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account of the contumacious action of the archbishop's proctor," who kept the case dragging on.
The Christ Church quarrel was by no means the only one in which St. Edmund was involved. The abbey of St. Augustine's at Canterbury was likewise constrained to resist his assumption of authority over it, and the abbot appealed to the Holy See for protection against what the community conceived to be an encroachment upon their liberty. The question was more easily settled than that which for years disturbed the peace and well-being of the neighbouring monastery of Christ Church, and interfered with the possibility of cordial relations between the archbishop and his monastic Chapter. The chief matter at issue in the case of St. Augustine's related to the abbot's jurisdiction over tenants and clerics subject to the monastery; the annual payments levied in parishes belonging to it, and the benediction of the abbot without any oath of canonical obedience. The matter ended in a compromise, but not before extreme measures had been resorted to by the archbishop and the authority of the Holy See had been invoked. The monks were excommunicated, and at once appealed to the pope for protection. Gregory IX without delay wrote to the archbishop to say that he had appointed a commission to determine the question, meanwhile he was to remove his sentence. It behoved an archbishop, the pope said, “to safeguard the rights” of the abbey, not to infringe upon its privileges. He had heard with sorrow that St. Edmund had excommunicated the abbot and monks, and had caused the sentence to be published throughout the diocese, even in churches belonging to the monks, placing these churches, which were subject to the jurisdiction of the abbey, under an interdict, and suspending all
· Brit. Mus. Add. MS., 15,294, f. 338.
who had paid an annual sum to the abbey in recognition of its patronage. He orders the archbishop to desist from such proceedings, and he tells him that he has appointed a commission of abbots to see that what he thus orders is done. The same pontiff subsequently confirmed all the privileges of St. Augustine's, and took the monks under the special protection of the Holy See.
At the same time a case of even graver importance had been raised by the monks of Rochester against the archbishop. On the death of Henry de Stamford, the bishop of Rochester, on 24th February, 1235, the monks proceeded to elect a successor, and presented him to St. Edmund for archiepiscopal confirmation. St. Edmund refused to confirm the elect on the ground that Rochester was under the patronage of Canterbury, and that the nomination of the bishop belonged by right to the archbishop. An appeal to Rome followed this refusal, and Pope Gregory IX again appointed a commission to try the facts at issue. Here, as in the case of Christ Church, Canterbury, the commissioners were hampered in their work by the refusal of the archbishop to plead before them. Their first report was sent back from Rome as not being in proper form, and a second report was drawn and dispatched by some of the monks to the pope on 17th February, 1237. A delay of another year, however, was caused by the need of waiting for the arrival of the archbishop in the Eternal City. Finally on 20th March, 1238, rather more than three years after the commencement of the dispute, the pope decided in favour of the monks on all counts.
It is unnecessary to pursue the history of the archbishop's unfortunate quarrels further. He had difficulties | Brit. Mus. Add. MS., 15,353, f. 387.
a Ibid., f. 384.
and costly litigation with the abbey of Westminster and with the bishop of London on the subject of certain rights of visitation, which he claimed. In both of these his contention was disallowed by Rome on appeal. Meanwhile, if naturally his ecclesiastical government somewhat suffered by these long and acrimonious disputes which embittered his relations with so many; still, there exists in the provisions of a provincial synod, evidence of his desire to maintain and support sound discipline in the Church.? Perhaps the most interesting of his exhortations in these constitutions, in view at least of St. Edmund's own unfortunate disputes, is the fifth decree which urges the need of mutual peace and charity. “Dearest children,” he says, "we are all strictly obliged to keep the peace, since God Himself is the author and lover of peace, Who came to bring us peace not only (hereafter) in heaven, but also between those now on earth. And since we can never come to eternal peace save through the temporal peace which dwells in our mortal breast, we admonish you and charge you to keep this peace as far as possible with all men. Declare unto your parishioners that they be one body in Christ, in the unity of the faith and in the bond of peace; carefully suppress any enmities that may arise in your parishes; foster friendships; reconcile those at variance and, as far as in you lies, permit not the sun to go down upon the wrath of any of your parishioners.”
With the removal of Bishop Peter de Rupibus and other foreign councillors of the king, Henry, whose character always inclined him to lean upon some one or other, placed himself under the archbishop as his chief adviser. Under his influence he pardoned Gilbert Marshall and Hubert de Burgh, and declared the outlawry, previously
1 Wilkins, i. 635.
unced against them, to be annulled “because it had
bromulgated unjustly and contrary to the law of the land." The pope, who had warmly espoused the cause of the fallen de Burgh, congratulated Henry on his action in thus generously pardoning him. And the king took the opportunity when informing Pope Gregory of his compliance with his request about de Burgh, to demand that nobles and others might not be summoned to plead and be judged by any court out of England. The pope in granting this, took occasion to remind Henry that “the Apostolic See, your mother," had always shown favour and special love to you, and that he personally had “on every opportunity supported the interests of king and kingdom," and hoped ever to do so. In return, the English king expressed his desire and intention of “obeying the orders of the lord pope,” by entering upon any arrangement for the continuance of the good relations between his kingdom and France. This assurance prompted the papal letters of November, 1234, to Louis IX,“ earnestly exhorting him” to do his part in the matter. The final arrangements were still, however, somewhat delayed by the refusal of the earl of March to agree to the peace or truce, and this attitude called forth a letter from Henry to the pope asking him to use his authority and compel the earl to come to reason.
Before the close of the year, 1234, what is called in the Chronicles, “a grave discord” sprung up between the pope and the Romans generally. This necessitated the direct interference of the emperor in the Eternal City, an echo of which was heard even in England. It is said by the writers of the period that all Roman clerics beneficed in England
3 Ibid., 212.
i Royal Letters, i. 444. 2 Rymer, i. 211.
Royal Letters, i. 557. 5 Rymer, i. 215. 6 Ann. de Theokesberia (Ann. Mon., i.), 94.
were at this time deprived of their livings; and in the case of Rufinus, the nephew of the late legate, Cardinal Gualo, it was found, when inquiry was ordered by the pope, that he was in possession of many benefices, a thing prohibited by law.
At the beginning of 1235, the pope exerted himself to bring about a good understanding between England and Scotland. He wrote personally to the two sovereigns, and sent orders to the archbishop of York to proceed to Scotland in order to urge the king to carry out his exhortations. In his letter to the Scotch monarch he reminds him that he, the pope, “is bound to the English king by a special bond of love," and that, loving him as he does, he cannot refuse the office of mediator, “especially when he has been requested” to try and make the existing union between the two countries sure and lasting. The English king has shown him the outlines of the agreement made by William of Scotland, when he became liege of the king of England, and has asked him to confirm it“ by his Apostolic authority." 3
Almost at the same time Henry applied to the pope to use his authority also against the count of Brittany, and to compel him to return to his allegiance to the English Crown, even if necessary by the use of the spiritual sword of ecclesiastical censures. The great question, too, of the king's proposed marriage occupied the latter half of the year 1235. At first Henry offered his hand to Joan, daughter of the count of Poictou, and at his own suggestion the lady applied to the pope to confirm the proposed union by his Apostolic authority. In a short time, however, the royal attentions were transferred to Eleanor, second
i Registre de Grég. IX, i. 2,326. ? Rymer, i. 214. 3 Ibid., 215. 4 Ibid., 215.
5 Ibid., 216.