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done, whilst bearing in mind what had already been attempted by the Holy See to relieve the archbishop, and how unpopular had been the levying of taxes for this purpose upon ecclesiastical benefices generally. As a result, on ist August Pope Innocent IV issued a commission to the deans of Wells, Chichester and Hereford, ordering them to raise another 12,000 marks in the same way as before from the clergy. Archbishop Boniface still continued to remain absent from his See; and in fact he did not return to England until the end of 1252. By this time he had succeeded in obtaining a decision in his favour on the question of the metropolitan right of visitation, for on 22nd April, 1252, Innocent IV decided that the archbishop possessed powers to visit the cathedral Chapters and religious houses of dioceses other than his own; and he at once communicated this judgement to the canons of St. Paul's and to the London Augustinian house of Holy Trinity.
Meanwhile the pope was looking for some result from the crusading movement in England. The ill-success of the Christian forces in the Holy Land at this time made him anxious that King Henry should redeem his promise of personally heading the English forces. Throughout the year 1250 Innocent IV was writing on the subject; he granted him a tithe of all ecclesiastical benefices for three years towards his expenses; and he authorised the bishops, for two years from the time he began his expedition, to pay over to him all sums of money, for which those who had taken the cross compounded for absolution from the crusading vow; as well as other sumns of money, such as the residue of all intestate estates, etc., which
by papal order were to be devoted to the purposes of the crusades.'
Henry understood that this grant was not to be interpreted as referring merely to England, and he wrote to the archbishop of Dublin to let it be known far and wide in Ireland. “The supreme pontiff, the Vicar of Jesus Christ and successor of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul,” he says, “ has done not only what was necessary, but what was proper in regard to the business of the holy cross, the sign of which we bear upon our shoulder.” And that the Irish bishops might understand what the “special favour” granted by the supreme authority is, he forwards the papal letters by the hands of the prior of Holy Trinity, Dublin.
In the same way the king endeavoured to secure similar contributions from the Church of Scotland. He so far succeeded with the Roman authorities as to obtain a letter addressed by the pope to the bishop of St. Andrew's, ordering that legacies, gifts and monies paid for the redemption of the crusading vows should be delivered to the king of England to help him to set out with a force worthy of his dignity, if and when the expedition should start.' The last clause sounds the first note of suspicion as to the genuine nature of the undertaking, which afterwards found an echo in subsequent documents, and it will be noted also, that the pope does not suggest the payment of any tithe on Scottish benefices to the English king. As might be expected, the king of Scotland was not slow to protest against this grant of crusading money, collected from the Scotch people, being handed over to the English king; and his protest was so far successful that Innocent IV, | Rymer, i. 274.
2 lbid., 274. 3 Registres ďInnocent IV, ii. No. 1,250.
whilst maintaining his right to make the disposition complained of, declared he had no wish that the crusaders in that country should not also receive grants from those sums.'
In England and Ireland rumour had it, apparently, that the king intended to exact from all who sought to free themselves from the obligation of the crusade much greater sums of money than they had agreed to when assuming the cross. “They were filled with fear where there was nothing to fear,” he said in a letter intended to allay the alarm; and, consequently, to put a stop to these reports, which seemed likely to prevent men seeking absolution and thus pay the money, which he chiefly looked to, he sent these letters to all parts, declaring that he had no such intention. As time went on, and Henry showed no greater desire to prepare for the expedition than was manifested by his wish to secure the money granted him for the purpose by the Holy See from the ecclesiastical revenues of his kingdom, the pope issued another general letter of exhortation. The situation in the Holy Land was grave, and he urges all prelates to exhort those who had taken the crusading vow to redeem their promises quickly. He reminds clerics of the duty imposed upon them by the General Council of contributing the twentieth part of all their benefices, during three years, to the expenses of the expedition against the infidels. He invokes the spiritual power of excommunication and anathema against all who assist the Saracens with arms, ships, engines of war, or money; and he concludes by granting the highest spiritual privileges to all who take part in the holy war. This he does, he adds, “relying on the mercy of the Almighty God, and upon the authority of the · Rymer, i. 278.
2 Ibid., i. 278.
blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and the power of binding and loosing which God has bestowed upon us, though unworthy."
In March, 1252, the pope sent further letters to his collectors in England, again warning them to pay over to the king monies received for the redemption of crusading vows, as Henry had complained that he had not received what he ought to have done. At the same time, being pressed to assign a period when the English expedition would set out without fail, the king met his council at Eastertide and fixed the end of another four years as the limit; but he added, that “if the illustrious king of France would restore the lands taken from our ancestors and now held by him,” he “would undoubtedly set out earlier,”? a condition which, of course, he had no expectation of seeing realised. 1 Rymer, i. 279.
2 Ibid., 282.
CHAPTER XVII AYLMER DE VALENCE, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER
The long absences of Archbishop Boniface from Canterbury and his continued differences with his suffragans and others on the vital question of his metropolitical rights, did not, of course, tend to the peace and quiet of the Church in England. Other causes of ecclesiastical disquiet were moreover present about this time—the middle of the thirteenth century. Difficulties in regard to some of the episcopal elections in the Canterbury province, complicated no doubt by the abnormal position of the archbishop, caused much friction and many unnecessary delays in filling up the vacant offices. The case of Winchester will serve to illustrate this unfortunate state of affairs. The bishop, William de Raleigh, had been at war with King Henry for some years, and had been nearly a twelvemonth living in comparative obscurity at Tours when he died on 21st September, 1250. When the news reached England the king resolved, if possible, to secure the election of his half-brother, Aethelmar, or Aylmer de Valence,' to the vacant See, although he possessed none of the necessary qualifications of age and learning. He
1 Matthew Paris, v. 179.
2 Aylmer or Aymer was the youngest son of Isabella, King John's widow, who married, as her second husband, the count de La Marche. After Isabella's death in 1246, Guy de Lusigna, William, bishop-elect of Valence, and this Aylmer came over to England to enrich themselves, their father having failed in his rebellion against the king of France.