M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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" and within the Kingdom, and alfo to his Subjeas, that
•' no Man living, knowing what he was could confide in
" him; yea he was reputed fo unfaithful and inconftant,
" that he was not only a fcandal to his own Perfon, but
" to the whole Kingdom, and all Strangers that knew
" him.

" XXVI. Though the Lands, Tenements, Goods, and

' Chattels of all Freemen, by the Laws of the Land,

" ought not to be feized without Forfeiture ; yet the faid

King intending to enervate thofe Laws in the prefence

of many Lords, and others of the Community of the

" Kingdom, he often faid and affirmed, That the Life

" of every Subjea, his Lands, Tenements, Goods, and

' Chattels, were his, to be difpofed as he pleafed without

'•' forfeiture ; which was altogether againft the Laws and

" Cuftoms of his Kingdom.

" XXVII. Although it had been made a Law, which
,l had hitherto been confirmed, That no Freeman might
'' betaken, tstc. nor any ways deftroyed, nor that the
King fhould proceed againft him, but by lawful Trial
of his Peers, or the Law of the Land ; yet according
* to the Will, Command, and Appointment of the faid
King, very many of his Lieges being malicioufly ac-
cufed, for having fpoke publickly, or privately, Words
" that might tend to the fcandal and difgrace of the
King's Perfon, were taken, imprifoned, and brought
" before the Conftable and Marfhal in the Court Mili-
tary ; where being accufed, they could not be ad-
" mitted to give any other Anfwer, than Not Guilty ;
" and could defend themfelves no otherwife than by their
" Bodies, their Accufers being young Men, lufty, and
" found ; whereas they were old, impotent, lame, and
" infirm ; from whence not only the deftruaion of
" Lords and great Men, but of fingular Perfons of the
" Community of the Kingdom very likely might have
" followed : When therefore the faid King willingly
" contravened this Law, no doubt he incurred Per-

" j ur y-

" XXVIII. Although the People of England, by vir-
" tue of their Liegeance, were fufficiently bound to their
" King, and if they offended in any manner, he might
" correct and punifh them by the Laws and Cuftoms of
" the Kingdom ; yet the faid King defiring to fupplant,
" and too much opprefs his People, that he might more
6 " freely

Book X.



" freely execute, and be able to follow the fancy of his
" foolifh and unlawful Will, he fent his Letters into all
" Counties of his Kingdom, that all his Lieges, as well
" Spiritual as Temporal, fhould take certain Oaths in
" general, which were too burthenfome to them, and
*' which very likely might caufe the final Deftruclion of
" his People, and that under their Letters and Seals they
" fhould confirm thefe Oaths ; which Command the Peo-
" pie obeyed, left they fhould incur his Indignation, and
" for fear of Death.

" XXIX. When the Parties contending in the Eccle-
" fiaftick Court, in Caufes merely Ecclefiaelick and Spi-
" ritual, endeavoured to procure Prohibitions to hinder
" Procefs in the fame, from the Chancellor of England,
" who out of Juffice refufed to grant them, yet the fame
" King often granted them under his Signet, wickedly
" infringing the Church Liberties granted in Magna
" Charta, which he had fworn to preferve, damnably
" incurring Perjury, and the fentence of Excommunica-
" tion pronounced by the Holy Fathers againft the Viola-
" tors of Church Liberties.

" XXX. The faid King in Parliament, comparted
" about with armed Men, without reafonable Caufe or
" legal Piocefs, contrary to the Laws of the Kingdom,
" banifhtd Thomas Arundel Archbifhop of Canterbury, and
" his Spiritual Father, being then abfent by his Contri-
" vance.

" XXXI. Upon perufal of the faid King's Will under
*' his Great Seal, Privy Seal, and Signet, there was in it
" this Claufe : Alio we Will, that the Debts of our Houfe,
" Chamber, and Wardrobe being paid, for which we
" all/nv twenty thoufand Pounds, and the Leprofe, and
" Chaplains we appointed to be maintained at Weftmin-
" fter, and Bermondfey, for which we allow five or fix
" thoufand Marks, the Refidue of our Gold /hall re-
" main to our Succejfor, upon condition he approves, ra-
" tifies, confirms, holds, and caufeth to be holdcn and
" obferved, all Laws, Statutes, Ordinances and Judg-
" merits, made, had, or dene, in the Parliament held at
" Weftminfler, on the lyth of September, in the zijl of
" our Reign, and continued or adjourned to Shrewsbury,
" and all things done at Coventry, on the 16th of Sep-
" tember, in the zzd of our Reign, as alfo ivhat was
" done at Weitminfter, on the i nth of March, in the
" fame Year, by Authority of the fame Parliament.
" But if he Jhall lcjufe to do thefe things, then we
" will that Thomas Duke of Surrey, Edward Duke of
" Aumarle, John Duke oj Exeter, and William le Scrope
" Earl e/"Wiltlhire, my Debts, &c. as aforefaid, being
" paid, Jhall have the faid Refidue for the Defence of
*' the Statutes, Ordinances, Judgments, and Stabiliments
" aforefaid, to the utmojl of their Power, yea, to Death,
" if it be neceffary. Upon all winch things we burthen
" their Conjciences, as they will anfwer it at the Day
" of Judgment." By which Article it appears evidently,
That the lame King endeavoured pertinacioufly to main-
tain thofe Statutes and Ordinances, which were erroneous,
wicked, and repugnant to all Law and Reafon, not only
in his Life, but after he was dead, neither regarding the
Danger of his Soul, or the utmoft Deftru£f.ion of his King-
dom or liege People.

" XXXII. In the eleventh Year of the faid King
" Richard, at his Manor of Langley, in the prefenceof the
" Dukes of Lancajler and York, and many other Lords,
" defiling, as it feemed, that his Uncle the Duke of Glo-
" cejler, there alfo prefent, might truft and have Confi-
" dence in him, of his own accord, fware upon the ve-
" nerable Sacrament of the Lord's Body placed upon the
" Altar, that he would pardon unto him all things which
" were faid to be committed againft his Perfon, and that
" he fhould never receive any Damage for them ; yet
" afterwards the faid King, notwithstanding this Oath,
" caufed the Duke for thofe Offences horribly and cru-
" elly to be murdered, damnably incurring the Guilt of
" Perjury.

" XXXIII. After a Knight of the Shire, who had a
" Vote in Parliament, impeached the Archbifhop of Can-



ierbury, publickly before the King and all the States
of the Kingdom, upon certain Defects committed
againft the King, with little Truth, as it was faid ;
Although he offered prefently to anfwer what was ob-
jected againft him, and dclired to be admitted by the
King fo to do, fufficiently trufting, as he faid, to de-
monltrate his Innocency, yet the fame King contriv-
ing by all the ways and means lie could, to opprefs
and reduce to nothing the State of the Archbifhop, as
the Event fhewed, kindly fpake to, and earncftly de-
fired him, that he would fay nothing then, but expect
a more fit time : That day being paft, for five days
and more together, the King deceived him, advifing
and perfuading him not to come to Parliament, but to
remain at his own Houfe, promifing, that in his Ab-
fencc he fhould not receive Injury ; but the faid King
in that Parliament, banifhed the Archbifhop during
his Pleafure, being abfent, and not called to anfwer,
without any reafonable Caufe, confifcating all his Goods
againft the Laws of the Land and all Juftice, by which
he incurred Perjury. Further, the King intending to
palliate his Inconftancy, by flattering Words, endea-
voured to caft the Injury done him upon others:
Whence the Archbifhop having difcourfe with the
King, the Duke of Norfolk, other Lords, and great
Men lamenting faid, he was not the firft that had been
banifhed, nor fhould be the laff, for that he thought
within a fhort time the Duke of Norfolk, and other
Lords would follow him ; and conftantly told the
King, that the Confequenccs of the Premifes would
fall upon his own Head at laft : To which the King,
as if he had been aftonifhed, prefently anfwered, he
thought it might fo happen, he might be expelled his
Kingdom by his Subjects ; and farther faid, if it fhould
be fo, he would go to the Place where he was ; and
that the Archbifhop might believe him, he fhewed him
a great Jewel of Gold, which he would fend to him
as a Token, that he would not defer his coming to the
Place where he was. And that the fame Archbifhop
might have greater Confidence in him, he fent to him,
advifing him, that he fhould privately fend all the Jew-
els belonging to his Chapel to be fafely kept, left un-
der the colour of the Judgment of Banifhment, they
might be feized ; it being fo done, the King caufed
the Goods to be put in Coffers, which hecaufed to be
locked, and fealed by one of the Archbifhop's Clerks,
by whom he fent the Keys to him ; and afterwards
caufed the Coffers to be broken, taking the Goods,
and difpofing of them as he pleafed ; the fame Kino-
alfo faithfully promifed the Archbifhop, that if he
would go to the Port of Hampton, in order to go out
of the Kingdom, that by the Queen's Interceffion he
fhould be recalled ; and if it fhould fo happen as he
fhould go out of the Kingdom, yet after E after next
coming, without fail, he fhould return into England,
nor fhould he any way lofe his Archbifhoprick : This
he faithfully promifed, fwearing to it, touching the
Crofs of Thomas the Martyr, Archbifhop of Canter-
bury : Which Promifes notwithftanding, the King
caufed the Archbifhop to go out of the Kingdom, and
wrote to the Pope for his Tranflation ; and thus, and
otherwife, by the Frauds and Cheats of the King, was
the Archbifhop, a Man of good Faith, craftily circum-

Thefe Articles being drawn up, were laid before the Richard ft
Parliament, who with one Voice acknowledged them to &!»!«*•
be well grounded and publickly known, and pronounced,
that Richard fhould be depofed. At the fame time, Com-
miffioners were appointed to give him notice of his Depo-
fition, and to annul the Oaths and Homage of the People
of England, after much the fame manner as in the Cafe
of Edward II ( i ).

This Affair being thus fettled, and the Throne become Tie Date of
vacant, the Duke of Lancajler rofe up, and after croffing LanoftVr
himfelf, claimed the Crown. He built his Preteniions, c*^,.
upon his being defended from Henry III, and upon the Right

(i) The Bilhop of St. Afaph, the Abbot of Glajlor.bury, the Earl of Ghcejler, the Lord Berkely, Sir Thomas Erpingham, and Sir Thomas Grey, and
William Thyrnmg Juftice, were appointed to pronounce Sentence of Depofition againlt King Richard, which being drawn up in writing, was read by the
Biihop of St. Ajapb as follows : " In the Name of God, Amen. We Join B.ihop of St. Ajapb, John Abbot of GiaJLniury, Tiomas Earl of Glxc/lcr,
a Thomas Lord Berkeley, Thomas de Erpyngham, and Thomas Grey, Knights, and William Thyrning Judiciary, by the spiritual and Temporal Peers, and
" Great Men of the Kingdom of England, and by the Communities of the fame, reprefenting all States thereof, being fpecially deputed Commiiiioneia
" for the things underwritten, duly conlidering the many Perjuries, Cruelty, and many other Crimes committed by King Rieiard in the time of his
" Government, and publickly exhibited and recited before the States, which were fo publick, notorious, manifeft, and famous, as they could no way be
" denied ; and alfo of his Contelnon, acknowledging, and truly of his own certain knowledge, judging himfelf to have been altogether inefficient tor the
" Government of the Kingdoms and LordUiip alorelaid , and that for his notorious Demerits he was worthy to be depo:cd j which thing by his own Will
" and Command were publilhed before the States. Having had diligent Deliberation upon thefe things, for the greater Caution to the Government of the
" Kingdoms, and Dominion aforefaid, the Rights and Appurtenances of the fame, in the Name and Authority to us committed, do prenounce, decree,
" and declare, that very Richard to be depofed defervedly from all Royal Dignity and Honour, and for the like Caution, we depofe Kim by our defini-
" tive Sentence in this Writing, exprefly inhibiting all and fingular Archbilhops, Bilnops, and Prelates, Dukes, Marquilfes, Earls, Barons, Knights, Vaf-
" his, and Valvafors, and all other Men and Subjects of the laid Kingdoms and Dominion or Places belonging to them, for the future to obey the faid
" Richard as King." Then the States, that nothing might be wanting, being feverally interrogated, did conilitute certain Perfons to be their Proctors,
named by the faid Commiliioners, to go and relign to King Richard the Homage and Fealty that had been made to him, and give him notice of what
had been done touching his Depolition and Renunuation. Rot. Fart. 1 lien. IV.


47 6


Vol. I.



be bad received from God, by the Ajfijlance of bis Relations
and Friends-, for the Recovery of bis Realm of England,
which was upon the brink of Dcjlruition ( I ).

It was not without reafon that he affe&ed to make ufe
of obfcure Expreflions, which left undetermined the Foun-
dation on which he built his pretended Right. If he
feemed to derive his Title from Henry III, rather than
from Edivard III his Grandfather, it was, becaufe there
was a Rumour, that Edmund Earl of Lancajlcr, firnamed
Crouch-Back, was eldeft Son of Henry III, but by reafon
of his Deformity, Edwardl, his younger Brother, was
placed on the Throne. According to this Suppofition,
the Duke would have made the Ignorant believe, he
could ground his Title upon being Son of Blanch ofLan-
cajler, Grand-daughter of Edmund Crouch-Back, and
Heirefs of that Family. But as he was fenfible, every
Body could not be impofed upon by fo grofs a Forgery,
he added certain Expreflions, intimating, that he built his
Rioht alfo upon the Service he had juft done the State.
This is the meaning of the Claim, expreiTed in fuch ob-
fcure Terms.

As it was refolved to adjudge the Crown to the Duke,
the Parliament took care not to examine his Claim too
clofely, but were verv willing to fuppofe it unconteftable.
Thus, without any Regard to the juit Rights of the Earl

of March, it was decreed that Henry of Lancafter fhould 1 399,
be proclaimed King of England and France, and Lord of
Ireland, which was done that very Day, being the 30th
of September (2).

Thus ended the Reign of Richard II, a Prince who in End of tie
his younger Years feemed to have noble and generous In- J?E'jh >
clinations, but unfortunately fuffered himfelf to be corrupt-
ed by Flattery. He had the Advantage of being defcended
from a Father and Grandfather fo univerfally eiteemed,
that had he never fo little anfwered the Noblenefs of his
Birth, he might have been one of the moft glorious Kings
that ever wore the Englijb Crown. But like Edward II
his Great-grandfather, he had the Weaknefs to give him-
felf up to the Guidance of his Favorites. Accordingly he
underwent the fame Fate with that Prince, whom he did
but too much refemble in every other refpect. The chief
Difference to be obferved between them is, that Richard
was of a more cruel and inflexible Temper, and ufurped
a more abfolute Power than Edward, which rendered
him more odious, and lefs lamented. Let us clofe this
Reign with a Reflection which the fad Cataftrophe of thefe
two Princes affords ; namely, That in a Government like
that of England, all the King's Endeavours to ufurp an
arbitrary Power, are but fo many Steps towards his De-
ftrudlion ( 3 ).




Reign of Edward I, in 1272, to the End of the Reign of

R 1 c h a r d II, in 1 399.

Tyranny tf
the C . r
X' nif. <witb
rt \ard to

A :

F T E R John Lackland became VaiTal and
. Tributary to the See of Rome, the Popes con-
fideied England only as a conquered Country,
for which they had no manner of regard. Of
this the Reigns of John and Henry III, afford us fuch
flagrant Inftances, that it would be needlefs to add any
thing to fhew to what Excefs the Papal Power was carried
in the Kingdom. It will fuffice to remark, that the In-
croachments of the Court of Rome continuing inceflantly,
or rather daily increafing, the Englijb grew fo weary of
them, that at length in the Reign of Edward I, they be-
gan to feek effectual means for their Deliverance. This
was not however till after frequent Experience, that all
their Complaints and Solicitations to the Popes were to no

purpofe. Herein chiefly confifls what I have to fay con-
cerning Religion during the four Reigns we have gone
through. But to render this matter more intelligible, it
will be neceflary briefly to obferve the Occafion of the
Difputes England had, as well with the Court of Rome,
as with the Clergy.

I. The firft Caufe of Complaint, was the frequent Ap- Complains, f
peals to the Court of Rome, not one of which was rejected. '" *"P;?*

II. The frequent Citations were complained of, caufed /w.
by thefe Appeals, which obliged People to fpend theii Sub- Ryky'r
fiance in Journeys to Rome, to follicit their Affairs. j' .'■'

III. That the Pope had ufurped the Collation of almoft statutes.' 17 *
all the Church-Preferments, not excepting the Biihopricks Aa - P u °-

IV. p. 382^
38 ft & c

(1) He chimed the Crown in the Form following : " In the Name of the Fader, Sonne and Holy Ghoft, 1 Henry of Lancajlcr chalenge this Rewme of
" Ynghnde and the Croune, with all the Membres and the Appurtenances, als 1 that am defcendit be ryght Lyne of the Blcde, coming fro the gude Lord King
" llcmy therde, and thorghe that Ryght that God of his grace hath fent me, with helpe of my kyn and of my friendes to recover it : the which Rewme was
" in poynt to be undone lor defaut of Governance, and undoying of the gude Lawes."

(2) After all which King Henry faid, " Sires, I thank God and Zowe Spirituel and Tempore!, and all the aftates of the Lond, and do zowe to wyte, ic
" es noght my will that no Man thyntc that be waye of conqueft I wold difherit any man of his heritage, franches, or other ryghts that him aght to have,
" nor put hym out of that that he has, and has had by the gude Lawes and Cuftumes of the Rewme ; except thus petfons that has ben agan the gude purpofe
*' ar.d the commune profyt of the Rewme."

(3) In King Richard's Reign, was brought in the Cuftom of wearing piked Shoes, tied to the Knees with Chains of Silver. Alfo Ladies ufed high Attire
on their Heads, piked Horns, with long trained Gowns, and rode on Side-Saddles, after the Example of the Queen, Ann of Bohemia, who firft brought that

Fafhiur. into this Kingdom j for, before, Women ufed to ride aftride like Men. Status Ann. p. zes^ In 1397* King Richard began repairing Wefi-

mfajlcr-Hall, and caufed the Walls, Windows, and Roof to be taken down and new built, with a (lately Porch, as it now remains. Stezv's Survey, B. 6,
p. 43. Camden in Middlesex. Rymers Feed. Tom. VIII. p. 749.

' In the iSth of Richard II, a Pound Weight of Gold of the old Standard was to make by Tale forty fire Noblw, amounting to fifteen Pounds, or a
proportionable Number of half or quarter Nobles: And a Pound Weight of Silver of the old Sterling, to make by Tale leventy five Groffes or Groats,
amounting to twenty five Shillings, or a hundred and fifty half Groffes, at Two-pence a-piece, or three hundred Sterlings at a Penny a-piece, or fix hun-
dred half Sterlings: And Nicholas Malakint a Florentine, was Matter and Worker. Thefe Rofe Nobles (if that in Speed be genuine, for it wants both the
R ife and the conftant Legend of J ejus aatem, &c.) gives his Portraiture in a fedentary Pofture, with a Sword in his Right hand, and RICAR. D. GRA.
AGLIE. FRANCIE REX. D. AQVIT. On the Reverfe, AVXIL1VM. MEVM. A. DOMINO. His Crown is' Fleurie, as in thofe of his Prede-
ceffors, but no Rays betwixt the Flowers. We ought perhaps to read HYB for AQVIT. fince it's haid to imagine, why Ajuitain fhould be fo much as
mentioned after Frame ; and AGLIE inftead of ANGL1E, makes it probable, that this was rather coined by Richard 111, (in whole Reign that way
of writing was in ufe) than by the lid, His other Coins were exaftly like bis Grandfather's. RICARDUS, REX. ANCLL3S. Reverie, C1VITAS.

6 and

Book X.

77>e State of the Churc h;


and Archbifliopricks, contrary to the Rights of the King,
the Chapters, and the Patrons.

This Encroachment was grown to that height, that
there was not a Benefice great or fmall, but what the
Popes difpofed of, by the infallible means they had con-
trived to be matters of all the Collations. One while,
by the Plenitude of the Apoftoliclc Power, they referved
to themfelves all the Benefices which fhould become void
by Tranflation. Another while, all fuch as fhould be
vacant by Death, or any other way whatever. By this
means they eluded all the Canonical Elections in Eng-
land, without alledging other Reafons, fave, that they had
referved to themfelves beforehand the Right of Nomina-
tion to thefe Benefices. It appeared fo plainly, that their
Aim was to procure by degrees the Collation of all
the Benefices of the Kingdom, that every one could not
but fee it. For whenever they could not make ufe of
thefe Pretences, they feldom failed to object againft the
Party elected, and confer the Benefice upon another.
Very often, when the Bifhop elect came to be confirm-
ed, he found his Bifhoprick already difpofed of by the
Ibid. p. 37 1. IV. But as this was generally the occafion of great
3 8 S- Contefts, and as thofe that were canonicallv elected were

commonly fupported by the King, the Pope found a cer-
tain means to free himfelf from thefe Importunities. He
beftowed thefe Bifhopricks, and other Benefices, before
they v/ere vacant, by way of Provifion ; and this was ano-
ther great caufe of the Complaint for the Englijh.

V. It was moreover complained of, that moft of the
Benefices difpofed of by the Pope, by the Plenitude of his
Power, were conferred on Foreigners, particularly on the
Cardinals, and their Relations, who by virtue of the
Pope's Difpenfation, enjoyed the Profit without ever re-
fiding. Thefe Benefices were commonly farmed out to
the EngliJ/j, who, to make the moft profit, got the Cure
ferved lor a very fmall Salary. Hence Divine Service was
neglected, the Churches ran to ruin, Hofpitality was ba-
nifhed, and the Inftrudtion of Chriftians almoft wholly
abolifhed. Hence likewife this further Inconvenience,
the Money was carried out of the Kingdom for ever.
It may eafily be judged how prejudicial this was to the
Country, if it is confidered, that by a Calculation made
in the Reign of Henry III, the foreign Ecclefiafticks
were found to have greater Revenues in England than the
King himfelf.

VI. Another caufe of Complaint fprang from the fre-
quent Taxes impofed on the Clergy by the Popes ; one
while, under colour of a Crufade ; another while, to fup-
ply the Neceffities of the Holy See; and laftly, by the
Tenths, which they liberally granted to the King, be-
caufe they generally had a fhare.

Pub. VII. In the next Place, the Legates and Nuntio's,
VI. p. 558. fent into England without any Neceflity, were a great
Grievance to the Englijh. The Clergy were not only
obliged to maintain them at a great Expence, but alfo to
make them confiderable Prefents, and pay them Procu-
rations, and other Impofitions, which the Pope allowed
them to levy upon the Ecclefiafticks. Hence the Mo-
ney went out of the Kingdom, without any poflibility of
recovering it.
p. 74.7. VIII. The Popes were likewife poflefTed of the Firft-

Fruits of all the Benefices, from whence arofe the fame
Inconvenience, I mean a great exhaufting of the King-
dom's Treafure.

IX. Peter-Pence, which originally was only a charita-
ble Allowance, granted by the Saxon Kings for the Main-
tenance of the Englijh College at Rome, was converted
into a Tribute ; which the Pope collected in a very ri-
gorous manner, very different from that practifed in for-
mer Days.

X. In fine, the Tribute King John had ingaged to
pay the Holy See, and which the Popes exacted with
great haughtinefs, was confidered by the Englijh as an
intolerable Yoke, and a ftanding Badge of their Servi-

Cmplahtt ^- As to tne Contefts between the Crown and the
againft tbt Clergy, the King and the Magiftrates complained, that the
Clfgy. Clergy were continually endeavouring to encroach upon

the Prerogatives of the Crown, fecure as they were, of

being always fupported by the Pope.

XII. That the Clergy had extended their Jurifdiction

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