Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

COBBETT'S

COMPLETE COLLECTION

OF

State Trials.

1. Proceedings against THOMAS BECKET, Archbishop of Canterbury, for High Treason. 9 Henry II. A. D. 1163. [1 Brady's Complete History, 383. 2 Tyrrell, 312.]

THE most satisfactory narrative of these Pro-Holy-rood Day, or the 14th of September ceedings is in Brady's History of England. The Archbishop came not at the day, but sent After a short account of the previous life of to the king four knights, with his Letters, and Becket, he relates several instances of his opthe Letter of the Sheriff of Kent, attesting the pressive, mischievous, and intolerable insolence injury of John, and the imperfection of his proof and usurpation, after he was made Archbishop (that is, because he had sworn upon the Troof Canterbury. He then proceeds thus : paz, and not upon the Gospels.)-The Monk of Canterbury reports he sent, duos legales homines per quos excusatus est, Quod citatus non venit ad Regis præsentiam; non enim contemptus fuit, sed infirmitate valida invitus retentus est. Two lawful men to make his Excuse that he appeared not before the king, that it was not out of contempt, but by reason he was unwillingly detained by great sickness. "However it was, the king was very angry, that he came not in his own person, to make the Allegations the knights brought, whom he treated with threats, as such that against the kings citation, brought into his Court false and frivolous excuses, and scarce let them go free though they had given security.-At the request of John he appointed another day, to wit, the first day of the Council, and sent his Writ to the Sheriff of Kent to cite the Archbishop, for the king would not write to him, because he would not salute him. Nor had he any other solemn Summons to the Council by Letter, according to ancient Custom. The Archbishop appeared, and said he was come by the king's command for the cause of John. The king replied that John was in his service at London, and would be there on the morrow, and then their cause should be discussed. Erat siquidem Johannes ille cum Thesauriis, & cæteris fiscalibus pecunia & publici aris Receptoribus Londoniis ad Scaccarium, &c. Ubi etiam placita Corona Regis tractantur; for

B

|

"The king, suspecting he might escape unpunished, commanded the Bishops and great men to meet at Northampton, the 3d day before the feast of Calixtus the Pope (which was the 12th of Oct. Fitz-Stephan (p. 21. col. 1.) says it was on the octaves of St. Michael, that is, on the 6th of October, and that he was there with the Archbishop, Octava Sancti Michaelis, feria tertia, Concilii dicta die Rex aderat ; ipsa die venimus Northamtonam. In this Council the Archbishop was accused upon the occasion of a Controversie between him and John Marshall (or the Marshall). This John demanded of the Archbishop a manor or farm, which was a member of one of his towns called Pageham: He came with the king's writ into the Archbishop's Court (to remove the suit, it may be supposed) where he could gain nothing, (as having no right, saith mine Author) and as the law then was, he proved the defect of the Archbishop's Court (that he had not right done him, as may be supposed) and swore upon a Tropaz, or Book of Old Songs (as Gervase of Canterbury calls it) which he drew from under his coat; and the Justices of the Archbishop's Court accused him for swearing upon that Book, whereas he ought to have sworn upon the Gospels. Johu comes to the king and procures his Writ, by which the Archbishop was required to answer him in the King's Court, and the day appointed for his appearance was

VOL. I.

this John was amongst the Officers of the Re- | ceipt of the Chequer in London, where also pleas of the king's Crown were handled or holden. That first day there was nothing more done between the king and archbishop, the king bad him go home, and return to his cause on the morrow.

knowledging the Judgment, as the custom

was.

"Afterwards, on the same day, he was prosecuted for 300/. he had received, as he was Castellan, or Constable of the Castles of Eye in Suffolk, and Berkamstead in Hertfordshire. The Archbishop first waved the Action, by saying he was not cited for that matter. And further said, That he had expended that money, and much more, in the reparations of the Palace of London, and those Castles, as might be seen. The king would not admit he had done this, and exacts Judgment. The Archbishop ready to please the king, and not wilsuch a sum of money should be the cause of anger between them; gave security by three lay-men, distinctly and severally, the earl of Glocester, Willian de Eynesford, and another, all his tenants.

"On the second day, before all the Bishops, except the bishop of Rochester and another which were not then come, and all the earls and barons of England, and many of Normandy, Archiepiscopus lese Majestatis, Corona Regia arguitur. The Archbishop was accused of Treason, because as is said before, he was cited by the king in the Cause of John,ling and neither came, nor made a sufficient excuse. The Archbishop's defence signified nothing; yet he alledged the foresaid Injury of John, the proper Jurisdiction of the Cause, and the Integrity of his Court.

"On the third day, he was prosecuted at the "The king demanded Judgment; no Rea- king's suit for 500 marks lent him in the Army son of the Archbishop was approved: it seem- of Tholose; and for other 500 which he bored to all, out of reverence to royal majesty, rowed of a Jew upon the king's security; he and the bond of liege homage, that the Arch- was also prosecuted for all the profits of the bishop made to the king, and from the fidelity Archbishoprick and other Bishopricks and Aband observance of terrene honor, which he beys that were void during his Chancellorship: had sworn to the king, that he made small of all which he was commanded to make an Defence; because when cited by the king he account to the king. The Archbishop said neither came, nor by his messengers alledged he came not prepared to Answer this matter, any corporal infirmity, or necessary adminis- nor was he cited concerning it, yet in time and tration of any ecclesiastical office, that could place he would do to his lord the king accordnot be deferred. And they condemned him, ing to right. The king exacts security upon to be in the king's mercy for all his moveable that; he answered he ought to have the adgoods.-There was a Difference between the vice of his Suffragans and Clerks about it. Bishops and Barons, who should pronounce The king yielded to it, and he departed. And Judgment, each of them imposed it upon from that day, neither Barons, nor Knights, other, excusing themselves. The Barons said, came to his house or hostel, to visit him, havyou Bishops ought to pronounce sentence, iting understood the king's mind by these probelongs not to us, we are lay-men, you eccle- ceedings. siastical persons. So he, you are his fellow priests, and fellow bishops.

"To these things one of the Bishops answered, Yea it is rather your office than ours; for this is not an ecclesiastic Sentence, but a secular, we sit not here as Bishops, but Barons, we are barons, and you are barons; we are peers or equals here, (pares hic sumus). You cannot rely upon our Order, for if you have respect to that in us, you must also have regard to it in him, and then as we are Bishops, we cannot judge our Archbishop and lord.

"On the fourth day, all the ecclesiastical persons came to the Archbishop's house, where he treated with the Bishops severally and apart, and with the Abbots severally and apart. The bishop of Winchester advised him to offer a Composition in Money, and try the king that way; 2,000 marks were offered but refused. Others encouraged him to maintain bravely the Liberties of the Church, but most persuaded a compliance with the king.

"It is said they consulted very closely on the fifth day, which was Sunday, but the result "The king hearing of this controversie of their Debates and Counsels not mentioned. about pronouncing Sentence: it was soon end-On the sixth day the Archbishop fell sick, and ed, and imposed upon the bishop of Winchester, who unwillingly pronounced it. Archiepiscopus autem quia sententiæ, vel Recordationi Curia Regis Anglie non licet contradicere, sustinuit, Consilio Episcoporum: adducta ad mitigandum & honorandum regem solenni in manum ejus missione, quasi Concessionis Judicii; ut moris est. The Archbishop, because no man might contradict a Sentence, or Record made in the king of England's court, by advice of the bishops, submitted to it, and by a forced compliance, for the honour and mitigation of the king, solemnly put himself under his power, as it were granting and ac

the king hearing of it, sent all his earls and many barons, to demand of him his Resolution after these Consultations and Advices, and to know of him whether he would give Security to render an Account of what he received from the vacant Churches in the time of his Chancellorship, and stand to the Judgment of his Court in that matter. The Archbishop answered by the Bishops, That if he was not hindred by sickness, he would on the morrow come to the Court and do what he ought.

"He came next day, and found the king in an inward chamber with the Bishops, who staid with him a long time, and with them

Roger archbishop of York, who came last, that he might not be suspected to be one of the king's private counsellors, and advisers. The Archbishop sat in an outward room with bis cross in his own hand, while all his suffragans, and the earls and barons, were called to the king.-The Bishops in this Conference told the king, that the Archbishop when he advised with them, told them, they had used him very ill, and with the Barons treated him as an enemy, and not judged him justly, but after an unheard of manner, because for one absence (pro una absentia, quam supersisum dicunt) which they call a Delay or Default, and was not to be judged a Contumacy, they ought not to have condemned him in such a pecuniary mulct as that he should forfeit all his moveable goods to the king, or they should be in his mercy. The Bishops also told him that he had appealed to the Pope against this Sentence, and by the authority of the Pope forbidden them for the future to judge him in any secular accusation.

"The king was very much moved at this relation, and sent the Earls and many Barons, to know of him whether he was the author of this appeal, and prohibition, especially seeing he was his Leige-man, and bound to him by a common and special Oath at Clarendon, That he would sincerely and legally observe his legal | dignities, amongst which this was one, That the Bishops should be present at all his Trials or Sentences, except at Sentences of Blood. Ut Episcopi, omnibus ejus assint Judiciis, preterquam Judicio Sunguinis. They were also to know of him whether he would give pledges to stand to the Judgment of the king's Court concerning the Account of his Chancellorship. To which demands, this was his Answer, That he was indeed bound to the king by leige homage, fidelity, and oath, but the oath was chiefly sacerdotal; That in respect of God, he was in all due obedience and subjection, obliged to observe honor and fidelity toward him. Saving his obedience to God, his ecclesiastical dignity, and the episcopal honor of his person. That he declined the Suit, because he was not cited to yield an Account upon any other Cause, than that of John; neither was he bound to make Answer, or hear Judgment in any other. He confessed he had received many Administrations and Dignities from the king, in which he had faithfully served him, as well in England, as beyond sea, and bad spent his own revenue in his service, and for the same contracted many debts. As to his, putting in pledges or fidejussors to render an Account, he ought not to be compelled to that, because he was not adjudged to do it; nor had he any citation in the cause of Account, or any other except that of John the Marshal. And as to the Probibition he that day made to the Bishops, and Appeal, he did acknowledge, that he said to his fellow bishops, That for one Absence, but not Contumacy, they had unjustly condemned him, contrary to the custom and example of antiquity, wherefore he appealed and forbad them,

|

That depending the Appeal, they should not judge him in a Secular Accusation, or cause of things done, before he was Archbishop. And that he did then appeal, and put his person and the Church of Canterbury under the protection of God, and the lord the Pope.

"The king having received this Answer, urged the Bishops, by the homage they had done, and the fealty they had sworn to him, that together with the Barons, They would dictate to him a Sentence concerning the Archbishop, Ut simul cum Baronibus de Archiepiscopo sibi dictent Sententiam. They began to excuse themselves by reason of his Prohibition; the king was not satisfied, and said this his simple Prohibition ought not to hold against what was done and sworn at Clarendon. They reply, if they should not obey his Prohibition, he would censure them, and that for the good of the king and kingdom, they should obey the Prohibi tion. At length by the king's persuasion they went to the Archbishop.-And the Bishop of Chichester told him that lately at Clarendon, they were by the king called together, concern. ing the observation of his Royal Dignities, and lest they might doubt what they were, he shewed them those very Royal Customs of which he spake, in writing, and that they promised their assent to, and observation of them. first, and afterwards his suffragans, by his command. And when the king pressed them to swear to what they promised, and set to their seals for the confirmation of it, they answered, it ought to suffice for a Sacerdotal Oath, That they said in the Word of Truth, in good faith, without deceit, and lawfully,' they would observe them. Why do you now forbid us to be present at that Sentence, which he commands us? Upon this Grievance, and lest you may add any thing to our injury, we will appeal to the Pope, and for this time give obedience to your Prohibition.

He

"The Archbishop answered him he would be present at the prosecution of the Appeal, and that there was nothing done at Clarendon by them or him, (nisi salvo honore Ecclesiastico) in which their Ecclesiastic honor was not saved. "Twas true, he said, that they promised, in good faith, without deceit, and lawfully, to observe those Determinations, and by those words, the Dignities of their Churches, which they received by the Pontifical law, were safe. For whatsoever was against the true faith of the Church, and against the laws of God, could not in bona fide, & legitime observari; in good faith, and lawfully be observed. Also a Christian king hath no Dignity, by the use whereof the liberty of the Church, which he hath sworn to maintain, must perish. Further, those which you call Royal Dignities, were sent to the Pope to be confirmed, and brought back, rather disallowed than allowed by him: he hath shewn us an example, and taught us that we should do so, being ready with the Roman Church, to receive what that receives, and to refuse what that refuseth. Yet further, if we failed in any thing at Clarendon, for the flesh is weak,' we

[ocr errors]

domestic clerks. The rest of that day was spent about raising some foot to be sent against Rese king of Wales, and there was a certain number promised by every ecclesiastic, and lay person, for the king's assistance, which was written down; and so the Council was dissolved.-The king sent after him to Dover and other ports, but he lay still in the day time amongst his friends in several Monasteries, and travelled in the night, and it was from 15 days after the Feast of St. Michael until the 2nd of November, before he took ship at Sandwich (say most of the Historians) and landed at Graveling." "Quadrilogus or the Quadripartite History doth not in all things agree with this relation of Thomas the Archbishop's Trial. And the reasons of the discord between the king and him. The chief whereof was, That several lewd irregular Clerks were accused of divers crimes, and one of Murther in the diocese of Salisbury, who was taken and delivered to the bishop thereof, the king's officers, and the kindred of the defunct, call for Justice. The priest majes-denies the fact; which, not being proved by his Accusers, he was put upon Canonical purgation, in which he failed. The Bishop of the diocese, sent to the Archbishop to know the

be deprived of his benefice, and all his life perform strict penance in a Monastery. And thus all debauched, infamous Clerks, by Decree of the Archbishop, confirmed by the sanction of Canons, were to be punished in his Province, and the Punishment to be greater or less according to the quantity of the crime, the degree and order of the person, and the manner and cause of perpetration.

ought to take courage, and by the virtue of the Holy Spirit to strive against the old Enemy, who endeavours, that he which stands may fall, and that he which hath fallen may not rise.' If we promised any injust things there, or confirmed them in the Word of Truth, you know, such unlawful stipulations do not oblige. "The Bishops return to the king in peace, being excused from judging the Archbishop; they sit apart from the Barons; nevertheless, the king exacts Judgment of the Earls and Barons concerning him. Evocantur quidam Vicecomites, & secundæ dignitatis Burones, antiqui dierum, ut addantur eis, & assint Judicio. Certain Sheriffs are called, and ancient Barons of a second Rank or Dignity, to be added to them, and to sit in Judgment, after a little while, Proceres ad Archiepiscopum redeunt. The noblemen return to the Archbishop, and the earl of Leicester pressing some of them to pronounce Sentence, who refused it; began to repeal the business of Clarendon very particularly, as the Bishop of Chichester had done before. Quasi inde manifesta erat regiæ tatis læsio, & promissionis in verbo veritatis ibi facta transgressio, as if he had been guilty of manifest Treason, or had broken his promise in verbo veritatis there made, and bad the Arch-law in that case, who commanded he should bishop hear his Sentence.-But the Archbishop not willing to forbear any longer, said, What is it that ye will do? Come ye to judge me? ye ought not. Judicium est sententia lata post Contraversiam. Ego hodie nichil dixi ut in Causa. Judgment is Sentence given after the Controversie or Tryal. I said nothing this day as to the Cause. I have been cited for no Cause except that of John, who tried it not with me, and therefore you cannot judge me. "At the same time one Philip de Lydrois a I am your father, ye are noblemen of the Canon (of what Church it is not said) reCourt, of lay power, secular persons, I will not proached the king's Justiciarie, for which he hear your Judgment.' The noblemen retired, was not only exasperated against him, but the and the Archbishop went his way to the Mo-whole clergy. The Archbishop punished this nastery of St. Andrews in Northampton, and Herbert and William Fitz-Stephan with him. "The king hearing of his departure, caused proclamation to be made in the streets, That no man should give him, or any of his retinue ill language, or molest them any ways. After supper that night, he sent three Bishops to ask licence and safe conduct from the king for his departure, who told them they should have his Answer in the morning; but he fearing some ill from that delay, dare not stay.-This was the seventh day of his appearing in Court, and that night, he went away without Licence, only accompanied with two servants, without either clerk or knight. On the morrow, when his flight was known to the king and all the council, they considered what was needful to be done, and the Archbishop was permitted to enjoy all the revenues of the Church of Canterbury, because both sides had appealed. The king sent presently beyond sea to the pope, the archbishop of York, and four bishops, Gilbert of London, Hilary of Chichester, Bartholomew of Exeter, Roger of Worcester, and two earls, and two Barons with three of his

Clerk, by causing him to be whipped with rods, and he was suspended from his benefice for some years. But this satisfied not the king, who was as zealous for the peace of his people, as the Archbishop was for the liberty of the clergy, who grew every day more dissolute all the kingdom over. For which cause, the king calls the Archbishop, Bishops and Clergy to London.--And having told them the cause of their being called together, and urgently pressed, that Clerks taken for, or accused of enormous crimes, might be left to his officers, and not have the protection of the Church. He most earnestly required, by advice of such as bad skill in both laws, That such Clerks might presently be degraded and delivered to the Court, whence some very learned men by reason of the king's favour did affirm, That they were not to be sent into exile, or thrust into a monasterie, by the Canon Law, but rather were to be delivered to the Court, that is, they were to be punished by Secular Judgment.

"The Archbishop with the Bishops of his province, having consulted their learned men, being much concerned for the Liberty of the

Clergy, answered to these things, clearly and probably, or perhaps by proof (luculenter satis & probabiliter respondet) according to the Canonical Institution of antient Fathers. And in the end of his Speech with much devotion, beseeched his royal clemency, That he would not under a new king Christ, and under a new law of Christ, introduce into a new and peculiar Lot of the Lord, contrary to the Decrees of the Antient Fathers, a new way of coercion into his own kingdom, and this he begged for the king's sake, and the quiet and stability of his kingdom, often humbly inculcating, that he neither could or would bear it.-But the king, not moved with his importunity, demanded more earnestly whether he and the Bishops would observe his royal laws and customs, adding that in his grandfather's time they were observed by the archbishops, bishops, chief men, and privileged persons, and that now they ought not to be set aside. The Archbishop, after Consultation with his brethren, answered they would observe them, salvo ordine suo; and the bishops being asked one by one, gave the same answer, only Hilary bishop of Chichester changed the phrase, saying, he would observe the king's customs or laws (bona fide) in good faith; the king was angry at the Answer, and reservation of the Archbishop and other Bishops, and departed from them.-Most of the Bishops desert the Archbishop, and he a long time persists in his denial, notwithstanding all the exhortations of them, and per- | suasions of the secular great men; yet at length he came to the king at Oxford, and promised to change those words (salvo ordine suo) saving his Order, which gave him so much trouble.

"Hereupon the king called the Bishops and great men to Clarendon, where he exacted the promises of the Archbishop and Bishops, and by the persuasion of the bishop of Man and Norwich, and two of the greatest earls of the nation, and other great persons sent from the king, he promised, bona fide, and in verbo veritatis, in good faith, and in the word of truth, to observe the king's laws, leaving out the words, salvo ordine suo, and all the Bishops did the like, and then those Royal Customs were drawn up in form, and caused to be written by the great men, and recognized by them. -In this Council the king requires the Archbishop and Bishops to confirm their acknowledgment of his laws, by putting thereunto their seals: the Archbishop repents him of his promise, and refuseth to do it, and resolved to go privately unto the Pope, which he at tempted, and having been twice at sea, was both times driven back. This attempt much heightened the king's displeasure against him, and he caused him peremptorily to be cited, at a certain day to answer such things as should be objected against him. The king also by a strict Edict called together all the Bishops and great men of the kingdom to meet at Northampton, where the Archbishop appeared not in person, according to his Citation, though

he sent his Answer and Excuse; for which cause, by the Judgment of all those Bishops and great men, all his movables were confiscated. This he said was a new form of Judgment, according to the new Canons, or Laws made at Clarendon, for it was never heard of before, that the Archbishop of Canterbury should be tried in the king's Court for any cause whatsoever, both in respect of the dignity of his church and person, and that because he was spiritual father of the king, and of all in the kingdom; but he complained more of his brethren and fellow-bishops, than he did of the Judgment, or the lay persons judging of him, &c. veruntamen multo magis quam de judicio, vel de proceribus judicantibus, de confratribus suis & coepiscopis querebatur, novam formum & ordinem judiciorum dictos invenisse ; ut Archipræsul à suis suffraganeis, aut pater à filiis judicetur.

"The king in the second day of this Council required 500l. of the Archbishop, which he said he had borrowed of him: the Archbishop affirmed the king gave him the money, which notwithstanding, when he could not prove it, was adjudged against him, and the king exacted caution, and the Archbishop making some delay, it was told him, he must either pay the money or go to prison. But some men seeing his friends and suffragans forsake him, voluntarily offered themselves as sureties for him, and five (not there named) became bound, every one in an hundred pounds.

"On the last day of the Council before he entered into the Court, the Bishops came to him astonished, and affrighted at the things they had heard, whence they did not openly for any enormity, but as it were by way of insinuation artificially persuade him, That he should in all things, even to what belonged to the Archbishopric submit himself to the king's pleasure, if he could so appease his wrath and indignation. Adding, That unless he did it, he would be accused of Perjury, and judged as a Traytor, because he had not observed his Oath of Fealty or Fidelity he had sworn to the king, by which he was bound to maintain his terrene honor; nor had observed the king's customs or laws, to which he had specially bound himself by a new oath. He was not much dismayed, that the world so frowned on him, but that which was to him most detestable above all things was, that he collected from the words of the bishops, that they were ready to judge him not only in civil, but also in criminal causes in a secular court. And therefore he forbad them all, by virtue of holy Obedience, and under peril of their Order, That they for the future should not be present in Court when his person was judged. And that they might not do it, he appealed to their Mother the Roman Church, the refuge of all oppressed. But notwithstanding what he said, all the bishops hastened to the court except two, London, and Winchester, who privately staid behind and comforted him.

"After this he went into the king's Chamber

« ZurückWeiter »