M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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fooner returned to London, but he repented of following
the Counfel of the Earl and Archbifhop. But inftead of
quarrelling with them, he vented his anger on the Nobi-
lity, from whom he extorted large (urns on pretence they
had refufed to attend him. He fuppofed, without any
grounds, that the Earl of Pembroke and the Archbifhop
of Canterbury fpoke for the whole Body. This was the
fecond time he had arbitrarily exadfed Money from his
Subjects, without the confent of the States. But he did
not do it witii impunity. The fequel will fiiow, that
though vengeance was deferred, it only became the more
terrible, when the Barons found an opportunity to make
him feel the effedts (2).
r Hitherto we have feen the firft part of "John's misfor-
f tbt Reign tunes, occafioned as well by his own fault, as by the am-

of King


M. Paris.

bition of the King of France. But thefe, how great fo-
ever, were fcarce to be compared with thofe that follow-
ed ; efpecially, as he appeared but little fenftble of the firft,
whereas the others created him infinite vexation and
trouble. It was not the ambition of a hoftile Kin;;,
which threw him into a gulph of misfortunes, during the
fecond part of his Reign, but the pride of him who called
himfelf the common Eather of all Chriftians : I mean
Pope Innocent III, who, for a very flight caufe, treated
this Prince fo cruelly, that fhoulda Pope now behave in the
like manner, there is no queftion hut all Chriftendom would
rife up againft. him. Let us proceed to the particulars of
this affair, which makes the chief fubjedt of King 'John's
Reign. But without dwelling on reflexions, which every
reader may eafily make without our help, let us content
our felves with relating the facts as advanced by the Hif-
torians, moft devoted to the Court of Rome.

'John fcarce began to forget the lofs of the French Pro-
vinces, when the death of the Archbifhop of Canterbu-

mended [John de Gray] BifllOp 0/ Norwich, who v.... 1206.
unanimously chofen, placed in the Archiepifcopal Chair,
and inverted with the Temporalities. Shortly aftcc, four- '
teen Monks were fent to the Pope, to inform' him of whai
had paffed, and to demand his confirmation of the new
Archbifhop. At the fame time, the Suffragan Bifhops of
Canterbury lent a deputation alfo to Rome, to complain ol"
the Monks afi'ummg the folc right of ejecting the Arch-
bifhop, and to inform his Hoiinefs of their reafons againft

Whilft the Deputies were on the road, the King, <
whofe courage was fomewhat rouzed, led a confideral
Army into Poiclou (4), and reduced to his obedience the
grcateft part of that Province. But he was fo weak, a I
to fufter himfelf to be once more outwitted by l",,ii\ .
who finding himfelf unprepared, demanded and' obtained T. :
a Truce for two years (5). ■•'• '

Mean while, the Sub-prior of St. Auguftin's , who
was come to Rome, eameftly follicited the Pope to con
firm his election. But Innocent perceiving fome irreguk
rity in the affair, took time to confider of it. In t!.' i n .
terim, the other Deputies being arrived, told him all the '■'
circumrtances, and petitioned him to confirm the '
eledtion. On the cither hand, the Agents (.1 1
fhops brought alio their complaints again!! the Monks,
and fhowed him the reafons on which they built their
prctenfions. To decide thefe differences, the Pope ordt 1
ed the Deputies to come on a day appointed to Vittri .
where he intended to pafs fome time. Here it was, 1 1
in the picfence of the Pope, tl difcuf]

with great warmth, though as to the firft, the reafor.s
of both fides were not very effedfual. Innocent, who \.
already refolved, voided both the elections, and ordered
the Deputies of the Monks to proceed to a new choii
enjoining them withal to e'edt Cardinal Step), n :
an Englijjjman, then at his Court. The Monk,, furprized
at this unprecedented Order (6), would at firft have difo- L ^
beyed it. They alledged in vindication of their Ncn- '.
compliance, that they were not impowercd by their Mo- p . :zz.'
naftery, and beiides the King's confent was neccfTary.
But the Pope would not hearken to thefe reafons; He
told them, as Deputies they reprefentcd the whole Mpnaf-
tery, and the confent of Princes was needlefs for elections
made in his prefence. Therefore, without giving them
time to reply, he commanded them on pain of e.xcon:

ry (3) threw him into frefh troubles. The eledtion of munication, to elect Cardinal Langton for their Archbifh.ip

Some -f the

MorM of
St. Auguf-
tin'r pri-
pit ly . ' 1
their Sub-
M. Paris.

the Archbifhops had for fome time been a continual fubjedt
of difputes between the Suffragan Bifhops and the Monks
of St. Augujlin's. The former claimed a right to inter-
pofe in the eledtion, as had been feveral times pradtifed.
The Monks affirmed, on the contrary, that this right
belonged only to them, according to ancient cuftom, and
ufed their utmoft endeavours to keep polTeffion. Imme-
diately after the death of Hubert, fome of the Monks
combining together, whether out of fear the F'raternity
would not infill: on their right, or for fome other reafon,
refolved to elect themfelves an Archbifnop. To that pur-
pofe, meeting at midnight in the Cathedral, they chofe
Hemir-gford Reginald their Sub-prior, in expectation of having after-
wards credit enough to obtain the Pope's confirmation.
This irregular election was tranfacted with all poffible fe-
crecy. The Sub-prior bound himfelf [by Oath] not to
divulge it, till he had himfelf informed the Pope of it :
So that the other Monks had not the leaft fufpicion there-
of. The electors, willing to bring their undertaking to
an iftue, found means to caufe him to be fent to Rome,
on fome pretence, attended by fome of their cabal. But
he had not the power to keep the fecret. Upon his ar-
rival in Flanders, he took upon him the title of Archbi-
fhop of Canterbury, and the Monks his companions had
no more difcrvtion than himfelf.

This news coming to the King's ears, he imagined the

John threat'
*ns the

A vera Slu


M. Pari-.

whole Monaftery was concerned in this fraud, and prepa-
red to make the Monks repent of their rafhnefs in elect-
ing an Archbifhop without his Licence. But they cleared
themfelves, and appeafed him by their fubmiflions. The
clamours of the Monks, who were not in the intrigue,
convincing the electors, that after the difcovcry of their
fecret, it would be very difficult to accomplifn their under-
taking, they chofe to defift. Then the whole Society
jointly proceeding to a new election, the King recom-

The Monks, awed by the prefence and thrcatnings of
the Pope, complied, though unwillingly, with his Or-
ders (7). There was but one (8), who had the cou:. -
to ftand out. Tin's extraordinary election was immediate-
ly confirmed by the Pope, who would himfelf confec.
the Archbifhop eledt (9).

According to the rule eflablifhed by Innocent, in im- "
powering fourteen Monks deputed by their Monalrery, to'
eledt an Archbifhop, the Suffragan Bifhops of Canterbury Caaj .
could not but lofe their caufe with the Monks. Accor-
dingly, the Pope gave it in favour of thefe laft, and for-
bid the Bifhops to interpofe tor the future, in the ek-dti-
on of their Metropolitans.

While thefe things were tranfadting in Italy, John en- '-'■'■
tirely loft the hearts of his Subjects (10), by extorting from \
them the thirteenth part of their moveables. In vain did "■.
the Clergy, as far as it concerned them, oppofe it ; the "'• 1>j ris.
Act parted in Parliament (11), and the Tax was levied as ' "fjj
well upon the Clergy as Laity, though the former ne\er 1 . .
gave their confent, and the latter granted it by a fort f AaWaverl "
compulhon. This violence occafioned many complaints and
murmurings among the Clergy, who till then had enjoyed
the privilege of not being taxed without their confent ( 1 2).
However, as it was not in their power to refift, they en-
deavoured to be revenged, by exclaiming againft the King's
conduct, and rendering him odious to the People. The M. ' rij,
Archbifhop of York himfelf, theKin^'- natural Brother, a ! '' "'
Prelate of an impatient temper, excommunicated all the
Collectors of the Tax, and withdrew out of the King-
dom. Though the Clergy's complaints were not ground-
less, the King's friends looked upon them as impertinent.
They did, it was ftrange the Ecclefiafticks ihould refufe
to affift the Kiag in his neceflity ; when a !i"tle before
they had fuffered without the leaft murmur, a Legate to
exact of all the beneficed Clergy, large funis for the pre-

( \) The Nobles and Knights having been put to vafl Charges for this Expedition.

(7.) This year died Peter of Colecburcb, who began to build London Bridge with Stone, and was buried in the Chap.;l upen that Iridge. Ann. !.' .
?■ lf> 8. (3 )• He died at Tenbam in Kent. M. Pans, p. zi».

($■) He embarked at Portjmoutb, June zc, and landed at Rocbelle, J^!y 9. Uem. p. 214.

(SJ The French Hiilorians fay, John lued for a Truce. Wc frequently meet with the like Contradictions between the Hifiorians ct the two Nations.
<Zfnt, Vol. III. p. 206. fays, that both Armies being ready to engage, a Truce was concluded far two v'* r

1 bj The Annals of Margan fay, it was contrary to the antient Laws and Liberties of the King and Kingdom, p. 14.
< 7 J Licet inviti, & cum inurmuratione, aflfailhm prxbuerunt. T.I. Paris. Rapin.

C^J He was confecrated, Jvc 17. Ann. Wailtrl. p. 169.

... pr:

(%) His name was Ellas di Branttfitld. M. Paris.

(so) He returned to England, Decemb. 12. M. Pans, p.

fllj In communi Cbncilio. Annals of Waverl, An. 1207 Coadimatis Magni bus terra apud Oxenjord. de aflinfu coram cepi: xiii. partem cateilo-

mm hommum tonus Anglix. An. Margan, p. .4. This Parliament was held in February. M. Fans, p. 22r.

(izj The Annals of Waverl. fay, That the King following better advice, releafed the clerej fram it. But afterwards he -oak the thirteenth .-•
ol all the Cjjods in general, of thoit that held by Knight's Service, p. 169.

4 jeruLI


Vol. I.

occafions of the Holy See. It the Money which
ed to the King from this Tax, had been employed in
the fervice of the State, it would have been fome fatis-
faetion to the Nation. But they had the vexation to fee
it vainly fquandred away, in the reception of the Empe-
ror, who was come to viilt the King his Uncle. His de-


It is difficult to guefs the drift of this myfterious Let- 1207.
ter ; whether it was a witty conceit of the Pope's, or an 7h! P: f'
intimation to the Kina;, that he would need all the virtues "*"■'* ,h

^ 1\.IT.P 1 3 tlVi

reprefented by the Rings, to withftand his attacks. How- Lm
ever this be, left John lhould miftake his meaning, he ■?_"•
fent him foon after, a more intelligible Brief (1) ; exhort-

fip-n was to perfwade him to break the Truce with France, ing him to own Cardinal Langton for Archbifhop of Can-

Pari .

But how urgent foever he might be, it was impoffible to
bring John to' this rupture. However, to foften in fome
meafure his denial, the King made him a prefent of five
1 ..ml Marks, which ferved to pay the charges of his

P ■
: ix to ap'




terbury. He reprefented to him, that he was a Native of
England, Cardinal of the Roman Church, and learned in
all the Sciences. Moreover, he allured him, his exem-
plary Life and Chriftian Virtues would be verv advar.ta-
gious to England, for fpiritual, as his prudence and politi-
ni very much fufpeCTed, John would not be pleafed cal virtues would be for temporal, concerns. However, //.• _-', : ■-.
with Langtyfs election, extorted by manifeft force and an as he did not intend to make Langton's election depend on ,br M '" k
unprecedented incroachment. Indeed for fome time after the good pleafure of the King, nor fubmit it to his ex-
the converfion of the Englijh, the Popes chofe fuch as animation ; in another Letter he fent his commands
were capable of well-governing the rifing Church, and to the Monks of St. Jugi/jlins and the Suffragan Bifhops
generally Italians, becaufe there were but few Ecclefiaf- of Canterbury, to receive the Cardinal for their Metropo-
ticks in England qualified for that high ftation. But ever litan.

As foon as John was informed of the tranfactions at ne k.-~
Rome, he fell into an inconceivable fury. He accufed th.e dr ' m ' ™
Monks of St. Augujlin's of deceiving him, as well in the ^°" '^/ '
third as in the firft election, and resolved to be revenged mt of titir
bliging the Archbifhops to come and demand the Pall at of them. To that end he fent two Knights (2), who en- M™°P«?'
Rome. Since the Conqueft, they had not fo much as tring the Monaftery with drawn Swords, commanded the Klvi^hton.

Monks, in the King's name, to avoid the place forthwith,
unlefs they would have their Monafterv burnt about their
ears, and likewife to depart the Kingdom within three
days. So terrible a threat frightned the Monks in fuch
a manner, that, without the leaft reply, they withdrew
into Flanders to the Abby of St. Berlin, and other neigh-
bouring Monaireries. But this revenge not procuring him
all the fatisfaction he required, he thought by vigoroufly
exerting himfelf, he fhould bring the Pope to revoke what
was done. In this beliet he wrote Innocent a very fharp Ucwrlusi

fince Archbifhop Theodoras, who was the laft fent from
, the Popes had never pretended to chufe of their ac-
cord the Archbifhops without the confent of the Kings.
They were fatisfied with confirming the elections, and o-

nulled the election of an Archbifhop. And therefore to
mollify the King, and induce him the more calmly to over-
look this incroachment, Innocent wrote him the following
Letter, which for its angularity deferves to be inferted.


!■ f -' I :

the i t ■
Aft. Pub-

T.I.p.. 3 9

M. 1'aris,
p. 123.


JOHN King of England.

" \ M O N G the riches that Mortals prize as the mod
XV " valuable, and defire with the greateft earneft-
" nefs, it is our opinion that pure Gold and precious Stones
" hold the firft rank. Though we are perfwaded your
" Royal Excellence has no want of fuch things, we
" have thought proper to fend you, as a mark of our
" Good-will, four Rings fet with Stones. We beg the
" favour you would confider the Myfteries contained in
" their Form, their Matter, their Number, and their Co-
" lour, rather than their Value. Their Roundnefs de-
" notes Eternity, which having neither beginning nor
" end, ought to induce you to tend without ceafing from
«' earthly things to heavenly, and from things tem-
" poral to things eternal. The number four, which is a

Letter, " upbraiding him with his injurious annulling the f
" canonical election of the Bifhop of Norwich, without f-i .
" having the leaft pretence for it. Moreover, he com- p. 224.
" plained of his caufing to be elecled by violence, and con-
" trary to all manner of right, a Perfon educated in
" France, an intire ftrangcr to him, and who had r.l-
" ways held a ftrict correfpondence with his enemies.
He added, " This encroachment was directly contrary to
" the Prerogatives of his Crown, from which he was re-
" folved never to depart, nor from the election of the
" Bifhop of Norwich. Then, he plainly told him, if
" the fatisfaction he demanded was denied, he would
" break off" aii intercourse with Rome, which was of no
" fmall confequence, fince it was certain, the Holy See
" received more Money from England than from any o-
" ther Chriftian State ; and for that reafon, greater re-
" gard ought to be paid the King of England than any
" Prince whatever. He concluded with laying, there were
Prelates enough in the Kingdom qualified to govern the

Square, fignifies firmnefs of Mind, not to be fhaken by " Church, and therefore it was not neceftary to have re-

" Adverfity, nor elevated by Profperity, but always conti-
" nuing in the lame State. This is a perfection to which
" yours will not fail to arrive, when it fhall be adorned
" with the four Cardinal virtues, Juftice, Fortitude, Pru-
" dence and Temperance. The firft will be of fervice to
" you in Judgments, the fecond in Adverfity, the third
•' in dubious Cafes, the fourth in Profperity. By the
" Gold is fignified Wifdom. But as Gold is the moft
" precious of Metals, Wifdom is of all endowments the
" moft excellent, as the Prophet witneffes in thefe words,
" The Spirit of Wifdom Jliall reji upon him : And indeed,
" there is nothing more requifite in a Sovereign. Ac-
" cordingly, Solomon, that pacifick King, only asked of
" God Wifdom, to enable him to well govern his People.
" The green colour of the Emerald denotes Faith, the
" cleamefs of the Saphire, Hope ; the rednefs of the Ruby,
" Charity ; and the colour of the Topaz, Good Works ;
" concerning which our Saviour faid, Let your Light fo
" Jhine before Men, that they may fee your good If 'oris. In
" the Emerald therefore you have, what you are to be-
" lieve ; in the Saphire what you are to hope; in the Ruby
" what you are to love ; and in the Topaz what you are
" to practife ; to the end you may proceed from virtue
" to virtue, till you come to the virion of the God of
" Gods in Sion.

" coarfe to the Popes, if they fo manileftly abufed their
" authority. "

Innocent had not undertaken this affair to defift from it 77,.-
on the King's bare expoftulation. He returned a very ■*■/

though, in the

Aft. Pub.

civil and mild anfwer in appearance, ...^

main, it was more proper to irritate than appeafe him. m. Paris,

" He begins with blaming John for anfwering his humble P- "4-

" and kind Letter in fo rough a manner, that he feem-

" ed rather to defign to affront him , than require the

" reafons of his conduit. Then he proceeds to extol

" the merits of Cardinal Langton, alluring he was a Pre-

" late of a great underftanding, and profound learning,

" and one that had long ftudied at the Univerfity of

" Paris, where he had taken his degree of Do£tor of Di-

" vinity. He adds, that John was in tl^e wrong to com-

" plain, fince the confent of Princes was not requifite at

" Elections made in the prefence of the Pope : That

" however, out of pure condefcenfion, he had fent two

" Monks to inform him of it, who by contrary Winds

" were detained at Boulogne. In fine, after trying to

" prove Langton's Election agreeable to the Canons, he re-

" prefents to him that Henry II, his Father, and Richard

" his Brother, had renounced the right of nominatin j

" Bifhops and Abbots ; and therefore, without medling

" with Elections, he ought to receive, without exami-

(1) It mufl be obferved, the Apoftolical Letters are of two forts. Some are called Britfs, becaufe comprifed in a compendious way of writing, and are fealrf
on Wax only, Cum ainulh fifianrit, that is, with the Impreffwn of a Signet Ring, which the Rimanijls are fo weak as to believe to be the Seal of
Peter the Filherman. The other fort are called Bulls from the Leaden Bulla hanging thereon. Bulla is thought among the Anuents to be a
Cadge, which perfons that triumph.'., over their enemies wore on their brealts like a Medal, and it came afterwards to fignity a Deed, Infrrument, or W, i .
} vn larchment or VelJum, with a piece of Lead hanging thereto by a firing, and fuch writing is called a Bull, trtm the Le; : mi > i to it. On"
tjj s piece of Lead, the heads of the two Apoftles St. Pettr and St. faul are iraprefied from the Papal Seal, which being affixed to the Pope's Lett
to be compleatly finifticd. And becaufe they carried the Papal thunder of Excommunication along with thtm tcr Non-payment of the Pops
bi im ' terror to weak people fur lome ages, till at length from their frequent demands, thefe Fulminati t -*'r-' turned into ridicule. Ar.i
were called Bull-beggars, they were ufed as words cs~ Scorn and Contempt, to frighten Children with. Eube/nus Cbtrubtmtl ha: mat fiion (163s; t.:

bulls in fix Folio's, which gives a full view 1 f the wonderful Craft of the Hierarchy, in raifing fuch a liit. 1 r.- cf Power and Iniquity to itfe
none can pull down but the Almighty Hand of God alone. For therein we fee the Church of Ror-.e almcl^ in it; beginning, how it rear'd itfeif by de-
1 Papal Dulls, and how the weak part; of the building have been fince ftrengthncd by the cunning of the feveral Undertakers, the Pope ar.c h;
rf made a good ufe of this Collection in his Introduction to the Hillory ct Eurapc* tarergcr.. jur.cjn. p. 132,
m Hc-.'y d: Ctrnthellt. At Paris, p, 223.

Book VIII.

7. J O H N.


1207. " nation, the Prelates judged by the Church capable of

" directing the Spiritual affairs of his Kingdom. He

" concludes with this notable threat, that Submiflion to

" him would be more for his advantage than an obftinate

" refinance againft God and his Church, in a Caufe for

" which the bleffed Thomas Becket fhed his Blood. "

Thefe laft words were terrible to a Prince, whofe Father

had fuffered fo greatly on much the fame occafion. But

'fobn, far from being frightncd, refolved, on the contrary,

to ufe his utmoft endeavours, and run all hazards, to free

himfelf from the galling Yoke of Rome.

I2o3 The Pope's Letter was quickly followed by an Order

Tie p../*/ to the Bifhops of London, Ely, and JVorceJlcr, to perfwade

orderi tbrrt tne King to fubmit to the Orders of the Church, anJ,

f,'trf<tt"tbe 'f tne y { oun d him contumacious, to put the Kingdom un-

pagiom. der an Interdict. The Bifhops thus commiflioned by the

Aft- Pub. p p Cj being obliged to obey him, acquainted the King

fi/paitu 7 ' with his Holinefs's Orders, and intrcated him to avoid

Mait. Wert, by Submiflion, a fcandal which would fall no left on his

Subjects than on himfelf. But the King remained inflex-

Thc King ible. He fwore (1), that if the Kingdom was interdicted,

a"""' "* he would forth with fend all the Ecclefiafticks to feek their

m' Paris. Subfifhnce at Rome, and put out the Eyes, and cut off

the Ears and Nofes of all the Roman Priefts, that fhould

be found in his Dominions. Then he commanded the

Molmt of three Prelates to depart his Prefence. His Pafll.m, which

Lsngto.i's was already very violent, was ftill encreafed by the Info-

Brotbcr. l en ce of 5im;n Langton, Brother of the Cardinal, who in-

Ft/J fultingly preffed him to own his Brother for Archbifhop.

The King, tired with his Importunities, told him it was

very ftrange, an EngliJImian mould prefs him to renounce

the Prerogatives of the Crown. To which Langton in—

folently replied, nothing could be done in his behalf,

unlefs he would wholly throw himfelf upon his Brother's


rtenry aaJ The lad year, John had a Son by ljahclla of Angou-

Richaid leme, to whom he gave the Name of Henry (2). And

M."w>n. this y ea f (3) the Queen brought into the World another

M. Pari-,, called Richard.

Ibihtirdia Mean time, the three Prelates, who had already addref-
yjbhjhed. fed the King, finding they could not prevail, pronounced
M- Paris. at l en gth the Sentence of Interdict upon the whole King-
M. Weft. d° m (4)5 and retired beyond Sea. Immediately divine
An.Waverl. Service ceafed in all the Churches, and the Sacraments
Hetningf. were n0 longer adminiltred, except to Infants and dying
Perfons. Publick Prayers, and all Ecclefiaftical Functions
were laid afide. The Church-yards were fhut up, and
the Bodies of the dead thrown into Ditches like Dogs,
without any Prieft daring or being willing to aiTift at the
Funerals. It might jufUy be demanded, why the People
fhould fuffer for the fault of their Sovereign ; and certainly
it would be difficult to alledge a reafon founded on Juftice
or Equity. But the Policy of Rome required, that the
Subjects fhould be liable to Puniftiment, to the end that
confidering their King as the fole caufe of their Evils, they
might be the fooner inclined to force him to fubmit to the
Pope's Yoke. It was requifite therefore to fow Diffention
between the King and the People, in order to tie up his
hands from reftfting. And indeed, it is evident, Kings have
no more power than private perfons, when defer ted by
their Subjects. Accordingly the Popes, who intended to
ftretch their Authority, have generally taken a time of
difcord between the People and their Sovereigns. If fome-
times they have launched out at unfeafonable Junctures,
they have, for the mod part, found their pretended Au-
thority to be little regarded. Of this we mall fee a re-
markable Inftance in the Sequel of this very Reign.

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