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94 [94]

Actes and Monumentes Of the Churche.
A briefe censure of this rescripte aboue wrytten wyth a general resolution of the reasons thereof.

IF the kinge of England had bene an idolater, couetus, an adulterer, an incest, a murderer, with such like, than the zeale of this Archbishop threatninge the king and such as tooke his part, had deserued praise in this epistle, and the scripture wold haue born him out therin. For these and such causes should bishops prosecute the autority of the Gospel against al persones. But the matter standinge only, vpon church goodes, liberty or rather licentiousnes of priestes, making of deanes, titles of churches, superioritie of crouning the king, with such other to stand so stiff in these, is not to defēd the church: but to rebel against the king. Againe if the principles which he groūdeth herevpon were true, that the Pope were to be obeyed before princes, that the libertie of the church standeth vpon the immunity of priestes , exempted from princes lawes, or vpon ample possessions of the church: or that the Popes law ought to preuaile in all foren countres, and to binde all princes in there owne dominions, or that the sentence of the pope and his popelinges how, or by what affection so euer it is pronounced, by the vndoubted sentence of God: Then all the argumentes of this Epistle do procede and conclude wel. But if they stand not ratified vpon Gods word, but shaking vpon mans traditions, Then what soeuer he inferreth or cōcludeth thereupon, his assumpte beinge false, cannot be true accordinge to the scole saieng. One inconuenience beinge graūted in the beginning innumerable folow therupō. So in thepistle it happeneth as is aboue noted, that the Maior of this man is true, but his Minor is cleane false, and to be denied.

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But to proceade farther in the order of the history after theise letters sente to and fro the yeare of the Lorde lorde. 1169. which was the. 15. of the raigne of henry the seconde, the kinge misdoubtinge and fearing with him selfe, that the archbishop would proceade or exceade rather in his excommunication against his own person, to preuēt the mischief, made his appele to the presence of the Pope, requiring to haue certaine legates sent downe from Rome from the popes side, to take vp the matter betwene þe archbishop and him: Requiring more ouer that they might also be obsolued, that were interdicted. Wherupon two Cardinalls beinge sent from Alexander the Pope with letters to the king, came into Normandie, where they appoynted the archbishop to mete them before the king vpon saint martines day. But þe archbishop neither agreing with the day nor the place delayd his comming to the eight day after, nether would any further than to Grisorsium. Where the two Cardinals and the archbishop with other bishopes cōuētinge together, had a certaine intreatye of peace and reconciliation, but which came to no conclusion. The contēts of which intretie or actiō, bycause it is sufficiētly conteined in þe Cardinals letters, who were called Gulielmus, and Odo, written to the Pope, it shal require no further labour, but to shewe out the wordes of the letter, where the somme of the whole may appere. The wordes of the letter be theise.

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¶ The copy of the Epistle writtē and sēt by two Cardinals to the pope concerning the matter of the Archbishop Becket

WIlliam and Otho Cardinalls of the churche of Rome, to Alexander the Pope &c. Comminge to the lande of the kinge of England, we founde thecontrouersy betwixt him and archbishoppe of Canterbury more sharp and vehement, than we would, for the king and the greter parte of them aboute him saide, that the Archbishoppe had sturredd vp the french kinge greuousely against him & also the earle of flanders his kinsman who bare no displeasure to him before, he made him his open aduersary, ready to warre against him as is by diuerse euidences most certeine. Thus whan we came to Cadomus firste to the kings speache, we gaue þe letters of your fatherhoode to his handes. which after that hee had receaued and considered bryngynge forthe with all other letters receaued from you before something, diuers & altering frō these which he receued of vs was moued and sturred with no little indignation, sainge: that the Archbishop after our departure from you, had receaued of you other contrary letters by the vertue where of hee was exempted from our iudgemente, so that he shoulde not be compelled to aunswere before vs. Moreouer the saide kinge to vs added and affirmed, and so did the bishoppes ther present testifieng the same, that concerning the old and auncient customs of his progenitors. wherof complainte was made to you, all that for the most part was false and vntrue which was intimate to you. Offeringe farther to vs, that if there were any suche customes or lawes in his time, that semed preiudiciall or disagreable to the statutes of the church, he would willingly be contēt to reuoke and disanul the same wherupon we with other Archbishoppes, bishoppes, and Abbotes of the land hearinge the kīg so resonable. labored by al menes we might that the kinge should not vtterly breake from vs, but rather shuld incline to vs, to haue the matter brought before vs, bewixt him and the fornamed Archbishop, by reson wherupon, we directed out our owne chaplens with letters vnto him apoyntinge him both time and place wher safly he might mete with vs in the fest of s. Martin. Neuerthelesse he pretēding certain excuses, made his dilatores, dryuinge of the time from the day of S. Martine to the octaues folowinge which thing sturred the kinges hart more then is to bee thoughte. Thus the Archbishop although we offered to him safe coming

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