« AnteriorContinuar »
tory, defamed the king of England with his neighbours, making many charges against him. Producing also the charter of the king of England which had been executed at Messina, he demanded of William Fitz-Ralph, the seneschal of Normandy, his sister Alice, whom the king ot'England was to have taken to wife; the seneschal of Normandy, however, refused to give her up.
In the same year, Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, while making his visitation of the houses of the religious in his diocese, came to the abbey of the nuns at Godstow, which lies between Oxford and Woodstock. On entering the church to pray, he saw a tomb in the middle of the choir, before the altar, covered with cloths of silk, and surrounded with lamps and tapers; on which he asked whose tomb it was, and was told that this was the tomb of Rosamond, who had formerly been the mistress of Henry, king of England, son of the empress Matilda, and that he, for love of her, had shown many favours to that church. On this the bishop made answer: "Take her away from here, for she was a harlot; and bury her outside of the church with the rest, that the Christian religion may not grow into contempt, and that other women, warned by her example, may abstain from illicit and adulterous intercourse;" which was accordingly done.
In the same year, Hugh, bishop of Coventry, expelled the monks of Coventry from the cathedral church of his diocese, and plaGed canons secular therein. In the same year also, the monks of Canterbury made choice of Reginald, bishop of Bath, as their archbishop; but just then he fell ill and died, fifteen days after his election, and was buried at Bath. In the same year, Hugh, bishop of Durham, in consequence of the feelings of indignation which he entertained towards Geoffrey, archbishop of York, used every possible endeavour to obtain a release from all subjection to him, on which the said Geoffrey wrote to him to the following effect:—
The Letter of Geoffrey, archbishop of York, to Hugh, bishop of Durham.
"Geoffrey, by the grace of God, archbishop of York and primate of England, to Hugh, by the same grace, bishop of Durham, greeting. While, with all ardour you have been hastening onward with impetuous career to reach the highest position among the clergy, you have made choice to become the master of all others, and wish to be subject to no one. And indeed in your case we see the words fulfilled, 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will be like the most High;'M while you do not keep in mind the words, 'God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble ;''0 and that 'He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.'7i For both ourselves and our church of York you are zealously, indeed with the ardour of an enemy, attacking, contrary to your own profession and the obedience due to ourselves and to the church of York; desiring to withdraw and exempt yourself, which may God prevent, from our jurisdiction. Wherefore we, wishing, as becomes us, to consult the rights of our church and our own dignity, do, by the Apostolic authority and our own, strictly enjoin you, as being our suffragan, on the Monday next ensuing after the feast of Saint Michael, to be present at York at the synod held there in our mother church, and on no pretext whatsoever to delay so to do, for the purpose of shewing due reverence to ourselves, and of paying canonical obedience, in conformity with the Apostolic mandate oftentimes shewn to you by our letters and in our behalf; as also to make answer why for the last two years you have presumed, contrary to the ordinances of the law, to deprive our church of York of the processions from ancient times its due, and the oblations due on the day of Pentecost, from Hovedenshire and Alvertonshire,72 and why, not dreading to put your sickle in the harvest of another, you have usurped the power to administer in spiritual things to our clergy and those of our diocese."
701. II. 8
On hearing this, Hugh, bishop of Durham, wouldneithercome to him nor do obedience or make profession thereof to him. For he said that he had once already done obedience and made profession to the church of York, and to Roger, archbishop of that see, and that he was not by law bound to repeat it; and, in order that the said archbishop might not oppress him as to this matter, he appealed to the presence of the Supreme Pontiff a first, second, and third time, submitting himself and the cause of his church to the decision of our lord the pope and of the Roman Church. The archbishop, however, not paying any regard to the appeal of the bishop of Durham, in the spirit of his wrath pronounced sentence of excommunication against the bishop of Durham, relying on the mandate of our lord the pope, in which it was stated, that if the bishop of Durham should either be unwilling, or should improperly delay to pay to him due obedience, he was, all appeal removed, to compel him by ecclesiastical censure so to do. However, the bishop of Durham, though he saw that sentence of excommunication was pronounced against him, after appeal made by him to the presence of the Supreme Pontiff, determined not to observe it, but celebrated Divine service, and caused it to be celebrated just as boldly as before.
69 Is. xiv. 13, 14. '« James iv. 5. 1 Pet. v. 6.
« St. Luke xiv. 11, xviii. 4. « The districts of Howden and
On this, the archbishop broke down the altars where the bishop of Durham had celebrated divine service, and broke the chalices with which any one had performed service in his presence in his own diocese; he also held as excommunicated his brother John, earl of Mortaigne, because he had eaten in company with the bishop of Durham after that sentence was pronounced, and refused to hold communication with him till he should come to be absolved, and to make due satisfaction.
When the bishop of Durham found that most people avoided speaking, and eating or drinking with him, he sent messengers to pope Celestinus, to relate to him, first in private, and afterwards in presence of all the cardinals, how rashly the archbishop of York had pronounced sentence of excommunication against him, paying no regard whatever to his appeal. On learning this, our lord the pope and all the cardinals pronounced the sentence to be null, and that it should not be observed. Accordingly, our lord the pope wrote to the following effect:—
The Letter of pope Celestinus, nullifying the sentence pronounced upon the bishop of Durham.
"Celestinus, the bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable brethren the bishops of Lincoln and Rochester, and to his dearly beloved son the abbat of Burgh, health and the Apostolic benediction. Whereas the things which are enacted by our venerable brethren our fellow bishops, with prudent circumspection and due precaution, we ought to preserve inviolate, so in like manner those things which are done inconsiderately, it is our bounden duty to correct with a more extended foresight, and to reinstate the same in their proper position. Now inasmuch as our venerable brother Geoffrey, archbishop of York, has pronounced sentence of excommunication against our venerable brother Hugh, bishop of Durham, and certain other persons, and, messengers from them having come to our presence, a full discussion has been held on both sides in our consistory in relation to the said sentence and certain other matters; we, considering that the sentence that has been fulminated against him as well as against the other persons, has been inconsiderately pronounced, and corroborated by no grounds of reasonable cause for the same, have, by the advice of our brethren, publicly pronounced that the same shall not hold good, nullifying the same, and forbidding that it shall have any authority whatever. To the end, therefore, that what we have decreed may in your country be publicly promulgated, we do, by these Apostolical writings, command you to declare throughout your churches, that the said sentence has been nullified by the authority of the Apostolic See; that the faithful may in security live in brotherly communion both with the others as well as with the bishop so unjustly put under the said ban, and may not in any way avoid intercourse with them on account thereof. Given at the Lateran."
In addition to this, our lord the pope, by other letters, directed the said bishops of Lincoln and Rochester and abbat of Burgh, that if they should ascertain that, after appeal made to the Roman Pontiff, the archbishop of York had broken the altars and chalices with which the bishop of Durham, either himself or by means of another, had celebrated the mass, then, by reason thereof the bishop of Durham should not be bound to make any submission to the said archbishop of York so long as the two should live. When the said archbishop and bishop had come into the presence of the said delegates at Northampton and a long discussion had taken place on both sides in relation to the above matters, at length, by the advice and suggestion of the lord bishop of Lincoln, the discussion was postponed till the octave of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, in order that, mutually anticipating the decision, they might, by the grace of God, be more easily induced to agree to a full reconciliation, all things in the meantime in dispute between them remaining in the same state in which they then were. It was further resolved, that if a reconciliation could not in the meantime be effected, the letters directed by our lord the pope to the delegates, should have the same force that they would have had, if the said space of time had not intervened; for such time all exceptions on both sides being saved and reserved; it being also arranged that the citation, if it should be necessary to be made, should be made at the end of the said intervening time, and in like form to that used on the day on which it had first been made, that is to say, on the day of Saint Calixtus.
In the same year, Roger, the constable of Chester, in whose hands the chancellor had placed the castles of Nottingham and Tickhill, took two prisoners, Alan de Lee and Peter de Bouencourt, of the number of those to whom he had entrusted the charge of the said castles, and hanged them both, because they had consented to the treachery of Robert de Crokston and Eudo de Diville, who had delivered those castles to John, earl of Mortaigne. The earl of Mortaigne, being exasperated at this, laid waste the whole of his lands which were in his jurisdiction.
In the same year, William, king of the Scots, sent his envoys to Celestinus, the Supreme Pontiff, for the purpose of confirming the liberties of the churches of his realm, and found grace in the eyes of our lord the pope; upon which our lord the pope wrote to him to the following effect:
"Celestinus, the bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his most dearly beloved son in Christ, William, the illustrious king of the Scots, health, and the Apostolic benediction. Whereas all who are subject to the yoke of Christ ought to find favour and protection with the Apostolic See; still those, in especial, is it right to strengthen, with every possible encouragement, whose fidelity and dutifulness have been in many instances experienced; to the end that they may be more fully induced to gain the favour of His love, and with more duteous affection show Him all reverence, the more they feel assured that they shall obtain the pledge of His benevolence and favour. Wherefore, most dearly beloved son in Christ, holding in mind the feelings of reverence and dutifulness which, for a long time past, we have known you to entertain towards the Roman Church, in the page of this present writing we have thought fit to enact that the Scottish Church shall be subject to the Apostolic See, as an especial daughter thereof, without the intervention of any person whatever; in which the following are recognized as the episcopal sees, namely, the churches of Saint Andrew's, Glasgow, Dunkeld, Dumblane, Brechin, Aberdeen, Moray, Ross, and Caithness. Also, it is to be lawful for no one but the Roman Pontiff, or his legate 'a latere,' to