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know what the king of England had thought about the translation of Bishop Poore from Salisbury to Durham. Arden had replied that "he liked it well enough, but was greatly annoyed that his advice had not been obtained in the matter; and he would have been as much vexed if his own brother had been appointed in this way.” Then the pope asked whom the king would like as archbishop, if the monks' election was quashed? “ I mentioned your name," writes Arden, and on the pope's saying that he did not know you, I reminded him " that he had seen you on one occasion.” I then said all that could be said in your favour. After that, Arden continues, the monk who was archbishop-elect, with some of his brethren, was introduced into the papal presence, and “I went in along with them to keep an eye on their movements, and when the pope saw me he asked me, jokingly, if I wanted a cowl? I said no, but that I should not mind a prebend in Canterbury church, which these monks monopolise. When the monks retired I explained to the pope what a benefit it would be to the whole Church if the monks were expelled and secular canons put in their place, as Innocent III had proposed to do. The pope thereupon asked how it was to be done? I answered that there were plenty of monasteries to which the monks could be sent, with competent pensions for life from the Canterbury funds; there they could serve God better than in their cathedral. I took good care,” adds this agent,“ to go in with the monks whenever they had audience, as my presence prevented them urging their suit."
Matters dragged on till the beginning of Lent, when Pope Gregory appointed the Thursday after Ash Wednesday to settle the matter. On that day the royal agents, on
Royal Letters, i. 339.
pressing their suit eagerly on the pope and cardinals, made the unpleasant discovery that there was very little chance of preventing the confirmation of Walter de Eynesham on the grounds they had chosen. They therefore determined upon a bold stroke. They offered the pope a tenth of all property in England and Ireland for carrying on his war with the emperor, if he would in return do what King Henry wished in regard to the election at Canterbury.'
If we are to credit the chronicler, Gregory was so anxious to overthrow the emperor that he gladly consented at once to find a way out of the difficulty. That way was found in the canonical examination of the elect by the two cardinals appointed by the pope. The elect was asked apparently several elementary questions in theology, and was found to have answered, according to the report, not only minus bene but pessime. On this ground the Holy Father quashed the election, and, on the suggestion of the king's proctors, appointed Richard, chancellor of Lincoln, to the See of Canterbury. In thus nominating to the vacant archbishopric, the pope, according to the Dunstable annals,' acted according to a wise custom by which, when an election was declared void, the pope by right appointed; but Matthew Paris considered that the circumstances were sufficiently extraordinary to note that “the said Richard was not elected archbishop, but appointed.”3
The letter written by the pope to the suffragans of Canterbury to announce his decision, and to bid them receive the new archbishop, is recorded by Roger de Wenover. He speaks of the importance of the Church of Canterbury and of its high position among the metropolitan Sees of the world, and likens it, with its monastic Chapter,
Roger de Wendover, ii. 360. ? Ann, Monastici, iii. 116.
3 Chronica Majora, iii. 170.
to the garden of Eden, over which it was necessary to place a worthy guardian. On examining the monk Walter, he had not thought him sufficiently learned for so important a post, and he hopes that in the person of Richard, the chancellor of Lincoln, he has found one with every necessary quality. The pope wrote also at the same time to the prior and convent of Christ Church, and sent the pallium to the new archbishop by Walter de Cantelupe, afterwards the Bishop of Worcester.
Within a few months of the settlement of the Canterbury question in favour of the king, the pope asked that the promises made him by the royal agents might be redeemed. A papal chaplain, Stephen of Anagni, was sent over to England to collect the promised tenth of all the property in aid of Gregory's war with the emperor. He brought with him, for the information of the English nation, a full statement of the charges which the pope had to make against Frederick. The king called a parliament at Westminster on the second Sunday after Easter, 29th April, 1229. In this assembly the nuncio read the papal letters, and made his demands; he asked for the tenth of all goods in England, Ireland, and Wales, from both laymen and clerks, which had been promised to Pope Gregory by the royal agents.
In brief, the object of the papal mission was to induce the English people to accept the view that Gregory's attitude towards the emperor was taken up, not for any personal quarrel, but for the sake of the Universal Church, which the rebellious and excommunicated Frederick was seeking to overthrow altogether. Granting this position, it followed as a matter of course, that all loyal sons of Holy Church were bound to come to the aid of the Apostolic
1 Roger de Wendover, ii. 362.
See, the riches and resources of which were not sufficient to enable the pontiff to cope with the danger. The king, being pledged to assist by the action of his agents in Rome, could say nothing; but the barons and laymen absolutely rejected the proposed tax of a tenth upon all their possessions. The clergy were left to their own devices. After a long conference, which lasted for several days, and after not a little murmuring, they, “ being in fear of excommunication,” consented to the demands of the nuncio.' Matthew Paris adds to the account of the capitulation of the clergy that it was known that the nuncio was aided in the pressure brought to bear upon them, by a compact with Segrave the justiciar.'
The nuncio then exhibited papal letters appointing him collector of the tenth, and determining how this levy was to be made. As the pope's debts were already so heavy that he stood in urgent need of the money it was to be collected not in the usual way, but by a method much to the pope's advantage. The parliament then broke up amid great dissatisfaction and universal murmurs.
The collection of the tax was not only unpopular, but it was carried out in the most oppressive way. The nuncio had devised a scheme to prevent delay in collection which was hitherto apparently unknown, at least in England. On his rounds he was accompanied by a body of usurers of the worst kind, who supplied the amount of the tax, but at exorbitant interest. This not only left a load of debt upon the shoulders of the clergy generally, but necessitated the pledging of the sacred vessels and church ornaments to these rapacious "merchants.” In one case a stand was made, not indeed by the clergy, but in their behalf. The earl of Chester, Ralph Blundevil, forbade any monk or
1 Roger de Wendover, ii. 375-376. Chron. Majora, iii. 187.
clerk in his fee to pay the tax, and they only too willingly sheltered themselves under his authority. For the rest, all in “England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland” were compelled to pay, soothed, as Wendover says, by the reflection that they were not alone, and that foreign and far distant countries were also made to feel the burden. The nuncio Stephen, having scraped up the money by every means in his power, departed; and, adds Matthew Paris, “Anglis foeda reliquit vestigia.” When the funds reached the pope's hands he forthwith distributed them lavishly among his military leaders and was thus able to strike a heavy blow at the emperor. i Matthew Paris, iii. 188-189.