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archdeacon was deprived of all means of attempting to recover the same.
To this, however, the archdeacon made answer, that he was not attempting to recover the same, inasmuch as he was freely exercising them, just as formerly, at the time when he set out on his way to the Apostolic See, and was in enjoyment of the possession thereof. He also added, that inasmuch as the archbishop bad, by shamefully retaining the dignity in his hands against the law of the constitution [of the Church), mutilated the same, he ought not, alleging, as it were, his own infamy, to be heard against him, the possessor thereof, on the point of his subsequent renunciation, or even his abjuration, if such there had been. Accordingly, after hearing what was alleged on both sides, and fully understanding the same, we pronounced that the archdeacon must be left in full possession of the privileges of the said archdeaconry, until it should have been proved by the other side, that the said liberties had been conceded (personally]by the archbishops to the archdeacons; for in such case, the archbishop would be at liberty, both before and after, as well as at the moment of granting [the archdeaconry), lawfully to make reservation thereof, as being his own; or else, until it should have been lawfully proved that the archdeacon had abjured the said privileges; but that in the latter case, if the concession of them 96 was a valid one, no right or benefit could accrue to the archbishop thereby, for that we, on petition of the church of York, or of ourselves, should consult the benefit of the said archdeaconry thereon. If, therefore, either of these positions shall be lawfully proved, let silence be imposed upon the archdeacon as to the said privileges; if neither, then upon the archbishop. We do therefore strictly command, and by these Apostolic writings enjoin you, forthwith to call the said parties before you, and to hear what shall be alleged on both sides, according to the form in the precedents set forth ; always remembering, that if any change has been made by the archbishop or his people relative to the said privileges since appeal was lawfully interposed, or since the archdeacon set out upon
his way to Rome, you are, at the commencement of the investigation, all power of appeal withheld, to replace the same in its former state: and you are, all obstacle by appeal removed, to bring the same to a due conclusion, if you shall be unable, by the conbent of the parties, to settle the same; or else, you are to refer
96 At the moment of granting the office.
the case, fully drawn up, to us for decision. If we were to have due regard to the doings of our venerable brother the archbishop of York, and wished to answer him, in accordance with his deserts, we should not only deprive him of the power of inflicting injury, but should even curtail his authority, who thus misuses it for oppressing those subject to him. For how and how long he has annoyed our dearly-beloved son Honorius, the archdeacon of Richmond, whom, in consideration of his learning and his integrity, he ought to have honored, the complaints of the archdeacon have fully shown to us; for he has both, as he therein asserts, for some time, without cause, deprived him of his archdeaconry, and has frequently, at the impulse of his own will, launched against him and his clerks, and others as well, sentence of excommunication and suspension. Consequently, if we made it our care duly to provide for the welfare of the said archdeacon, we should take care to pronounce him for ever exempt from the jurisdiction of the said archbishop, as one of our predecessors is known in his time also to have exempted certain persons. However, it being our wish so to protect the archdeacon, as not for the present to curtail the authority of the said archbishop, we do command and enjoin you, upon our authorization, carefully to warn the said archbishop, and to forbid him to presume, without manifest and reasonable cause, and only in a reasonable manner, to pronounce sentence of excommunication, suspension, or interdict upon the said archdeacon, or his clerks or laymen, or churches in his archdeaconry. But if he shall do so, you are, supported by our authorization, to pronounce the sentences so given, to be null and void in law, all power of appeal on his part withheld; and you are carefully to protect the archdeacon and his people for the future against the excesses of the archbishop, revoking as null and void, all power of appeal withheld, whatever attempts, in his rashness, he shall think proper to make against them. And further, if he shall disdain to listen to your advice, we shall make it our care duly to provide against the same, not without confusion and disgrace to himself and his advisers.” The Letter of pope Innocent on the same subject, to king John.
“Innocent, the bishop, servant of the servants of God, to the illustrious king of the English, health and the Apostolic benediction. It is the interest of your royal highness to pro
tect churches and ecclesiastical persons in their rights, and powerfully and lawfully to bridle the attempts of evil doers, when striving to molest them. Wherefore, inasmuch as our beloved son, Master Honorius, archdeacon of Richmond, is a man so learned and so virtuous, that, not only from his learning and virtue, honor is reflected upon the church of York, but his duteous services may possibly prove advantageous to yourself, we do ask, advise, and exhort your serene highness in the Lord (and the more urgently, inasmuch as we are aware that he has attended not less diligently than faithfully to the business committed to his charge by your serene highness at our court,) to maintain and defend him in his rights, and not to permit him or his clerks, in contravention of the privileges of the archdeaconry of Richmond, to be aggrieved by molestation on part of any person whatsoever. Farewell.”
Another Letter of pope Innocent on the same subject. “Our dearly-beloved son, Honorius, archdeacon of Richmond, having come to our presence, and having presented to us his petition, has shown to us that, whereas we did formerly entrust to our dearly-beloved son, Peter, cardinal deacon and titular of Saint Mary in Viâ Latâ, legate of the Apostolic See, the adjudication of the questions which were moved against those who had been intruded into the prebends and dignities of the church of York, he, reserving to himself the final sentence thereon, did entrust to our venerable brother, the bishop, and our dearly-beloved sons, the dean and subdean of Lincoln, the hearing of the charge which was made against Roger of Saint Edmund's, in relation to the archdeaconry of Richmond. But although, observing due and legal form, they would have proceeded to pronounce a definite sentence, at last, through the mediation of the chapter of York, there was an amicable and fair compromise effected between Honorius, the archdeacon, and the before-named Roger, which each party, on oath, promised to observe. However, shortly after, the said Roger, not taking into consideration the compromise made, and the oath which he had taken thereon, obtained letters from ourselves against the said archdeacon, addressed to you, who, as he asserted, attempted in many ways, contrary to justice, to injure him. For he alleged that, whereas he had set out to come to our presence, to set forth his legitimate exceptions, and had utterly declined you, son, abbat of Saint Ed
mund's, as being suspected by him, both because the said [archdeacon ] was on too close terms of intimacy with you, and because, as he asserted, he himself is related to you by blood, as also because you had manifestly shown favour towards the said archdeacon in relation to the said matters, and had shown opposition to the said Roger, by petitioning our most dearly-beloved son in Christ, the illustrious king of England, and our venerable brother, the archbishop of Canterbury, although he had offered to make good his objections to you, in presence of judges chosen for the purpose, you, nevertheless, our sons, the abbat of Sibbeton and the prior of Norwich, presumed, as it was stated, to pronounce judgment. And, further, that whereas mention was made unceasingly in our letters of the revenues that had accrued from the archdeaconry, you, contrary to the laws and canons, deprived him of the benefit of such command. On the other hand, although the said archdeacon had objected in our presence, that his said adversary was an excommunicated person, and was ready to prove the same
98 within a competent time, and to make corporeal oath that he had not made such allegation as a cause for delay, you, nevertheless, not allowing the exception, pronounced that he was not to be heard, unless he should prove
forthwith that which he had by way of objection alleged. Wherefore, when the said archdeacon felt that he was aggrieved by you on these and other points, he appealed to our presence, and set out on the road, for the purpose of prosecuting his appeal. But you, as it is said, being by no means withheld from taking cognisance of the cause, after appeal made, proceeded therewith, both to the prejudice and in favour of, the said archdeacon. Wherefore, inasmuch as we wish no one, in contravention of justice, to be aggrieved, and the bearing or decision of causes so to proceed, that neither party may have a just cause for complaint, we do, by these Apostolic writings, command your discreetness, that since, if, in the letters which the said Roger obtained to you from us no mention is made of the compromise that took place as to the archdeaconry, and of the oath that was taken, because he obtained the same by means of suppression of the truth,
97 Probably in favour of archdeacon Honorius.
98 To make any sense of this passage, which, like the greater part of the letter, is evidently imperfect, it is clear that “ hoc' must stand in
99 “ Nobis” is clearly a misprint for "vobis."
and because, according to the canonical sanctions, a lying suitor ought to lose his suit, we will that the said letters shall have no validity whatever. If also, you have refused to admit of the lawful objections of the before-named archdeacon, and have presumed, after appeal lawfully interposed, to take further proceedings in the said cause, we do will nevertheless, and do command you, entirely to desist from any further proceedings in the said cause, and to pronounce what has been done by you therein to be utterly null and void. We do also will, that the cause itself shall be placed in the hands of such judges as ought to be suspected by neither party, or else shall be terminated before ourselves, due justice being done therein. And
shall chance to neglect our commands, in consequence of the favour or fear of any person, know that we, by our letters, have commanded our venerable brother, the bishop of Roches. ter, and our dearly-beloved sons, the abbat of Foxley and the prior of Leeds, learning the truth thereon, to perform our commands, all obstacles whatsoever, by way of contradiction or of appeal, removed. Given at the Lateran, on the thirteenth day before the calends of January, in the third year of our pontificate.”
Another Letter of pope Innocent on the same subject. “Innocent, the pope, to the abbats, priors, deans, parsons, sheriffs, clerks, and laymen throughout the archdeaconry of Richmond appointed, greeting. Our dearly-beloved son, Master Honorius, your archdeacon, has explained to us that whereas he had canonically obtained the archdeaconry of Richmond, and had for some time been in possession thereof, a disagreement afterwards ensuing between him and our venerable brother, the archbishop of York, Roger of Saint Edmund's, a clerk, calling himself the archdeacon of Richmond, keeping silence on the truth of the matters aforesaid, obtained letters from us to our dearly-beloved sons, the abbats of Saint Edmund's and of Saint Benedict de Holwey, and to the prior of Tofts, directing them, having first given you warning, by ecclesiastical censure, all power of appeal withheld, to compel you to show to him all obedience and respect, and to make him satisfaction for the injuries that had been done to him. But, inasmuch as a lying suitor ought, according to lawful enactment, to lose his suit, we do, by these Apostolic writings, enjoin and command the whole of you
1 The abbat of Sibbeton and the prior of Norwich previously named.