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Unformatted text preview: ishops were terrified, and expected still farther effects of his resentment. Becket alone was inflexible; and nothing but the interposition of the pope’s legate and almoner, Philip, who dreaded a breach with so powerful a prince at so unseasonable a juncture, could have prevailed on him to retract the saving clause, and give a general and absolute promise of observing the ancient customs.m But Henry was not content with a declaration in these general terms: He resolved, ere it was too late, to define expressly those customs, with which he required compliance, and to put a stop to clerical usurpations, before they were fully consolidated, and could plead antiquity, as they already did a sacred authority, in their favour. The claims of the church were open and visible. After a gradual and insensible progress during many centuries, the mask had at last been taken off, and several ecclesiastical councils, by their canons, which were pretended to be irrevocable and infallible, had positively defined those privileges and immunities, which gave such general offence, and appeared so dangerous to the civil magistrate. Henry therefore deemed it necessary to define with the same precision the limits of the civil power; to oppose his legal customs to their divine ordinances; to determine the exact boundaries of the rival jurisdictions; and 1164. 25th Jan. for this purpose, he summoned a general council of the nobility and prelates at Clarendon, to whom he submitted this great and important question. The barons were all gained to the king’s party, either by the Constitutions of reasons which he urged, or by his superior authority: The bishops Clarendon. were overawed by the general combination against them: And the following laws, commonly called the Constitutions of Clarendon, were voted without opposition by this assembly.n It was enacted, that all suits concerning the advowson and presentation of churches should be determined in the civil courts: That the churches, belonging to the king’s fee, should not be granted in perpetuity without his consent: That clerks, accused of any crime, should be tried in the civil courts: That no person, particularly no clergyman of any rank, should depart the kingdom without the king’s licence: That excommunicated persons should not be bound to give security for continuing in their present place of abode: That laics should not be accused in spiritual courts, except by legal and reputable promoters and witnesses: That no chief tenant of the crown should be excommunicated, nor his lands be put under an interdict, except with the king’s consent: That all appeals in spiritual causes should be carried from the archdeacon to the bishop, from the bishop to the primate, from him to the king; and should be carried no farther without the king’s consent: That if any lawsuit arose between a layman and a clergyman concerning a tenant, and it be disputed whether the land be a lay or an ecclesiastical fee, it should first be determined by the verdict of twelve lawful men to what class it belonged, and if it be found to be a layfee, the cause should finally be determined in the civil courts: That no inhabitant in demesne should be excommunicated for non-appearance in a spiritual court, till the chief officer of the place, where he resides, be consulted, that he may compel him by the civil authority to give satisfaction to the church: That the archbishops, bishops, PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 218 http://...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08