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rights, our aforesaid lord shall not plead before “you ; nor submit to any trial, or inquiry ; nor “send any messenger, or prolocutor, to your court.
especially, as such proceedings would be to the “ manifest disherison of the rights of the crown of
England, and the royal dignity; the evident “ subversion of the sovereignty of the kingdom ; “ and to the prejudice of the liberties, customs, and
laws, which we have inherited from our fathers; “ and to the observance, and defence, of which, we “are bound by our oaths; and which we will con“ tinue to hold to the best of our power; and with " the assistance of God, will defend with all our
strength. Neither do we, nor will we, nor can “we, nor ought we, to permit our lord the king, “ to do any of the things aforesaid, even were he “ ever so desirous to do them*.” The
wrote to the king, that “the emperor and king of France, “ had submitted to him.'
“ If both the emperor,
, “ and the French king should take the pope's part," replied Edward, “I am ready to give battle to them “ both in defence of the liberties of my crown.” -In 1302, the bull of institution of William of Glastonbury committed to his charge, “ the spiritu“alities and temporalities of the bishopric.” This was held an invasion of the rights of the crown. The bishop was immediately summoned before Edward the first, and his council; condemned, in a thousand marks, for having received the bull; and compelled to renounce publicly the obnoxious
* Collier's Church Hist. tom. 1, p. 725, No. XVI.
clause ; and to declare, that he held his temporalities of no one but the king.—“ It is probable," says Mr. Lingard
“ that, to this incident, we we are to ascribe the origin of a custom, invio
lably observed in the succeeding reigns, till the “ reformation. The bishop elect, as soon as he “ had received his bull of institution, appeared “ before the king, or his deputy ; and, in his pre“sence, abjured every clause in the bull, that could “ be prejudicial to the temporal rights of the “ crown.” “I expressly renounce," said the prelate elect, " and totally abjure all, and every word, " clause, and sentence, in the apostolic bulls, di“ rected to me, concerning the aforesaid bishopric, “ which are, or which, by any means hereafter, may “ be prejudicial to my sovereign lord the king ; or “ his heirs, or the rights, customs, or prerogatives, “ of the kingdom; and, in this respect, wholly sub
mit, and place myself at the good pleasure of his
highness, humbly beseeching his majesty to grant “ me the temporalities of the said bishopric, which “ I acknowledge to hold of him, as my sovereign 66 lord.”
Legislative acts against Papal Encroachments.
IN this manner, the king, and the nation, asserted the independence of the realm against the pretensions of the popes, to temporal power within its territories.
* Documents to ascertain the sentiments of British catholics in former ages, respecting the power of the popes. 8vo.
Their undue exercise even of spiritual power, they restrained by several statutes. --1. The first of these was passed, in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Edward the first. It is intitled De Asportatis religiosorum ; concerning the exportation of money out of the kingdom by religious men. It states, that, “abbots, and other governors of re
ligious houses, were used to set pecuniary impositions on the communities, subject to their government; and to dispose of them at their
pleasure.” To prevent these abuses, the act directed, that
every religious person, taking, or “ sending, any such money out of the kingdom, “ should be grievously punished, and that alien “abbots, imposing such a tax, should forfeit their
property for the offence.”
2. Another offensive practice of the see of Rome was to make grants of benefices, before they became actually vacant. The language of these grants was, that “the holy father, out of his great care, for the “ welfare of the church in general, and of such a
diocese in particular, had provided for it, before“ hand, a proper, and useful person to preside over “it; lest, in case of a vacancy, it might suffer
detriment, by being long destitute of a pastor ; “ for which reason, out of the plenitude of his “ authority, he reserved to himself, for that “ term, the disposal of the bishopric; decreeing, “ from that time forward, all interposition, or attempt, to the contrary, of all persons whatsoever, “ null and void *."
The individuals, ohtaining these grants, were called provisors. By the statutes of 25th Edward 11. stat. 6; and 27th Edward 111. stat. 1, commonly called the statutes of provisors, they were directed “to be attached ; and, if con“victed, to be imprisoned, without bail, till they “ made fine and ransom to the king at his will; and “ satisfaction to the party. If they could not be
ound, the sheriff was to proceed to the outlawry “ of them ; and the king was to receive, in the “ mean time, the profits of the benefice.”
3. A still more offensive practice of the see of Rome, was to permit English subjects to sue in its courts, in cases, the cognizance of which belonged to the courts of the king; and to receive appeals from the sentences of such courts. This, by the statutes of the 27th Edward 111. stat. 1, ch. 1; and 38th Edward 111. ch. 2, was prohibited under severe penalties.
4. At subsequent times, other statutes, as those of Richard II. ch. 3, 7; Richard 11. ch. 12, 13; Richard 11. ch. 15, 13; Richard II. stat. 2, ch. 2, 3; and 2 Henry iv. ch. 3, were passed, to strengthen the foregoing laws; and to extend their provisions.
These statutes, were generally called the statutes of præmunire. They received this appellation from the language of the writ of citation, preparatory to
Lowth's Life of Wykham, p. 43.
the prosecution upon them. By this, the sheriff was ordered “to cause the offender to be fore“ warned,”-(præmunire,--a barbarous word for præmonere, -facias),-“N. N. to appear; and
to answer the contempt, with which he was “ charged;" which offence was recited in the preamble to the writ. The contempt was supposed to consist, in paying that obedience to papal process, which was due to the king alone. The punishments, inflicted by these statutes, are various. Collectively taken, they are thus shortly summed up by Lord Coke,—“ that, from the time of conviction, “ the defendant should be out of the king's protec“ tion, and his lands and tenements forfeited to the
king; and that his body should remain at the king's pleasure.”
Such were the provisions, by which, when the popes were in the zenith of their authority, our catholic ancestors disclaimed and resisted their claims to temporal power; and even the undue exercise of their spiritual power, within this imperial realm*.
* The subject of this chapter is exhausted by Lord Coke, in his treatise de Jure Regis et Ecclesiastico, prefixed to the fifth volume of his Reports, and the Answer to it by Father Parsons, published in 1606.