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he confiscated the estates of the prelate, and of every clergyman, who had either followed him into France, or rendered him any service; and he banished, without distinction of rank, age or sex, all persons connected with him, by blood or friendship, and aggravated the infliction by making the sufferers take an oath, on their embarkment, that "they would present themselves before the arch"bishop, and reproach him with their sufferings."
We now reach the second stage of this important controversy. A detail of its incidents is foreign to the subject of these pages: it is sufficient to mention succinctly, that, after many fruitless endeavours, a reconciliation between the archbishop and the sovereign took place at Freitville in Normandy; that the archbishop returned to England; that, upon a complaint by him against the prelates, who had assisted at the coronation of prince Henry, the celebration of which ceremony belonged of right, as he asserted, to the see of Canterbury, the pope excommunicated the bishops of London, Rochester and Salisbury, conferring at the same time, a power on the archbishop to absolve them; that the sovereign required him to absolve the prelates; that, on his refusal, they attended in person on the king, who was then in Normandy, to make their complaints against the archbishop; that, irritated by their representations, the king exclaimed,-"Of the "cowards who eat my bread, is there not one, who "will free me from this turbulent priest?"—that four knights, who heard this exclamation, bound themselves by oath to avenge the king; that they
sailed for England, and proceeded directly to Canterbury, entered the cathedral, and, advancing to the archbishop, required him instantly to absolve the bishops; that he refused to do it, till the pre-, lates made satisfaction; that, on this refusal, the four knights murdered him; that, as soon as the king was informed of it, he solemnly denied all participation in its guilt, but admitted the unguarded exclamation, upon which the knights proceeded to the perpetration of the crime, and, on this account, submitted to a public and humiliating penance, and was absolved by the pope.-Previously to it, he solemnly abrogated all the unlawful customs, which he had introduced into his states, and forbad their being observed in future.
The archbishop was canonized in 1178. His memory has ever been held in honour by the church of Rome. "He combated, even to blood," says Bossuet, "for the church's minutest rights :-and "maintaining her prerogatives, as well those, which "Jesus Christ had acquired by his death, as those, "which pious princes endowed her with, he de"fended the very outworks of the holy city:-his
glory will live as long as the church; and his "virtues, which France and England have vene"rated with a kind of emulation, will never be forgotten."
*"The History of the Variations of the protestant churches, "by James Benigne Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, one of his "majesty's honourable privy council, heretofore preceptor to "the dauphin, and chief almoner to the dauphiness. In two "parts. Translated from the sixth edition of the French
The writer has not discovered any formal repeal of the constitutions of Clarendon; but it is clear that, from the time of the decease of the archbishop, they ceased to be considered as law. This may be thought to favour the notion, that they were merely an exposition of the customs, and not a legislative enactment.-At a council held at Northampton, in 1176, it was provided, that "no clergyman "should be personally arraigned before a secular judge, for any crime or transgression, unless it "was against the law of the land, or regarded a lay fee." Here the matter appears to have rested till the reformation*.
original, printed at Paris, 1718, by father Muston, alias "Browne, s. 1."
Candid protestants, also, have respected the memory of Becket. Collier's account of the controversy between him and his sovereign, (Eccl. Hist. vol. i. p. 343-377,) deserves a very serious perusal.
* Those, who seek for full information, upon the controversy between Henry the second and St. Thomas, should consult "Fides Regia Anglicana; sive Annales Ecclesiæ Anglicana: "ubi potissimum Anglorum catholica Romana et orthodoxa "fides, ab anno D'ni 1066 ad 1189, e regum et augustorum factis "et aliorum sanctorum rebus e virtute gestis asseritur auc. "R. P. Mitchaele Alfordo alias Griffith, Anglo, Societatis Jesu "Theologo. Leodii, 1663," in four large folio volumes. The fourth contains an account of the transactions between the king and the archbishop, extracted from ancient authors. He gives such copious extracts from these, as leave the reader, who wishes for original information, little to desire.
LEVIES ON ECCLESIASTICAL BENEFICES.
To answer the wants of the church, and supply other calls upon them, the popes frequently required from the secular and regular clergy pecuniary contributions, similar to those, which the temporal lords were entitled to receive from their feudatories. It has been said, that the demands of the popes on the English clergy were greater than those, which they raised on the clergy of any other state; and that this was owing to the ascendancy which the popes obtained in consequence of the surrender, which king John made of his crown to the Roman see. This event we shall notice in a future page; in the present chapter, we shall succinctly mention the complaints against the popes on account of the subsidies levied by them on the clergy.
The ascendancy, which the pope obtained by his arrangements with John, was increased by Henry the third, who succeeded that monarch in the throne. Immediately after his accession, he swore fealty to the sovereign pontiff; and in every vicissitude of fortune, treated the see of Rome with the highest respect and affection. In his reign, however, the English clergy began to remonstrate against its exactions.
The disputes between Gregory the ninth, and the emperor Frederick, involved the pope in great expenses: he demanded aid from his clergy; it
was cheerfully granted; but the demand was often repeated, and, under Innocent the fourth, became so frequent, as to occasion universal discontent, both among the clergy and the laity. The aid required, was generally a twentieth, but sometimes a much greater proportion of the annual income of every beneficiary, either of the first or the second order of the clergy; and of every ecclesiastical community that possessed revenues. The clergy remonstrated against these exactions in firm but temperate language; their remonstrance was accompanied by a letter from the king; but the complaint was disregarded. By degrees, the nation entered into the cause: the king, the bishops, the barons, and the abbots, wrote letters to the pope. The clergy proceeded in their letter so far as to hint to his holiness, that, "if he did not redress "their grievances, they should be forced them"selves to redress them; and that the interest of "the court of Rome in England would then be so "embarrassed, as to make it very difficult to re
store it to its former condition." The pope, however, persisted in his demands; the king veered to him, and the clergy compounded with the pontiff for 11,000 marks.
On some occasions, the pope and the king combined to enforce these levies from the clergy. Thus, when Innocent the fourth conferred the kingdom of Sicily on Edmund, the nephew of the king, they compelled the bishops and abbots to accept bills for 20,000l. drawn upon them in favour of the king by bankers at Venice and Florence. They further