"To the noble Church of England, serving in clay and brick as the Jews did in time past under the tyranny of the Egyptians; Peter, the son of Cassiodore, a catholic soldier, and devout champion of Christ, sendeth greeting, and wishing it to cast off the yoke of bondage, and to receive the reward of liberty.
"To whom shall I compare thee, or to whom shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? To whom shall I match thee, O daughter of Zion? Great is thy perturbation, like unto the sea. Thou sittest alone without comfort all the day long, thou art confounded and consumed with heaviness. Thou art given up into the hands of him from whence thou canst not rise without help of one to lift thee up; for the scribes and Pharisees, sitting upon the chair of Moses, the enemies of the Romans are as thy heads and rulers; enlarging their guarded phylacteries, and seeking to be enriched with the marrow of thy bones, laying heavy burdens, and not able to be borne, upon thy shoulders, and of thy ministers, and they set thee under tribute, (which of old time hast been free,) beyond all honesty or measure. But marvel not thereat, for thy mother, which is the lady of people, like a widow having married and coupled herself to her subject, hath appointed him to be thy father; that is to say, the bishop of Rome, who showeth no point of any fatherly love towards thee. He magnifieth and extendeth to the uttermost his authority over thee, and by experience he declareth himself to be the husband of thy mother. He remembereth oft with himself the prophetical saying of the prophet, and well digested the same in the inward part of his breast: Take to thee a great book, and write therein quickly with the pen of a man: take the spoil, rob quickly. But is this it which the apostle saith that he was appointed for, where he writeth thus? Every bishop, taken from among men, is appointed for men in those things that belong to the Lord; not to spoil, nor to lay on them yearly taxes, nor to kill men, but to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins, and to sorrow with them that be ignorant and do err. And so we read of Peter the fisher, (whose successor he boasteth himself to be,) that after the resurrection of Christ he returned with other apostles to the office of fishing; who when he could take nothing on the left side of the ship, at the bidding of Christ turned to the right side, and drew to the land a net full of fishes. Wherefore the profitable ministry of the church is to be exercised on the right side, by the which the devil is overcome, and plenty of souls be lucrified and won to Christ. But certainly the labour on the left side of the ship is far otherwise; for in it the faith stumbleth, heaviness beareth rule, when that thing that is desired by seeking is not found. For who is so foolish to think that he can both at one time serve God and man, and to satisfy his own will, or to stick to the revelations of flesh and blood, and to offer worthy gifts to Christ? And doubtless that shepherd that watcheth not for the edifying of the flock, prepareth another way to the roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. And now behold, I say, O daughter, the deeds of him that is called thy father, such as have not been heard of before; he driveth away the good shepherd from the sheepfold, and placeth in their stead bishops to rule, but not to profit, his nephews, cousins, and parents; some that know no letters, and other some dumb and deaf, which understand not the plain voice of the sheep, not curing their wounds that be hurt of the wolves; but, like hirelings, plucking off the fleeces apace, and reaping that which other men have sown; whose hands moreover be always ready in their baskets and pouches, but their backs are turned from their burdens. By which thing it is manifest that the priesthood is clean changed at these days, the service of God decayed, alms diminished and brought to nought, the whole devotion of kings, princes, and Christians is banished. May not this be thought wonderful in the eyes of all men, that whereas Christ commanded tribute to be paid to kings for him and for Peter, he now goeth about by dominion of his style to subdue to him both realms, and princes of realms, against his will, whose vicar he saith he is, and who refused the realms and judgments of the world, which this bishop contrariwise challengeth, claiming all that which he in his style writeth to be his? Alack, O daughter, what doth he yet more against thee? Mark, he draweth from thee whatsoever pleaseth him, and yet he thinketh not himself content to have the tenth part only of thy goods from thee, except he have also the first-fruits of the benefices of the ministers, whereby he may get a new patrimony, as well for himself as for his kindred, contrary to the godly wills of the first founders. Over and besides all this, he inferreth other execrable taxes and stipends for his legates and messengers, whom he sendeth into England; which not only take away the feeding and clothing of thee and thine, but also tear in pieces like dogs your flesh and skins. May not this prince be compared to King Nebuchadnezzar, which destroyed the temple of the Lord, and robbed away the silver and golden vessels thereof? The very same doth this man also; he robbed the ministers of God's house, and left them destitute of due help. In like manner doth he. Truly they be better that are killed with the sword, than they which be pined with hunger; for they are dead straight, but these are wasted with the barrenness of the earth. O daughter, all they that pass by, let them have pity and compassion on thee, for there is no sorrow like thy sorrow. For now thy face is blacker than coals, through much sorrow and weeping, and thou art no more known in the streets; thy foresaid ruler hath placed thee in darkness, and.hath given thee wormwood and gall to drink. O Lord, hear the sorrow and sighings of thy people; behold, Lord, and descend, for the heart of this foresaid man is more indurate than the heart of Pharaoh. For he will not suffer the people to depart, except in the fortitude only of thy hand. For he scourgeth them not only miserably upon the earth, but also after their death he intendeth to encroach the goods of all Christians under the name and title of dying intestate, or making no will. Therefore let the chivalry of England well remember, how the Frenchmen in times past, directing their greedy eyes on the realm of England, laboured with all their, power how to bring the same under their subjection. But it is to be feared, lest the new devices and practice of this new enemy supply that which hitherto hath been lacking in them. For in diminishing of the treasure of the realm, and spoiling of the church's goods, the realm shall be brought into such inability, that it shall not be able to help itself against the enemy. Therefore, O daughter, and you the ministers thereof, suffer not yourselves to be led any more into such miserable bondage. Better it is for the wealth of thee and thine, that the Christian king and the powers of the realm, which have endued thee with great benefits, and you also which are endued with their benefits, do labour with all your power how to resist the devices, conspiracies, arrogancy, presumption, and pride of the foresaid person; who not for any zeal of God, but for the enriching of his parents, and for his own kindred, (exalting himself like an eagle,) by these and such other exactions goeth about, after another kind of extortion, to scrape up and devour all the money and treasure of England. Now, lest the dissembled simplicity of the realm in this behalf do bring utter subversion, and afterward be compelled to seek remedy when it is too late, I beseech the Lord God of hosts to turn away the veil from the heart of that man, and to give him a contrite and a humble mind, in such sort as he may acknowledge the ways of the true God, whereby he may be brought out of darkness, and be enforced to relinquish his old sinister attempts; and that the vineyard which the Lord's hand hath planted may be replenished continually with the preachers of the word. Let the words of the Lord, prophesied by the mouth of Jeremiah, stir up your minds to withstand and resist the subtle practices of this man, by the which words the Lord speaketh: O thou pastor which hast scattered my people, and bast cast them out of their habitations, behold, I will come and visit upon thee, and upon the malice of thy studies; neither shall there be any of thy seed which shall sit upon the seat of David; neither which shall have power any more in Judah. So that thy nest shall become barren, and utterly subverted, like Sodom and Gomorrah.
"And if he, being terrified by these words, do not leave off from this which he beginneth, and doth not make restitution of those things which he hath received, then let all and singular persons sing for him, being indurate, to Him that seeth all things, Psal. cviii., Deus laudum, &c. For truly, as favour, grace, benevolence, remitteth and neglecteth many things; so again the gentle benignity of man, being too much oppressed and grieved, seeking to be delivered and freed from the same, striveth and searcheth to have the truth known, and casteth off that yoke by all means possible that grieveth him," &c.
What effect this letter wrought in them to whom it was directed is not in story expressed. This by the sequel may be conjectured, that no reason or persuasion could prevail, but that the pope retained here still his exactions, whatsoever was said or written to the contrary notwithstanding.
And thus much being written hitherto of these acts and doings here in England, now to slip a little into the matters happening the same time in France, under the reign of the foresaid King Philip above mentioned; forasmuch as about this time, A.D. 1307, was commenced a parliament by the said king of France against the pope, touching the jurisdiction both temporal, pertaining to princes, and ecclesiastical, belonging to the church, I thought it not unprofitable for the reader to hear and learn the full discourse and tractation hereof, according as we have caused it to be excerpt faithfully out of the true copy and records of Peter Bertrand, bishop of Edven, and chief doer and prolocutor in the said parliament upon the pope's side, against the king and state temporal.
Forasmuch as the high prelate of Rome, otherwise called antichrist, being then in his chief ruff, extolling himself above all princes and potentates of the world, as in other countries, so also in France, extended his usurped jurisdiction above the princely authority of the king, claiming to himself full government of both the states, as well secular as also ecclesiastical; the king therefore, not suffering the excessive proceedings of Pope Clement the Fifth, above specified, directeth his letters mandatory to the prelates and barons of the realm of France, to convent and assemble themselves together at Paris, about the beginning of December, the year above, prefixed; the tenor of which letters of the king directed to the prelates followeth in this form and manner.
"Philip, by the grace of God king of France, to our well beloved bishop of Edven, greeting and salutation. Reverend father in God, right trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. The more sight and knowledge you have in divinity and the Holy Scriptures of God, with the practice and experience of other good qualities and virtues, you know the better a great deal how that the clergy and laity of this our realm (as members of one body) ought to cleave and stick together; and how by their helping hand unity and peace should be maintained of all, and the contrary eschewed and avoided, every state contenting itself, and not encroaching one upon another. And because we are advertised, how that our barons and officers (as well in time past as of late) have diversly in divers points injured you, as semblably you and yours in many causes have wrongfully damaged them; by occasion whereof the knot of unity and concord, which ought to have flourished among you, is quite loosed and undone: to the end therefore, by God's grace, some good reformation and redress may be had herein, we, most studious of unity and concord, require you, and by these our letters command you, to appear personally before us at Paris the fifteenth day of December next ensuing the date hereof, and there before us to make relation of such wrong as ye have received at the laity's hands. And we likewise straitly charge and command you, our barons, bailiffs, and officers, not to fail, but to make your personal appearances before us the day and place above written, and there to exhibit before us a bill of such complaints wherewith you burden our prelates and clergy, with their officials; that we, with our council, consulting thereupon with due regard, may see redress therein; whereby perpetual love and charity may ever hereafter reign and remain among them for ever. Given at Paris the first day of September, A.D. 1309."
At the day in the letters above specified the prelates and clergy assembled themselves before the king at his palace in Paris; that is to say, the Lord Bituricen, the lord of Auxitan, the Lord Turonen, the Lord Rothom, and the Lord Senon, all archbishops; the Lord Belvacen, the Lord Cathalen, the Lord Laudun, the lord of Paris, the Lord Novionon, the Lord Carnoten, the Lord Constan, the Lord Andegaven, the Lord Pictaven, the Lord Melden, the lord of Cameracen, the lord of St. Feri, the Lord Brioce, the lord of Cabilion, and the lord of Edven, all bishops. Where, after due reverence done unto the king's Grace, there sitting in his own person, with his barons and council about him, a certain noble and wise person, Lord Peter de Cugneriis, (being one of the king's council,) rose up, and openly in the parliament house spake in the king's behalf on this wise, taking for his theme, Give and render unto Cæsar that which is his, and unto God that which is God's; which he very artificially prosecuted and applied, dividing it into two parts. First, that obedience and reverence is due unto the king. Secondly, that there ought to be a difference between the jurisdiction of the clergy and laity, so that spiritual matters should be defined and ordered by the prelates and spiritual men, and temporal causes ruled and determined by the king, his barons, and temporal men. Which all he proved by many reasons both of fact and law, as more fully appeareth beneath in the answer of the bishop of Edven. Finally, he concluded, that the clergy ought only to deal and have to do with spiritual matters; in defence whereof the king's Highness would stand their good lord and maintainer. His oration being ended, he repeated certain words in the French tongue, which imported that the king's will and pleasure was in some points to renew the temporal state and jurisdiction; and therewith he exhibited a certain bill in French, whereof also he gave a copy to the prelates, containing certain points and articles under-written; the contents whereof he affirmed not to appertain to the order and jurisdiction of the spiritualty, but only to the temporally, complaining that the clergy had wrongfully proceeded in the same. But notwithstanding the premises, and for all this his complaint, he said that the prelates should have time to consult and deliberate thereupon with the king.
After the Lord Peter had thus spoken, the prelates required to have time to answer thereunto. Whereupon the Friday next ensuing was appointed for the same. On the which day the bishop Edven, and archbishop of Senon elect, in the name of the whole clergy answered for them all before the king, holding his parliament as that day at Vicenas.
In the said session the aforesaid bishop of Edven, prolocutor, inferred many things beside, and answered particularly to the articles above specified, and exhibited by the Lord Peter in writing to the king and parliament; which, because they touch more the subtilty of the law and styles of the courts than are necessary to this our history, and because we would not burden the volume with them, they containing no great profit in them, we have here of purpose, for brevity's sake, omitted them, passing to the next sitting, which was the Friday next following the same, as ensueth.
The next Friday after this the prelates assembled at Vicenas before the king to hear their answer; where the foresaid Lord Peter of Cugneriis, being prolocutor for the king, spake on this wise, taking for his theme, I am peace unto you, do not fear, &c. Which he prosecuted, admonishing that they should not be troubled in any thing that there had been spoken; for that the intent and mind of the sovereign lord their king was, to keep the rites of the church and prelates, which they had by law and by good and reasonable custom; where, between the first and second conclusion, he went about to prove, that the cognition of civil causes ought not to appertain to the church; for that such things were temporal, and ought to pertain to the temporally, as spiritual things to the spiritually. And besides his other reasons, he alleged the declaring for a truth, that for this intent first the clerks' crowns were shaven, in sign that they should be free from all worldliness, and forsake all temporal things. Furthermore, he declared, that the bishops had cognition in certain cases expressed by law. Wherefore these said cases ministered a certain rule against him. Also he affirmed, that, by reason of sin, the decretal Novit. could not make for them. For the same did speak of the king of France's state, which hath no superior; but in other persons it was, he said, otherwise. And these things thus being proved, then said he, and concluded, That nevertheless their lord and king was ready to hear the information of them which would instruct him of any custom; and those customs which were good and reasonable he would observe. Which answer, because it did not seem to please and suffice the prelates, incontinently the bishop Edven answered for them all in manner following. First, commending the good and general answer, he spake in this wise: The prince of the people (said he) shall be praised for the prudence of his talk, commending therewith, as touching the former good general answer of the king, his purpose and talk propounded. But as concerning the words of the Lord Peter, which engendered and brought darkness and obscurity, and might give occasion to the temporal lords to break and infringe the rites and customs of the church, his answer seemed not full and plain to the prelates. Speaking, moreover, to the said Peter, he alluded to the words of the Virgin speaking in the Scripture thus to her Son; Son, why did you so to us? And so he prosecuted the same, both marvelling with himself, and yet covertly complaining of his answer. Afterward, answering to those things which the Lord Peter affirmed, and first to the chapter, ad verum, he said, that it was before answered, touching the division of the two jurisdictions, that they may be in one subject, as before is proved. Neither doth it let which the Lord Peter said, that these two jurisdictions could not be in one subject, because that things which be in themselves diverse, and be under one genus, as a man and an ass, cannot be in one subject. But if they were under divers kinds, as whiteness and sweetness in milk, they might be well in one subject. It was answered, that this rule was not true, because justice and temperance are two diverse virtues, and under one kind, and yet be in one subject. Besides these differing species, a man and an ass be not compatible in one subject. Also to that which was spoken concerning the shaving of the crown, it was answered, that the crown did betoken rule and excellency; and the shaving did signify, that they ought not to heap up store of temporal things so to apply their hearts thereunto; but that the temporal things ought to be subject to them, and not they to the temporalty, as is proved in the said chapter, duo sunt genera. Also as concerning the thing which was talked of de regula, he answereth, that this maketh for the church, as before was proved, yea also, the custom doth make the rule for the church. Also laws in all kind of sense do always except the custom. And, therefore, his saying makes nothing against it. And now to that place which the Lord Peter spake about the decretal Novit., that the case was only in the king's person; yet for all that it is expressly said in the same text, of every Christian man. And although their law doth speak only of the pope, yet the same is applied to all bishops in their diocese. Wherefore the said bishop concluded and beseeched the king that it would please his Grace to give unto them a more plain and comfortable answer, and that they might not depart from his presence all pensive and sad, whereby occasion might be given to the laity to impugn the rights and liberties of the church; and that they doubted nothing hereof in the good nature and conscience of their sovereign lord and king. In the end it was answered to them in the behalf of the king, that his mind and intent was not to impugn the customs of the church.
The Sunday following the bishops assembled themselves again before the king at Vicenas, where the lord bishop of Edven repealed their last supposition, with the last answer made unto them in the behalf of the king, when the bishop of Byturien had given them to understand how the king willed them not to fear, for that they should suffer no hinderance or damage in his time; yea, and he would defend them in their rites and customs, because it should not be said that he would give ensample to other to impugn the church, assuring them that even the king's Grace willed him so to declare unto them. The said lord bishop of Senon in the name of the whole prelates gave humble thanks to the king therefore, and the said bishop of Senon beseeched that such proclamations, which were made to the prejudice of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, might be repealed and called in. Hereunto the king himself answereth with his own mouth, that they were not published at his commandment, neither did he know of them nor ratify them. Thirdly, the bishop proposed, that those abuses which the temporalty complained of should be so ordered and reformed, that every man should be well contented therewith. Last of all, he beseeched the king's Highness that he would of his gracious goodness give them a more comfortable and fuller answer. Then answered the Lord Peter in the name of the king, That if the prelates and bishops would see reformation of those things which were to be amended, whereabouts he would take respite between this and Christmas next following, his Grace would innovate nothing in the mean season. And if in the foresaid space they would not correct and reform that which was amiss, his Majesty would appoint such order and remedy, that should be acceptable both to God and his subjects. After this, the prelates had leave of the king to depart, and went home.
And thus much concerning French matters, which, because they be ecclesiastical, and bear with them some utility to the diligent reader, such as list to search, note, and observe the acts of men, and course of religion, I thought, therefore, here to place and adjoin them next after the other contention before proceeding between Philip, the French king, and Pope Boniface. Albeit, as touching the perfect keeping of years and time, I am not ignorant that this aforesaid parliament, thus summoned and commenced against the French prelates, falling in the year of our Lord 1329, was to be referred rather to the reign of King Edward the Second, of whom now remaineth, by the grace of Christ, in order of history to prosecute, declaring first the instructions and informations of his father given to hint in the time of his departing. The year of our Lord 1307, and the last year of the king, the foresaid King Edward, in his journey marching towards Scotland, in the north fell sick of the flux, which increased so fervently upon him, that he despaired of life. Wherefore, calling before him his earls and barons, he caused them to be sworn, that they should crown his son Edward in such convenient time after his death as they might, and keep the land to his use till he were crowned. That done, he called before him his son Edward, informing and lessoning him with wholesome precepts; and he charged him also with divers points upon his blessing: first, that he should be courteous, gentle, upright in judgment, fair spoken to all men, constant in deed and word, familiar with the good, and especially to the miserable to be merciful. After this, he gave him also charge not to be too hasty in taking his crown, before he had revenged his father's injuries stoutly against the Scots; but that he should remain in those parts to take with him his father's bones, being well boiled from the flesh; and so, being enclosed in some fit vessel, should carry them with him till he conquered all the Scots; saying, that so long as he had his father's bones with him none should overcome him. Moreover, he willed and required him to love his brothers Thomas and Edmund; also to cherish and tender his mother Margaret, the queen. Over and besides, he straitly charged him upon his blessing, (as he would avoid his curse,) that he should in no case call to him again, or send for Peter Gaveston; which Peter Gaveston the king before had banished the realm, for his naughty and wicked familiarity with his son Edward, and for his seducing of him with sinister counsel. For the which cause he banished both Peter Gaveston utterly out of the realm, and also put the said Edward his son in prison. And therefore so straitly he charged his son in no wise to send for this Gaveston, or to have him in any case about him. And finally, because he had conceived in himself a vow to have returned in his own person to the Holy Land, (which for his manifold wars with the Scots he could not perform,) therefore he had prepared thirty-two thousand pounds of silver, for the sending of certain soldiers with his heart unto the Holy Land. Which thing he required of his son to see accomplished; so that the aforesaid money, under his curse and malediction, be not employed to other uses. But these injunctions and precepts the disobedient son did nothing observe or keep after the decease of his father. Who, forsaking and leaving off the war with the Scots, with all speed hasted him to his coronation. Also, contrary to the mind of his nobles, and against the precept of his father, he sent for the aforesaid Peter Gaveston, and prodigally bestowed upon him all that treasure which his father had bequeathed to the Holy Land. He was moreover a proud despiser of his peers and nobles; and therefore reigned unfortunately, as by the sequel of the story here following, by the grace of Christ, shall be declared. Thus King Edward, first of that name, leaving behind him three sons, Thomas and Edmund by his third wife, and Edward by his first wife, whom he had sufficiently thus with precepts instructed, departed this mortal life, A.D. 1307, after he had reigned near thirty-five years.
In the time and reign of this king many other things happened which here I omit to speak of, as the long discord and strife between the prior of Canterbury and the prior of Dover, which continued above four years together, with much wrangling and unquietness between them. Likewise another like contention growing between John Romain, archbishop of York, and the archbishop of Canterbury, upon this occasion; that when John, archbishop of York, after his consecration returned from the pope, coming to Dover, contrary to the inhibition of Canterbury, he passed through the middle of Kent, with his cross borne up, although the story reporteth that he had the king's consent thereunto, A.D. 1286.
Item, between Thomas, bishop of Hereford, and John Peckham, archbishop of Canterbury, fell another wrangling matter, in the tine of this king. Which bishop of Hereford, appealing from the archbishop to the pope, went up to Rome, and in his journey died. Who with less cost might have tarried at home, A.D. 1282.