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67 [551]

him. MarginaliaThe crafty dissimulation of the pope.For þe pope vseth alwais to holde in wyth kings, howsoeuer þe world spedeth. Again if he shuld forsake such a churchly chaplen, the cause being so swete & so gainful þt shuld be agaynst him self, what did he than. Here now cōmeth in thold practise of popish prelacy: to play on both hāds priuely he cōspireth wt thone, & openly dissēbleth wt thother. Fyrst he graūteth to þe kinges ambassadors their request, to haue the legate remoued & to place in þe office, tharchb. ofYork, after his own cōtentation. And yet notwtstāding to tēdre þe cause of T. Becket, he addeth this promise wtal, that the said Becket should receiue no harme or domage therby. Thus the pope craftely conueyed the matter betwene thē both, glad to further tharchbishop for his own aduauntage, & yet loth to deny the king, for displeasure, wryteth to the king openly, and also secreatlye directeth an other letter to Becket, the contents wherof here follow.

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Alexander Papa Thome Cantuariensi Archiespiscopo.

NOn ergo ob gratiā concessæ legationis animus tuus deiiciatur, nec deducatur in suspirtiis desperationis. Quoniam nos antequā ad hoc deduceremur, vel vllum bueremus consensum predicti nuncii regis firmi in verbo veritatis permanserūt & super hoc si vellemus recipere iuramentū etiā obtulerūt: quod nunquā sine conscientia & volūtate nostra, cedē literæ archiepiscopo eboracen. reddantur. Sane indubitāterte credere volumus, & sine omni scrupulo dubietatis tenendū, quod nunquam in animū nostrū descendit nec vnquam, domino volente descendet, vt te vel ecclesiam tuam alicui personæ velimus in Ecclesiasticis subesse nec nisi tantum Romano pontifici obedite. Et ideo monemus prudentiā tuam at que mandamus quod ex quo perpendere poteris eundē regē literas reddidisse (quod non credimus eū sine nostra conscientia facturum) statim per fidelem nuncium & literas tuas, id nobis significes: vt personam tuam ecclesiam quoque pariter ac ciuitatē tibi cōmissam, ab omni iure legationis autoritate apostolica decernamus piorsus exemptam.

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¶ Alexander the Pope to Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury.

ALthough we condescendinge to the kinges request, haue graunted the gift of our legacy after his minde from you yet let not your mind therby be discomforted, nor brought into syghes of despaire. For before that we had graunted that, or gaue our consent thervnto the kings ambassadors fyrmly promised in the word of truth redy also to be sworn vpon the same, if I would haue so required that their letters also which he had obtayned, should not be deliuered to tharchbishop of yorke wyth out our knowledge and consent therin. This is certen and so perswade your self boldly withoute anye scruple, dout or mistrust, that it neuer was my mind or purpose nor neuer shall be God willinge, to subdue you, or your church vnder thobediēce of any person to be subiect saue only to the bishop of Rome. And therfore we warn you & charge you, that if you shal perceiue the kinge to deliuer these forsaid letters which we truste he will not attēpt, wythout our knowledge to do forthwith by sōe trusty messēger, or by your letters, you wil geue vs knowledge therof whereby we maye prouide vppon the same both your person, your church, & also your city cōmytted to you, to be clearly exempte by our autority apostolical, from all power and iurisdiction of any legacy.

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Vpon these letters & such other as is said before. Becket semed to take al his boldnes to be so stout & sturdye against his prince as he was. The pope beside these sent secreatly to this chaplain of his directed an other letter, also vnto the king, graunting and permitting at hys request, to make tharchbishop of yorke legate apostolicall.

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The king after he had receiued his letters sent from the pope, began to put more strength to his purposed procedings against tharchbishop, beginning fyrst wyth thinferiors of the clergy, such as wer offenders agaynste his lawes, as felons, robbers, quarelers, breakers of peace, MarginaliaMore thā an C. murders done by the clergy Guliel. Nerburg. li. 2. ca. 16.& especially such as had committed homicide and murders wherof more than an C. at that time were proued vpon the clergy, as witnesseth Guliel. Nenburgesis in his boke de Gestis Anglorum. lib 2. cap. 16.) vrging and requiring them to be reined after thorder of the lawe temporall, & iustice to be ministred to thē according to their deserts. Fyrst to be depriued, & so to be committed to the seculer hands. This semed to Becket to derogate frō the liberties of holy church, þt the seculer power shuld pas in causes criminal, or sit in iudgemēt against any Ecclesiastical person. This law the roysters then of the clergy had piked and forged out of Anacletus & Euaristus, by whose falsly alleaged and pretensed autority, they haue deduced this their constitution from thapostles which geueth inmunuity to al Ecclesiastical persōs to be fre frō seculare iurisdiction. Becket therfore like a valiaunt champyon fyghting for his liberties, & hauinge the pope of his side wold not permit his clarkes infamed, otherwyse to be cōuēted, thē before ecclesiastical iudges, therto be examined & depriued for their excesse, & no seculer iudge to procede against thē. So that after their depriuation if they shuld incurre the like offence again, then the temporal iudge to take hold vpon them, otherwise not. This obstinate and stoburn rebellion of tharchbishop stirred vp much anger & vexation in the king & not onlye in him, but also in all the nobles & in al the bishops for the greater part that almost he was alone a wonderment to al the realme.

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¶ How Becket was cited to the kinges councel holden at Northampton, and what there was done against him.

THe kinges wrath daily incresed more & more against him, as no meruell was, he caused him to be cited vp to apeare by a certen day at the town of Northāpton, there to make answer to such thinges, as shuld be laid to his charge. So whā the day was come, all the Peres & nobles, with the Prelates of the realme vpon the kings proclamation being assembled in the castel of Northāpton, great fault was found with tharchbishop, for that he personally cited to appeare, came not him self, but sente an other for him. The cause why he came not, Houeden assygneth to be thus: because the king had placed his horse & horsmen in tharchbishops lodging, which was a house there of chanōs, wherwt he being offēded sent word again, þt he would not apeare vnles his lodginges were voyded of the kings horsmen. &c. Wher vpon by the publikesentence as wel of al þe nobles, as of þe bishops, MarginaliaTharchbishop condēned in the councel of Northāpton in the los of all his moueables.al his mouables were adiudged to be confiscate for þe king, vnles þe kings clemency wold remit þe penalty. The stubberne archbishop again for his part quarelling against thorder & form of þe iudgemēt cōplaineth, alledging for him self, seing he is their primat & spiritual father not only of al other in þe realme, but also of the kynge him self, not to be conueniēt the father so to be iudged of his children, the pastor of his flock so to be condēned. But especially complaineth of his felow bishops, who when they shuld rather haue takē his part, so to sit in iudgemēt against their Metropolitane. And this was þe fyrst dais action. The next day folowing, þe king layd an action against him, for one þt was his marshall called Ihon, for certain iniury don to him, and required of þe said archbishop þe repaying again of certē mony, which he (as he said) had lēt vnto him being chācelor, þt sum wherof came to 500.

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markes.
G.ii.