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the oath to be published, so that all might know that the “Provisions of Oxford ” were to be regarded as altogether set aside by the pope.?

On 25th May, Pope Alexander IV died, and was succeeded by Urban IV. In the August of this same year, 1261, the archbishop of Canterbury, by reason of the Bull of the late pope, felt bound to proceed against those who still held to the obligations of the “Provisions of Oxford.” He ordered Hugh Bigod, for example, to be informed that unless he gave up the castles of Scarborough and Pickering he should be compelled, according to the apostolic mandate, to declare him excommunicate.”

Urban IV found himself in no less need of money than his predecessor, and like him, he not unnaturally turned towards England in his difficulties. On 7th September, he wrote to Leonard, precentor of Messina, his agent in England, to say that Rustand, the late papal nuncio, in his somewhat hasty flight from England, had left behind some sums of money, which were to be secured, if possible. On 26th September, he again wrote to John of Frosinone to secure all money owing to the pope in Ireland, and send it to Reynerio Bonaccursi, Bonaventure Bernardini, and R. Iacobi, merchants of Siena, and bankers for the Apostolic See in England.' So, too, to take one more example, Albert of Parma is charged to demand from the archbishops and bishops the money which is due to the Holy See,' and to secure from the executors of Aylmer, late bishop of Winchester, the eighty marks which he had promised to various Roman cardinals. Besides this, in December, Urban IV wrote to remind the king that the tribute of 1,000 marks, payable by England to the Holy See, was * Flores Hist., ii., 471. ? Rymer, 408, 409. Brit. Mus. Add. MS, 15,360, f. I. Ibid., f. 4. 5 Ibid., f. 13.

6 Ibid., f. 10.

overdue for two years, and that he had written to Friar John of Kent, his collector, to receive the amount and pay it to his bankers in England.?

The English king, on his side, in the first months of the new pontificate, thought it necessary to acquaint the pope with the difficulties which had arisen between him and the barons. On 24th October, 1261, he wrote to Urban IV to introduce the proctors he was sending to the Curia on his business. They would, he says, explain his reply to the complaints made against him by the archbishop of Canterbury and his suffragans. They would also be able to show how certain statutes had been made in prejudice to the rights of the Crown, and in his name they would ask His Holiness to annul these statutes and provisions. By the first day of the new year, 1262, Henry must have received intimation from his agents in Rome that matters were not succeeding altogether as he wished in regard to his quarrel with the barons and bishops. On that day, he addressed an urgent appeal to the pope to absolve him from his oath, and not to listen to the petition of the barons. He had, he said, always trusted confidently in the wonted loving-kindness of the Apostolic See, and so now he came asking with confidence that the letter of the pope's predecessor, Alexander IV, regarding the state of his kingdom, and regulating the difficulties existing by absolving him from his oath, might be again approved.' At the same time, he wrote to Cardinal Ottoboni in the same terms, begging him to use his influence to secure the condemnation of the position taken up by the barons, and the absolution of their oath. This had been done before; but it could not be made use of before the death of the late pope, and he trusted that the new pontiff would renew the condemnation of his predecessor.' This epistle was followed up by a general communication to the cardinals in Curia in defence of one of his envoys to Rome, John Mansel, treasurer of York, who had been accused in Rome of stirring up strife between the king, his barons and bishops.

* Rymer, i. 413; Brit. Mus. Add. MS, 15,360, ff. 24, 28. Rymer, i. 410.

3 Ibid., 414.

Many letters, at the beginning of the year 1262, again manifest the pope's anxiety as to money matters. The archbishop of York, and other bishops, are asked to assist the work of Leonard of Messina, the pope's collector in England. Master Leonard is reminded of his duties, and told that in the Council of Lyons, Pope Innocent ordered that one half the revenues of all benefices not actually occupied by any individual should be applied for six months to the defence of Constantinople. Leonard is to consider whether it would be prudent to insist on this. He is to collect without fail all money certainly due, such as a tenth and a twentieth on ecclesiastical goods, the fines for the remission of all crusading vows, the goods of clerks dying intestate, Peter's pence, etc., etc. At this time, too, there are several letters of the pope to the archbishops of Canterbury and York, and to other bishops, urging them to do their utmost to assist the Church in its great necessity. “ The Roman Church, which is the head of all other Churches, and the mother of all the faithful of Christ,” is in debt to Italian and other merchants, he says, and it is the duty of all sons to help her."

In February, 1262, the new pope had determined to confirm what Alexander IV had done in regard to the “Provisions of Oxford.” He instructed the archbishop of

Rymer, i. 414. ^ Ibid. 3 Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 15,360, ff. 39-47. * Ibid., ff. 51-55.

Canterbury to declare the king, queen, and royal princes, freed from the oaths they had taken. Further, that the nobles and prelates were to be held to their oaths of fidelity, and were to be told that the promises which bound them to any statutes or ordinances against the dignity of the Crown, or in prejudice to its rights, were null and void.' The matter, however, did not rest here. Simon de Montfort, the earl of Leicester, had now been abroad for some time, although he still remained the real leader of the baronial party. On 16th October of this year, 1262, he suddenly returned to this country and attended a parliament held in London on St. Edward's day, which was presided over by Philip Basset, then justiciar of England. He brought with him, and produced at the meeting, a letter from the pope, approving of all the “Provisions of Oxford.” The pope, in this document, declared that he and the Curia had been deceived into granting the letters absolving the nobles from the oaths they had taken to keep these “Provisions,” and he recalled those letters. This papal letter to the barons was published by the earl, though against the wishes of the justiciar, and Simon de Montfort forthwith left England again, but, as the chronicler says, “ leaving behind him many accomplices and followers ready to carry out his design.” 2

| Rymer, i. 416.

? Gervase of Cant., ii. 217; cf. Rymer, i. 422.

CHAPTER XXI THE WORK OF OTTOBONI THE LEGATE The tension between the king and the barons became more acute with the close of the year 1262, and during the course of 1263. In this latter period, the state of unrest in the country caused great distress, and the general uncertainty of the times is illustrated by the cessation at this time of many of the monastic chronicles. In 1261, Henry had felt himself strong enough to break away from the control of the committee of management imposed upon him by the “Provisions of Oxford.” He raised an army, and seized the Tower of London: but quickly recognising that he was too weak to come to actual blows, he again consented to place himself in the hands of the party of Simon de Montfort.

Meanwhile, the pope supported the king's authority as far as was possible under the circumstances. In January, 1263, he refused to ratify some ecclesiastical statutes which had been passed in synod, because the bishops had not obtained the royal licence to publish them, and against which Henry had protested by his agents. The following month, Urban IV wrote to Archbishop Boniface condemning the “Provisions of Oxford,” and the general attitude of the nobles of England towards their king. He declared that the oath which the king took to abide by the statutes was void; and that he and all those who had sworn to

? Rymer, i. 424; cf. Wilkins, i. 759.

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