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The Letter of pope Celestinus to the prelates of England, in

behalf of William, bishop of Ely. “ Celestinus the bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable brethren the archbishops and bishops throughout the kingdom of England appointed, health, and the Apostolic benediction. Whereas our dearly beloved son in Christ, Richard, the illustrious king of the English, having assumed the cross, and prepared himself for avenging the injuries done to the Redeemer, has therein, like a prudent man and one who seeks the Lord, considered that the cares of governing his kingdom ought to be postponed to the performance of his duty, and has left the same under the Apostolic protection : it is, therefore, our wish and our duty, with the greatest zeal, to preserve the integrity and the rights of his realm, and the honor of himself, in the same degree that, trusting in our protection, he has exposed his person and his property to the greatest danger for the upholding of the holy religion, and is known, in obedience to the Creator, to have behaved himself in a praiseworthy manner, the Lord dealing with him and giving good tokens of success, and most zealously, as is mani. fest from his exploits. Therefore, inasmuch as we have heard that certain attempts have been made upon his kingdom itself, as well as against your venerable father, William, bishop of Ely, the legate of the Apostolic See, to whom he has committed the government of his kingdom, both by John, earl of Mortaigne, and certain other persons, which in themselves contain some grounds of suspicion, and, if they are true, are known to redound in no slight degree to contempt of the Apostolic See, we have deemed it our duty at this early period to meet such presumption, inasmuch as from delay very great injury might possibly accrue to the king before - named and the land of Jerusalem, and to ourselves and the Roman Church. Wherefore, by these Apostolic writings, we do command the whole of you, and in virtue of your obedience enjoin you, that if (as has been reported to us) the said earl or any one else has dared to lay violent hands on the bishop before-mentioned, or to seize him, or to extort from him any oath by means of violence, or to keep him in confinement, or in any way to change the state of the kingdom from the position in which it was placed by his serene highness at his departure, in such case, all pretexts and excuses laid aside, you will meet together,

and, with candles lighted and bells ringing, all appeals and excuses, and all respect for persons on your part utterly laid aside, publicly announce as under the ban of excommunication the said earl, and all his counsellors, advisers, accomplices, and abettors in the said acts of presumptuous daring. You are also to cause them, when thus excommunicated, to be strictly avoided by all, both in their own lands as also in others which they may have invaded, and you are entirely to forbid the celebration there of divine service, except penance and the baptism of children, all obstacle thereto by appeal being entirely removed; until such time as, the said legate having been released from confinement, as well as from the stringency of his oath, and the kingdom having been replaced in the same position in which it was left by the said king at his departure, envoys shall come to the Apostolic See, with the testimony of letters from him and from yourselves as well, for the purpose of absolution. And know for certain that if, in the execution of this our precept, you shall be negligent or remiss, we have resolved, with the help of God, to inflict upon you no less a punishment than if the said injury had been done to our own person, or to one of our brethren. Given at the Lateran, on the fourth day before the nones of December, in the first year of our Pontificate.”

Upon the authority, therefore, of these letters of the Supreme Pontiff, the said bishop of Ely wrote to Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, to the following effect:

“William, by the grace of God, bishop of Ely, legate of the Apostolic See, and chancellor of our lord the king, to his venerable brother and most dearly beloved friend, [Hugh], by the same grace, bishop of Lincoln, health, and sincere love and affection. The more full the confidence that we feel in your affection, the greater the constancy we have found in you, so much the more confidently do we entrust to your discreetness, and to that of the Church of God, the interests of our lord the king, and our own, to be duly watched over ; putting our trust in God as to

your brotherly love will, in your pontifical character, show all due regard to the Apostolic precepts and our own. We do, therefore, in virtue of your obedience, enjoin, and, on the strength of the authority which has been conferred upon us, command you, that, for the purpose of performing the Apostolical mandate issued to all the archbishops and bishops of England, as also to all other your brethren whatsoever, you will with all speed convene the

you, that

same, to the end that the iniquity of the laity may no longer cast a slur on the Church of God and its priesthood, and lest, through any tergiversation or dissimulation, their malice may be imputed as a crime to yourselves. But as to the order which our lord the pope has given with regard to the person of John, earl of Mortaigne, we have modified the same, deferring the occasion until the Lord's day when “Esto mihi55 is sung; to the end that, if in the meantime he shall think fit to repent, we may return thanks to God for the same, and in his behalf, in the sight of our lord the pope, and of our lord the king of England, the champion of Him who was crucified, pour forth our affectionate prayers, that he may be deemed deserving of pardon for his offence, and give him our strenuous aid and all efficacious attention, saving always our fealty to our lord the king, and the honor of our priestly office. But, on the lands of those excommunicated, you are to permit the celebration of no Divine service, the baptism of children and penance excepted. The names of those who have been excommunicated by our lord the pope, and have been denounced as such by ourselves, of whose doings the evidence is so notorious that it cannot by any equivocation on their part be invalidated, are as follows: Walter, archbishop of Rouen, Godfrey, bishop of Winchester, Hugh, bishop of Coventry, William Marshal, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, William Bruyere, Hugh Bardolph, Richard Malebisse and his brother Hugh, James and Simon Fitz-Simon, Simon de Avranches, Roger FitzRemfray, Gilbert and Rainfrid his sons, Gerard Camville, earl of Salisbury, John Marshal, earl of Mellent, Gilbert Basset, Thomas Basset, Henry de Vere, Jocelyn Fitz-Remfray, Stephen Riddel, chancellor of the earl of Mortaigne ; whom, both as bishop and as his legate, we do denounce to you as excommunicated; as also Master Benedict, who, contrary to the statutes of the king and the kingdom, and against our prohibition, has dared to employ the seal of our lord the king, together with John, archdeacon of Oxford. In addition to this, we do distinctly and in especial order you publicly to denounce, as excommunicated, Hugh, bishop of Coventry, whom we have solemnly excommunicated, not only because in word and deed he has disowned the bishop, and because he gave his bodily oath at the hand of Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury, of pious memory, as to not holding courts, but also because he has been

55 Quinquagesima Sunday; when the introit begins “ Esto mihi in Deum protectorem:”. “ Be thou, O God, a protector to me.”

manifestly a counsellor and adviser to the entire subversion of the realm of England, a disturber of the peace, and a public advocate against the royal dignity and interests; and to cause him to be strictly avoided by all, that in future a sheep so diseased

may not be able to blemish and corrupt the flock of the Lord. But Hugh Bardolph, who took no part in our expulsion and confinement, we do except from the said sentence of excommunication, if, immediately upon being warned, he shall surrender the castles of Scarborough, and those throughout the whole of Yorkshire and Westmoreland which he holds in his hands, to William de Stuteville. You are also to forbid all persons in your diocese, under pain of excommunication, to do anything in obedience to those who conduct themselves in England as though they were justices, or in any way to obey a power founded on violence and usurpation. Farewell.”

The said bishop of Ely also wrote to Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, to the following effect:

William, by the grace of God, bishop of Ely, legate of the Holy Apostolic See, and chancellor of our lord the king, to his venerable brother and friend, by the same grace, bishop of Lincoln, greeting. By that authority which has been conferred upon us, we do command you, and in virtue of your obedience enjoin, that you seize and take into your own hands, and retain possession of, the archdeaconry and all the revenues of John, archdeacon of Oxford, until such time as you shall have received commands from the Apostolic See, or from ourselves; inasmuch as with his uncle, the Pilate of Rouen, he is disturbing the peace and tranquillity of the kingdom of England, and is seeking to do whatever mischief he possibly can to our lord the king and to his realm, as being an enemy of the realm and to ourselves. For, by the authority of our lord the pope,

we have placed him under the ban of excommunication: Farewell."

The said bishop of Ely also wrote to a similar effect to some others of the bishops of England; though not one of them performed the commands of either the Apostolic See or of himself; as they did not consider him as legate, or as the king's chancellor. But the said archbishop of Rouen, and the other justices of England, deprived him of his bishopric, and collected his revenues for the behoof of the king, in return for the king's treasures which he had made


with. After this, the said justices and all the bishops, earls, and

barons of England joined in a letter, and wrote word to the king how his chancellor had laid waste the kingdom of England and his treasures, and how, by the common consent of the kingdom, he had been deposed. On the other hand, the chancellor wrote to the king, signifying how that his brother John had taken possession of his kingdom, and would place the crown on his own head, unless he should make baste and return with all speed. Of the return of Philip, king of France, from Acre, and of his

journey. But now let us return to the king of France, who, in the meantime, leaving the object of his pilgrimage unperformed, had departed from the land of Jerusalem with fourteen galleys, and had passed before the city of Baruth, which was then in the hands of the pagans; but he did not attack them. He next passed before the city of Sibelet and before the castles of Bitterus and of Hesse, and then came to the city of Tripolis, where he made a stay of some days. Departing thence, he passed before the castle of Arches, the castle of Albe, and Le Culiat, a castle of the Hospitallers. He next came to the episcopal city of Turcusa. It is worthy of remark, that before Turcusa there is an island in the sea, Aredosa by name, for which reason Turcusa is called the “ Aredosan city.” He next came to the good harbour of Maureda, departing from which place he passed before Margat, a castle of the Hospitallers, where Isaac, emperor of Cyprus, was kept confined in chains. He next came to the city of Valentia, then to the city of Sibel, then to the city of Melida, and then to the port of Saint Simeon. He next arrived before the city of Antioch, departing from which he came to the port of Bunel, then to the port of Alexandrietta. After this, he entered the land of the Armenians, which is called Armenia, and is the territory of Rupin de la Montaigne, being held under the prince of Antioch. He next came to a large river, the name of which is Thil, where there is a good city, which in like manner is called Thił. He then came to a large river called Curk, where there is a fine city deserted, also called Curk. He next came to a third large river, which is called Salef, where, upon this river, there is a large city, which is in like manner called Salef. It was in this river Salef that Frederic, emperor of the Romans, was drowned, when he was leaving the territories of the sultan of Iconium.

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