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for the most enormous crimes, that the abuse became unbearable; and if any attempts were made to interfere with these claims, the clergy appealed to Rome. They doubtless believed that they were thus upholding the liberty of the Church, but they little knew the true nature or due limits of its independence. They forgot also that in an undivided Christian nation, the clergy and laity are the Church,not the clergy only; that the clergy and laity are the State,-not the laity only. And that to exempt the clergy from the operation of the ordinary laws is but to favour, without really benefiting, merely a portion of the Church. These false views caused appeals to the Roman see, the power of which had now become almost unquestioned; nay, such consideration was shown to it, that when on some occasion Pope Alexander was met by Henry and the King of France, those monarchs held his stirrup as he mounted, and led his horse by the bridle.
On the death of Archbishop Theobald the king looked out for some successor to that prelate, on whom he could rely in his endeavours to curb the encroachments of the clergy, and appointed Thomas à Becket, whom he had himself raised to the office of Lord Chancellor. Never did a king take a step more fatal to his own views. No sooner was Becket consecrated, than he set himself to resist the wishes of the king, and Henry found himself bitterly opposed by the very prelate on whose aid he had counted. He summoned, however, a large council at Clarendon, (A.D. 1164), where certain articles (called the Constitutions of Clarendon) were agreed to, by which the clergy were to be tried in the civil courts, and no appeal allowed to Rome without the king's licence. Becket subscribed these articles; but afterwards withdrew his concession; and being assailed by Henry with a succession of vexatious measures, he once (after a solemn mass 2) took in his own hands the silver cross that was usually carried before him, and thus walked into Henry's presence-chamber, where, amidst the assembied nobles, he singly maintained his claims with a courage
2 The word (Missa or) Mass originally signified any office of prayer, and its name was derived from the words used, at the conclusion of prayers, to the people, "Ite, missa est," which implied that they were dismissed. Afterwards the word was more closely appropriated, as at this period, to the office of the holy Eucharist.
that would have been worthy of admiration, had his cause been as sacred as it appeared in his own view. He then fled into France, where he was protected by Louis, and sanctioned by the Pope in excommunicating his enemies, and in threatening to lay the whole kingdom under what was called an Interdict. An Interdict was at that time a recent invention of the Church of Rome, by which the spiritual privileges of a whole nation, men, women, and children, were affected. In fact, instead of depriving merely the guilty of the consolations of religion, as the ancient and lawful measure of excommunication did, it involved guilty and innocent alike. No sooner was it promulged, than the churches were closed; the church-bells were silenced; no public service was performed; and the very Sacraments were withheld except from children and the dying. The fear of such a sentence operated most strongly on men's minds at that time; and probably the king himself, if he did not dread its spiritual effect, was alarmed lest it should shake his subjects' allegiance. At any rate, finding at length that his interests were much affected by that prelate's residence in France, he agreed to an accommodation, and Becket returned to England, to act with more arrogance and contempt of the royal authority than ever. When his proceedings were reported to Henry, the king passionately exclaimed, Have I no one to rid me of the insults of this priest." These words induced four knights to follow the archbishop to Canterbury, where they slew him on the very steps of the altar in the northern transept of the cathedral; a deed which caused Henry the deepest concern, and, as he foresaw, involved him in great difficulty. Becket was canonized by the Pope as a saint about two years after his death; and all the actors or abettors in his murder were at once excommunicated. To show his sorrow for having in any degree occasioned the archbishop's death, Henry some time afterwards walked in solemn procession to the shrine which was built over Becket's tomb, and having bared his shoulders, submitted to be severely scourged by the monks.
The happiness of Henry's reign was marred by this long dispute. In his many wars with Louis, he was very successful; and also in repelling William the Lion, king of Scotland, who, being taken prisoner at Alnwick in A.D.
1174, did homage to Henry for his crown. glory, however, of his reign was the conquest of Ireland, which was then divided among five petty kings; and the aid of Henry was sought by Dermot, king of Leinster, against the kings of Connaught and Meath. Henry had already meditated the conquest of that island, of which he had received a grant from Hadrian IV. (Nicholas Breakspear), the only Englishman that was ever pope. He was, therefore, glad to avail himself of the opening thus afforded, and sanctioned an enterprise which was successfully conducted by Richard Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, who married Dermot's daughter, and succeeded to his crown. Henry himself afterwards landed in Ireland, and the princes of that country submitted to him without resistance. It has ever since been annexed to England, and is now united with great Britain into one kingdom.
The troubles of Henry did not cease with the removal of Becket. The latter years of his life were saddened by the rebellions of his sons; nor can this domestic unhappiness excite surprise, when his treatment of Queen Eleanor is remembered; for Henry had several children by a lady not his wife, whose seclusion at Woodstock, under the name of the fair Rosamond, has been the groundwork of much romance, probably little founded on fact. Notwithstanding this unfaithfulness, the king was tenderly attached to his lawful offspring. He had his eldest son Henry crowned in England; but that prince died before his father; as also did Geoffrey, whose widow bore a son named Arthur, after her husband's death. Richard was entrusted with the government of Guienne, and too often leagued himself with his father's enemies in open rebellion. This was, indeed, the case at the time of Henry's death; which was hastened by the deep mortification of having been worsted in battle by Philip of France, assisted by Prince Richard, and of finding that John, his fourth and favourite son, was in league against him. He died A.D. 1189, and was buried in the nunnery of Fontevrault in Anjou. He has ever been regarded as one of the ablest and greatest of our kings, and was as remarkable for courtesy as for courage. The origin
3 The five kingdoms at that time were Leinster, Ulster, Connaught, Munster and Meath. The most powerful of the petty kings who ruled these districts generally took the title of king of Ireland.
of a scheme of militia, the division of the kingdom into circuits, to each of which itinerant judges were assigned, are attributable to his arrangements. And a memorial of his wisdom still exists in our present system of the judges' circuits, and in the constitution of the three Courts of Queen's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer. It is to be lamented that a character so eminent should have been stained by the vice which has been alluded to.
In the time of Henry, the features of what is called the Norman style of architecture for churches began to be softened in progress towards a style generally named the Early English. The walls of churches were built slighter; the round arch gave way to, or was blended with, the pointed; and a greater height was given to the edifices. But the full results of this change were not yet apparent. Among the constructions, the dates of which are found in the latter half of the twelfth century, are the choir of Canterbury and the nave of Ely cathedrals. The nave of Lincoln cathedral was probably commenced soon after them by St. Hugh, its bishop, whose name is still retained in our English calendar.
RICHARD I. (CŒUR DE LION.)
Born at Oxford. Buried at Fontevrault. Reigned 10 years. From A.D. 1189 to A.D. 1199.
Archbishops of Canterbury.
Baldwin, A.D. 1184-1191.
Reginald, A.D. 1191-1191.
Hubert, A.D. 1192-1205.
(Vacancy one year.)
RICHARD was surnamed Cœur de Lion, on account of his remarkable courage, and the rude magnanimity of his character. He showed deep feeling at the sight of his father's corpse, and dismissed the counsellors by whose evil advice he had been led into undutiful conduct.
The great renown of this king is derived from his share in the third crusade, which he undertook in A.D. 1190, in
concert with Philip Augustus, king of France, whose perfidious and selfish character was a striking contrast to the reckless hardihood and generous self-devotion of Richard.
The transactions of kingdoms, as well as the habits of social life, were much influenced at this time by the laws of chivalry; a system which, with much that was visionary and fantastic, called forth many noble and generous qualities of mind, and softened and elevated the rude manners of the time. Under this singular institution, the fiercest warriors bound themselves to rescue all who were oppressed; to defend at any personal hazard the honour of the weaker sex; and to maintain the most unsullied faith and purity of Christian truth. Great kings were ambitious of being admitted by knighthood into the orders of chivalry; and the fame of Richard is due to him in his character of a peerless knight rather than as a great king. His prowess was such, that the Syrian mothers are said to have stilled their children by the terror of his name; if a horse suddenly started in the way, his rider was wont to exclaim, “Dost thou see King Richard in the bush?" and the Sultan Saladin, who was often defeated by him, paid the homage of a deep admiration to his high spirit and undaunted bearing. His victories were fruitless of any real or lasting good; and in his return from Palestine, this champion of Christendom was seized by Leopold, duke of Austria, whom he had offended, and cast into prison: nor did his subjects know the fate of their sovereign till the place of his captivity was discovered by a minstrel named Blondel, who had been in Richard's service. It is said that Blondel wandered through all Germany to find the place where his master was confined; and when he came to any castle, he sung a melody which was known to Richard, who (he thought) would make himself known by singing the same song in return, if he heard it in his prison. In this way the place where he was confined was found out. A vast ransom was demanded for the king, and was raised by his subjects with great alacrity. His return struck his enemies with dismay, and especially his brother John, who had basely taken advantage of his absence to raise a party for himself. The generous king was easily reconciled to his brother; and in the later years of his reign he gained many victories over his old enemy, Philip of France. He was shot by an arrow