Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England

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Chronica Roger de Hoveden, R. S., Vol. 51, pt. 1, pp. 219–222. World History

93.

The Dispute Between Henry and Thomas

In the year of grace 1163, which was the ninth year of the reign of King Henry, son of the Empress Matilda, this same king of England returned from Normandy into England; and King Malcolm having recovered at Doncaster from a great illness, peace was established between him and the king of England. In the same year Alexander, the pope, held a general council at Tours, in which he excommunicated Octavianus, the antipope.

In the same year a serious conflict arose between the king of England and Thomas, the archbishop of Canterbury, concerning ecclesiastical dignities which this same king of the English was attempting to disturb and diminish, while that famous archbishop was striving in all ways to preserve the laws and authority of the church unimpaired. The king wished to bring to secular trial priests, deacons, subdeacons, and other churchmen if caught in robbery, murder, felony, arson, or any like misdemeanor, and then to punish them the same as laymen. Against this the archbishop said that if a clerk, established in holy orders, or any other churchman, should have been charged with anything, he ought to be judged by ecclesiastical men and in the ecclesiastical court, and if he were convicted he ought to lose his rank; then if, removed from office and his ecclesiastical benefice, he should afterwards do wrong, he should be judged according to the will of the king and his officers.

In the year 1164, which was the tenth year of the reign of King Henry, son of the Empress Matilda, this same Henry gave to Henry, duke of Saxony, his daughter Matilda in marriage.

In the same year the king summoned a great council, including all the bishops and archbishops of England, and begged that they would receive the laws of Henry his grandfather and carefully guard them, for love of him and for the good of the kingdom. Thomas, the archbishop of Canterbury, on behalf of himself and others, replied to the king that they would receive those laws which he called his grandfather’s, and would preserve them in good faith, saving always the dignity of the archbishop’s rank, and the honor of God and the holy church. This kind of assent displeased the king very much, and he tried in every way to accomplish his design, that the bishops should promise without any exception that they would observe those laws; but the archbishop of Canterbury was unwilling to promise this in any way. . . .

The Council of Clarendon

Then there came into England a certain religious man, Philip d’Aumâle, sent as legate a latere from Alexander the pope, and all the cardinals, to make peace between the king and the archbishop of Canterbury; through him the chief pontiff and all the cardinals commanded the archbishop of Canterbury that he should make peace with the lord king of England and promise to obey his laws without any exception. Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, agreeing to these and other plans of the great men, came to the king at Woodstock, and there promised the king that he would, in good faith and without any evil thoughts, keep his laws. A little afterwards the king summoned the clergy and people of the kingdom to Clarendon, where the archbishop regretted having made this concession to the king. Wishing to withdraw from his promise, he said that he had sinned greatly in ever yielding, but that he would sin no farther. The king was greatly angered by this and threatened him and his followers with death and exile. And so there came to him the bishops of Salisbury and Norwich, as well as Robert, earl of Leicester, and Reginald, earl of Cornwall; and likewise two Templars came, Richard of Hastings and Tostes of St. Omer. Weeping they threw themselves at the feet of the archbishop and begged that he would, on account of the honor of the king, go to him and say before the people that he would receive his laws.

Constitutions of Clarendon

The archbishop was moved by the entreaties of so many men, and, coming to the king before the clergy and people, made the statement that he would accept those laws which the king called his grandfather’s; and he granted that the bishops should receive those laws and that they should promise to enforce them. Then the king ordered all the earls and barons of the kingdom to go apart and collect all the laws of Henry the king, his grandfather, and put them in writing. When this had been done the king ordered the archbishops and bishops to place their seals to that writing; and although the rest were ready to do this, the archbishop of Canterbury swore that he would never affix his seal to that writing nor confirm those laws. When the king had seen that he could not get on in this way, he had those laws carefully written out in duplicate, and he handed one copy to the archbishop, which he received, contrary to the prohibition of the whole clergy, from the hand of the king himself. Turning to the clergy, he said, "Permit it, brothers; for by this writing we can know the ill will of the king, and against whom we should be on guard." The archbishop then departed from the court; and in no way could he gain the favor of the king. Inasmuch as he had done this thing without advice, he absented himself from that hour from the celebration of his divine duties until either he himself or his messenger should have spoken with the lord pope.

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Chicago: "The Dispute Between Henry and Thomas," Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, ed. Edward Potts Cheyney (1861-1947) (Boston: Ginn, 1935, 1922), 145–148. Original Sources, accessed October 3, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KZVVPCIJNJGV3R9.

MLA: . "The Dispute Between Henry and Thomas." Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, edited by Edward Potts Cheyney (1861-1947), Boston, Ginn, 1935, 1922, pp. 145–148. Original Sources. 3 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KZVVPCIJNJGV3R9.

Harvard: , 'The Dispute Between Henry and Thomas' in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England. cited in 1922, Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, ed. , Ginn, 1935, Boston, pp.145–148. Original Sources, retrieved 3 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KZVVPCIJNJGV3R9.