M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

The history of England : written in French (Volume 1) online

. (page 149 of 360)
Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 149 of 360)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


H EN RT II.

IN the Year 1*155, De ' n g tne nrn; of Henry II, a mixt
Council was held in London, confining of Bifhops and
Barons, where were debated feveral Affairs relating to
the Church and State. I took notice of this Aflembly, on
purpofe to fhew that the Ufe of thefe mixt Councils was
not yet entirely abolifhed.

In 1 166, a Synod was held which appealed to the Pope,
from the Excommunication denounced by Thomas Becket
againft thofe that obferved the Conflituttons of Clarendon.

The fame Year, according to Dr. Hody, but fix Years
fooner according to Spelman, and according to others, four
only, Henry II ordered a Council to meet at Oxford, to
examine the Tenets of certain Hereticks called Publicans,
of whom I have already fpoken in the Reign of that
Prince. Very probably, they were Difciples of the Wal-
denfes, who began then to appear. When they were
asked in the Council, who they were, they anfwered,
they were Chriftians, and Followers of the Doctrine of
the Apoftles. After that, being queftioned upon the Arti-
cles of the Creed, their Replies were very Orthodox as to
the Trinity and Incarnation. But if William of Ncwburgb
is to be credited, they rejected Baptifm, the Eucharijl,
Marriage, and the Communion of Saints. They fhewed
a great deal of Modefty and Meeknefs in their whole
behaviour. When they were threatned with Death, in
order to oblige them to renounce their Tenets, they only
faid , Bleffed are they that fuffer for Righteoufnefs Sake.
The Council, finding there was no prevailing upon them,
delivered them over to the fecular Power. Unhappily
for them, the King being then at variance with the Pope,
was afraid of giving him an advantage, if they were-fpared.
Upon this account he treated them more feverely than he
•would have done at any other time. After caufing them
to be branded with a hot Iron, he forbid under great Pe-
nalties all Perfons to give them the leaft Relief. They
fuffered this hard Treatment very cheerfully ; and as they
could meet with no Affiftance, either to ftay in the King-
dom or to go from thence, they all miferably perifhed.
This is all the Hiftorians have related concerning thefe pre-
tended Hereticks, without telling us why they were called
Publicans. I obferved they were very likely Difciples of
the IValdenfes, becaufe of their Orthodoxy on the Trinity
and Incarnation of the Son of God, their Patience, and
their Anfwer to the Council that they followed the Doc-
trine of the Apoftles, for that was precifely the Language
of the IValdenfes. It is true, we cannot trace the Waldenfes
in the Tenets afcribed to them concerning Baptifm, the
Eucharijl, Marriage, and the Communion of Saints. But
poffibly the Hiftorians, who mention them, may have mif-
reprefented their Doctrine. Perhaps they did not believe
Tranfubfiantiation, and refufing to communicate with fuch
as did believe it, it was inferred they rejected the Eu-
charijl and Communion of Saints. As for Baptifm, per-
haps they would, with the Waldenfes, have it ftnpt of all
the Ceremonies, tacked to it fince its Inftitution. In fine,
it may be they denied Marriage to be a Sacrament, and
on that account were accufed of rejecting it. However this
be, they would not be the firft, to whom have been af-
cribed Doctrines little agreeable to their Sentiments, by
forced Confequences, as it is eafy to fee from the Hiftory of
the IValdenfes and Albigenfes ( 1 ). What I have been faying
is however only conjecture. But it is fufficiently plaufible,



Book VIII.



The State of the Church.



Xlth Guam
if Lateran.
Ocrvas.
Brompt-
Hovtd.
j. 5S2.



Sytol in
Javfiur of
John'j
Marriage.
W. I'ar.s.



Ilftero.
M. Paris.

lVWWefl.



Brompton.
Diceto.



Gems.



Diceto.



A 8] TO^ at
York.
Hovol.
Spcl. Ci no
T. II. p. 1 10



of England; that is to fay, to reduce the Irljh Clergy un-
der the Pope's Jurifdidtion, purfuant to the King's pro-
mife, when he demanded Adrians confent, to make that
Conqueft.
/ Before I finifh what relates to tlie Councils in the
Reign of Henry II, I fhall add a word, concerning the
Xlth Council of Latcran, convened at Rome by Alexan-
der ■ III. There were only three Englijh Bifhops (1), at
this Council; for, according to the Teftimony of Roger
dt Hovcden, it was one of the Privileges of the Church of
England, not to be obliged to fend muie than four Bifhops
to Councils held at Rome. The Albigenfes were ex-
communicated in this Council, and all Christians very
ftridtly forbidden to keep any (Jorrcfpondencc with them.

One of the Canon:, prohibited, on pain of Excommu-
nication, to promife Benefices before a Vacancy. But
this Prohibition took place only with regard to Patrons,
and not with refpect to the Popes, who broke it conti-
nually, by means of Provifions, of which, in fpiteofthis
Canon, they made ficquent ufe.

It was farther rcfolvcd in this fame Council, to eafe the
vaft Expence, Churches and Religious Houfes were liable
to, for the Entertainment of the Vifitors, and their Re-
tinue. It was decreed, that in Vifitations, an Archbifhop
fhould not have in his Retinue more than fifty Horfe, a
Bifhop more than thirty, a Legate more than twenty
five, and an Archdeacon more than feven. A great Re-
formation truly, which plainly (hews the Moderation of
the Council. The Charges the Abbics and Churches
were at upon this occafion, were called Procurations ;
doubtlefs, becaufe the Churches were obliged to procure
what was neceflary for the Entertainment of the Vifitors.
In procefs of time, this was turned into a certain Sum of
Money, which kept all along the Name of Procurations,
and became a fcrtde fource of oppieffions, which the
Nuntios and Legates made the Churches endure on this
pretence. Tiltings and Tournaments were likewife for-
bidden, but this Prohibition was not capable of abolilhing
them.



COUNCILS in the Reign of
RICHARD I.



IN 1189, Baldwin Archbifhop of Canterbury, interdic-
ting the Lands of Prince John, on account of his Mar-
riage with his Coufin Avifa of Glocejler, there was an
Appeal to the Pope from this Procedure. Whereupon the
Pope fent into England a Legate, one John de Anagnia,
who called a Synod, where the Archbifhop's proceedings
were made void, and the Interdict taken orE After that,
the Pope confirmed the Marriage by his Authority. Not-
withftanding this decilive Sentence, the Marriage was an-
nulled feveral Years after, on the fame pretence of Kindred,
and by the fame Authority ; every thing being eafy to
thofe that are inverted with Abfolute Power (2).

The fame Baldwin being about to attend Riehard to the
Holy-Land, convened a Synod, where he declared, that
he left the Adminiftration of the Affairs of the Province
of Canterbury to the Bifhop of London, and of his particu-
lar Diocefe to the Bifhop of Rochc/ler.

During the Abfence of the two Archbifhops, one of
whom was in the Eaft, the other in Normandy, the Bi-
fhop of Ely, Regent of the Kingdom, and Legate of the
Pope, convened two Synods, one at Glocejler, and another
at JVeJlminJhr. But nothing of moment was tranfaft-
ed, his Aim in calling them, being only to fliew his Gran-
deur.

Baldwin dying at Acres, as foon as the News reached
England, the Bifhop of London fent an Inhibition to the
Monks of St. Augujline, to proceed to an Election of an
Archbifhop, without the confent of the Suffragan-Bi-
fhops. Some time after, the Suffragans being met at Can-
terbury, the Monks came into their AfTembly, and declared
they had elected the Bifhop of Bath. At the fame In-
ftant, they took and placed him on the Archiepifcopal
Throne. The Bifhops appealed to the Pope ; but the
Death of the Prelate elet£t, which happened foon after, put
an end to the Difference.

In 1 193, Richard fent from Pale/line, a Letter to the
Suffragan Bifhops of Canterbury, ordering them to pro-
ceed to the Election of an Archbifhop, jointly with the
Monks of St. Augujlin. Purfuant to this Order, a fort of
Synod was held, and Hubert JValters elected, whom the
King had ftrongly recommended.



351

Two Years after, the fame Hubert, being made Legate, H,,ved -
convened in the Cathedral of York, a national Synod, p ' 7SS *
where feveral Canons were made, of which two only dc-
ferve Notice. By the Hid, Priefts are forbidden to take
Money for faying Mafs. The Vth, exprefly prohibits
Deacons to adminifter the Sacraments of Baptifm and the
Eucharift, unlefs in Cafes of Ncceffity.



COUNCILS in the Reign of
King JOHN

IN the Year 1200, Archbifhop Hubert held a national 1
Synod at IVcJlminJlcr, notwithstanding the Kind's Pro- "'""7'*' .
liibuion, which is remarked by Hiftorians as the firfl
Usurpation of this nature. Several Canons were made in *j
this Synod, the chief of which arc thefe:



.

p. 806.

B



The Iff, regulates the Pronunciation of Divine Ser- s * 1 c n •
vice, to prevent reading Prayers either too flow, or too 1 '"' 1 '' 103 '
fait.

The lid, forbids the confecrating the Eucharift more
than once in a Day, without urgent Neceflity.

The Xlth, declares againft clandeftine Marriages, and
forbids married Perfons to travel beyond Sea, without pub-
lishing their mutual Confent.

In 1 206, the Pope intending to levy in England an SymivAitb
extraordinary Romefcot, or Peter-Pence, the Bifhops met r 'fif"* tu '9
in a bynod to debate upon his Demand. But the King m. Paris.
fending them word to proceed no further, they broke up
without coming to any Rcfolution. And indeed, Peter-
Pence, not concerning the Clergy more than the reft of
the Nation, it belonged not to them to determine, whe-
ther it was to be paid or not. Neverthelefs, fhortly after,
a Legate, one Florentinus, called another Synod at Reading,
upon the fame account, and, as if the Clergy had been the
occafion of the King's Refufal, extorted from them an
Aid, in lieu of the extraordinary Romefcot demanded by
the Pope.

I pals over in Silence feveral Councils, called purely to
regulate the Reftitution, the King was to make the Ec-
cleiiafticks, after his Reconciliation to the Pope, having
fpoken of them elfewhere.

During the Reign of King John, Pope Innocent III. X'lt
convened the Xllth Council of Lateran, at which were "' f L t: "
prefent four hundred and twelve Bifhops (3). TherCM. Paris.
were paffed feventy Canons, which, according to the Re-
port of the Hiftorians, were not very agreeable to the Pre-
lates, by whole Authority they were made. This gave M, Tu Pin.
occafion to a famous Modern to conjecture, that the Pope
drew up thefe Canons himfelf, and that they were read
before the Council, whofe Silence was taken for an Ap-
probation. This was an Artifice, which began to be
praiStifed, in order to pafs in Councils whatever the Pope
delircd. The Prefident ordered the Canons ready drawn
up to be read, and the Prelates perceiving they were not
defigned to be debated, none dared to be the firft op-
pofer. In procefs of time, this Expedient was frequently
ufed, and the Council of Vienne which was held in
1 31 2, and where the Order of the Knights-Tem-
plars was abolifhed, will furnifh us with a remarkable In-
ftance.

To return to the Council of Latcran, fince the Church
of England, as a Member of the Catholick Church, was
no lels concerned than the other Churches in the Canons
made there, it will not be perhaps foreign to the purpofe
to be fomething particular. But however, to avoid pro-
lixity, it will be fufficient to take notice of three Canons,
which feem remarkable beyond the reft.

The Ift eftablifhes in exprefs Terms, the Doctrine otCami oftkt
Tranfubftantiation. £jj^£

The Hid imports, that the fecular Power fhall be re-
quested, follicited, and, if need be, compelled by Eccle-
iiaftical Cenfures, to take an Oath to ufe their utmoft En-
deavours to root all Hereticks out of their Territories.
That for the future, all Perfons, without Exception, fhall
be obliged to fwear the fame Oath, upon theiT being
promoted to any Dignity Spiritual or Temporal. And if
any Temporal Lord refufes to purge his Dominions of
Hereticks, after an Admonition, he ihall be excommuni-
cated by the Metropolitan and his Suffragans. And in
cafe he contemns the Cenfures of the Church, and refufes
to make Satisfaction within a Year, the Pope fhall de-



ft) Howdtn names four who were prefent at trie Cruncil, as Hugh Eifliop of Durham, John of Norwich, Robert of Hertford, and Regma.d of Bath,
The Abbots were more numerous. Sec liovcdcn, p. 5S2, Anno J 179.

(a) The fame Year there was an thcr Synod held at Piprxcl in Nu-tbamftuifiirt, Hmed. p. 65S. 'Sfe/M, C>rc. T II. ?• I_I9>
(3) Amung whom was Langton Archbilhop of Centtrhurf.



!52



Tloe HISTORY of ENGLAND.



Vol. I



Remark* i
the third
Canjn.



Synod at
Canterbury,
tobersin lucre
condemned
three Per litis.
T. W.kes.
Spd. One.
T.II.p.lSl.



Synod ag-ainjl

the Marriage
nJPriefls.



Council at
St. Paul 1 !.
M. Paris.
An. Burt.
Spd. Cone.
T.II.p.siS.



clarc his Subjects and ValTals abfolved from their Oath of
Allegiance, and at the fame time, (hall invite the Ca-
tholick Princes to feize his Country, faving to the Sovereign
of the Fee, if there is any, his Rights ; upon condition
that the laid Sovereign Qta.ll do nothing to obftruft the
Execution of the Canon.

, It is difficult to read this Decree without being fur-
prifed, that Bifhops fhould aflume a Right to deprive So-
vereign Princes of their Dominions, as if in fact fefus
Cbri/l had, in clear and exprefs Terms, inverted them
With fuch a Power. They might be allowed a Right to
exhort, to requelt, to follicite Princes to purge their Ter-
ritories of Hereticks. Nay, let them be fullered, if you
pleafe, to excommunicate thefe fame Princes, under co-
lour of their being, as Members of the Chutch, liable to
Ecclefiaftical Cenfures, as well as their Subjects. But
that Bifhops may extend their Authority fo far as to de-
cree temporal Punifhments, and deprive Princes, or even
private Perfons, of their Property, is what cannot be
granted, without refigning to them withal, the temporal
Sovereignty of the whole Chriftian World. To what
purpofe then, will fome fay, is Excommunication, it the
Perfons excommunicated happen to contemn it ? I know
not ; God alone will be Judge in the other Life. But this
did not content the Clergy, and much lefs the Popes,
■who would be refpected, feared and obeyed, in this Life :
For that was the fole end of all their Excommunica-
tions. And indeed, to this, temporal Punifhments were
abfolutely neceffary, fpiritual ones not producing their
Effect but in the next World, about which they were
little concerned. Thanks be to God, the Generality of
Chriflians follow at prefent a different Theology. Ac-
cordingly the Excommunications of Princes are much lefs
frequent, becaufe Peoples Eyes are opened, and do not
think themfelves obliged to renounce their Allegiance to
their Sovereigns, in compliance to the Pope's Pleafure.
It may be further obferved on this Decree, that, though it
feemed to be levelled only againft the Earl of Tboloufe,
and the other Protectors of the Mbigenfes, yet the Con-
fluences reached all Chriftian Princes in general. And
indeed from this Principle naturally flowed the unlimited
Authority, too frequently exerted by the Roman Pon-
tiff.

The laft Canon of the Council of Lateran, that I de-
fign to confider, is the XlVth. By this Canon it is de-
creed, that the Priefts, who are addicted to Debauchery in
Countries where Marriage is allowed, fhould be more fe-
verely punifhed than thofe, who live in Places, where they
are obliged to Celibacy. Hence it may be inferred, that

the Celibacy of the Clergy was not yet univerfally efta-
blifhed.



CO U NCI LS in the Reign of
HENRY 111.



I Shall not take upon me to fpeak of all the Councils
in the long Reign of Henry III, becaufe they were,
for the moft part, convened only to fupply the Popes
with Money, or to countenance their Exactions. I fhall
content myfelf with chufing fuch, as more immediately
related to Religion, or where fomething remarkable was
tranfacted.

In 1222, Cardinal Langton convened, in the Cathedral
of Canterbury (i), a provincial Synod, where three Men
were condemned, and delivered over to the fecular Arm.
The firft pretended himfelf to be J ejus Cbrijl, and fhewed
on his Body the five Wounds of our Saviour. The fe-
cond was a Hermaphrodite who accompanied that Impoftor.
The third was a Deacon, who, to marry a Jeivijh Wo-
man, with whom he was in Love, had circumcifed him-
felf (2).

In 1 22 j, the fame Prelate held a Synod, where was
made a Canon, confirming the Prohibition of the Mar-
riage of the Priefts. This leaves room to prefume, there
were (till in England, Priefts who flood their ground againft
all former Prohibitions.

In 1237, Otho the Pope's Legate convened a national
Council at London, in St. Paul's Church. As he knew
there was a Defign to oppofe the Canons which he would



have palTed againft Pluralities, he obtained of the King a
Guard of two hundred Men. As foon as the Prelates
had taken their places, he ordered certain Canons to be
read, which were brought from Rome ready prepared, ac-
cording to the new method. When the Canons againft
Pluralifts came to be read, JValter de Cantilupe Bifhop of
IVincheJler, and fome other Prelates, ftrenuoufly oppofed
it, and even protefted againft it. This oppofition obliged
the Legate to declare, that the Canon fhould be in force
only during the time of his Legatefhip. However, it was
no fooner palled upon that Condition, but an Ecclefiaftick
in the Legate's Retinue, read aloud a Decretal Lpiftle of
the Pope, by which it was ordained that this Canon fhould
be peipctually binding.

The lid ftates the Number of the Sacraments, and
reckons them Seven (3).

The Hid fixes the Eves of Eaffer and Wbitfunday for
the Administration of Baptifm, and as fome People fcru-
pled to baptize their Children on thefe Days, their Scruples
were condemned.

TheXXIId enjoins the Clergy to live on their Bene J
fices, at leuft the bell part of the year. This Canon was
abfolutely necellary at that time. As the Pope difpenfed
with the Refidence of the Italians, who poiTefled a great
Number of Benefices in England, if the Englijh had not
been obliged to refide, the Churches would have been
quite forfaken.

In 1239, was held at London a Council, which flatly
refuled the Legate, the Money demanded to defiay the
Expences of his Legatefhip.

The next Year, the fame Legate alTemblcd another
Synod, where he demanded for the Pope, the fifth part
of the Revenues of the Clergy, but could not pre-
vail.

All the reft of the Councils, from 1 240 to 1 264, were
only called to demand Money of the Clergy.

During the Barons Wars, were aflembled two Coun- Syn-d, at
cils. The firft at Reading, where was confirmed tire ^ d !° E ""*
Appeal brought by the Barons, from the Proceedings of tc ,n'' a
the Legate then at Boulogne. In the fecond, held at T. WiUes.
Northampton in 1266, Othoban (4) the Legate excom- P* 6 ** 7**
municated all Clergymen engaged in the Earl of Leicejlers
Party.

In 1268, (5) the fame Legate convened at St. Paul's Cmmih m-
at London a national Council (6), where were publifhed *■ i^",*"
certain Conftitutions brought from Rome, fome whereof p . 4.00.
are ftill part of the Canon-Law of the Englijh Church. T. Wito*
As feveral of thefe Conftitutions tended to leffen the" 1, Si "
Power and Jurifdiction of the Bifhops, ftrong oppofition,
was made againft them ; which obliged the Legate to.
prorogue the Aflembly till next Day. He fo wifely im-
proved this fhort Adjournment, that gaining in this In-
terval, either by Promifes or Threats, fuch as appeared
moft averfe, on the morrow he met with no farther op'
pofition. This was the method of holding Councils m
thofe Days.

The Ift of thefe Conftitutions allows Laymen to admi- EatJHMd}
nifter Baptifm in cafe of Neceffity. %'" g n

The lid forbids Priefts to take Money for adminiftring
the Sacraments, and prefcribes thefe Words to be made
ufe of in giving Abfolution : / abfolve thee from all thy Sins j
or, By the Authority committed unto me, I abfolve thee, &c.
Hence it may be inferred that there were ftill fome
Priefts, who made a Scruple to pronounce the Abfolution,
in a direct manner, and were contented with a bare De*
claration.

The IXth enjoins Refidence to Clergymen (7).

The XHIth confirms the Privilege of Sanctuary to
Churches.

The XlVth ordains the folemnizing of Marriage in
Publick.

The XXth is againft thofe that pretend to give a Com-
penfation, in lieu of the Penance enjoined them.

The XXIIId piovides againft alienating any part of
the Tythes from the Parochial Clergy. This Conftitution
particularly concerned the Monks, to whom fuch Aliena-
tions were daily appropriated.

The XXXth is againft Pluralifts.

The XXXIft forbids the giving Benefices in Commen- Originate/
dam, and declares a Benefice, held in that manner, va- Commel >'

dam,.






(1) T. H'ikeitays, it was in Ofrey Monaftery, near Otfird; p. 39.

(2) He was tied to a State and burnt j whereas the Jooportor was condemned Co perpetual Imprifonment, and to be fed with nothing but Bread and Water.
*Z frikts, p. 39.

(3) Namely, Baptifm, Confirmation, Penance, the Euchariir, Extreme Unction, Matrimony, and Orders.

(4.) Rafir. by mifUlce fays Otbi, but Qtb; had left England long before, in 1241, as Rapin himlclf has related in the. ReSg" of ttur. III. See above,
»• 3'3



(5) Spctman places tins Council in the Year 124S. SesCusf, Tom, U, p. sCt,

(6) Afrit 8. T. tntes, p. 85. p J
t:) 'J'o Vitar;, gee Spina* Qok. Tom, II. 5, zi^-„



cant



Book VIII.



The State of the Church.



353



Paul Hift. of
tlie Incju'if.
hi Ven.



gee certain

Cjrjons

vejted.



cant. This Cufrom, which was become much in vogue,
owned its Original to the Perfections to which the Church
was expofed, whilft the northern Nations were over-run-
ning the Weftern Empire. When by the Fury of the
Wars, the Priefts and Bifhops themfelves were forced to
fly, the principal Prelates of the Province appointed Priefts
to officiate in the vacant Benefices, till the Paftor could
refume the Care of his Flock. This Cuftom at length
was abufed in a manner very prejudicial to the Church.
After Peace was reftored, fuch Piiefts as were not the true
Paftors, and were ftiled Commendatories, were however
continued in the Benefices. For this reafon feveral Councils
endeavoured to reform this Abufe, by decreeing, that thofe
who held Benefices in Commcn/lam mould not receive the
Profits, or officiate as Paftors above fix Months. But
the Popes, pretending to be above the Canons, con-
tinued to difpofe of the Benefices in Commendam for Term
of Life.

The XXXIId Canon decrees, that before a Bifhop
was confecrated, ftrict Enquiry fhould be made, Whe-
ther he held more Livings than one, without a Difpen-
fation, and Whether the Difpenfation was authentick and
in form ?

The XXXIVth declares void all previous Contracts be-
tween Patrons and Perfons prefented to Benefices.

Thefe are the principal Councils held in England, from
the beginning of the Reign of Henry II, to the end of that
of Henry III, that is, during the fpace of fix-fcore Years.
After having obferved the manner of making the Canons, it
Artifice 10 will be neceffary to add another Remark on that Subject. It
happened very often, that in order to get a Canon palled,
which was like to meet with ftrong oppofition, it was in-
ferted, among many others of great ufe. This was done,
that the oppofers might be accufed of being againft Regu-
lations of known ufefulnefs. This Artifice was not only
practifed in Councils but likewife in Parliaments, when to
pafs certain Bills, others of abfolute Ncceflity were tacked
to them. However, this practice has met from time to
time with fuch ftrong oppofition, that it has not been able
hitherto to grow into Cuftom.

What we have obferved in fome of thefe Councils,
concerning the Celibacy of the Clergy, is a clear Evi-
dence, that it was not yet univerfally eftablifhed, though
it is pretended that Anfelm accomplifhed it in the Reign
of Henry I. This Evidence may be farther fupported by
Facts. Long after Anfelm, Richard, a Bifhop of Lich-
field, was Son of Robert Bifhop of Chejier ; upon which
an Hiftorian remarks, that in thofe Days, the being Son
to a Prieft was no obftacle to Promotions in the Church.
The fame Hiftorian relates, That the Pope complaining,
that the Bifhop elect of Ely was not come to Rome for
his Confirmation, the Englijh Ambaffador merrily re-
plied, the Prelate had a very lawful Excufe, taken from



Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 149 of 360)