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Unformatted text preview: ry, which gave inquietude to all his neighbours, was not likely long to pay a tame submission to the encroachments of subjects; and as nothing opens the eyes of men so readily as their interest, he was in no danger of falling, in this respect, into that abject superstition, which retained his people in subjection. From the commencement of his reign, in the government of his foreign dominions, as well as of England, he had shown a fixed purpose to repress clerical usurpations, and to maintain those prerogatives, which had been transmitted to him by his predecessors. During the schism of the papacy between Alexander and Victor, he had determined, for some time, to remain neuter: And when informed, that the archbishop of Roüen and the bishop of Mans had, from their own authority, acknowledged Alexander as legitimate pope, he was so enraged, that, though he spared the archbishop on account of his great age, he immediately issued orders for overthrowing the houses of the bishop of Mans, and archdeacon of Roüen;NOTE [P] and it was not till he had deliberately examined the matter, by those views, which usually enter into the councils of princes, that he allowed that pontiff to exercise authority over any of his dominions. In England, the mild character and advanced years of Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, together with his merits in refusing to put the crown on the head of Eustace, son of Stephen, prevented Henry, during the life-time of that primate, from taking any measures against the multiplied encroachments of the clergy: But after his death, the king resolved to exert himself with more activity; and that he might be secure against any opposition, he advanced to that dignity Becket, his chancellor, on whose compliance, he thought, he could entirely depend. Thomas a Becket, the first man of English descent, who, since June 3. Thomas a the Norman conquest, had, during the course of a whole century, Becket, archbishop of risen to any considerable station, was born of reputable parents Canterbury. in the city of London; and being endowed both with industry and capacity, he early insinuated himself into the favour of archbishop Theobald, and obtained from that prelate some preferments and offices. By their means, he was enabled to travel for improvement to Italy, where he studied the civil and canon law at Bologna; and on his return, he appeared to have made such proficiency in knowledge, that he was promoted by his patron to the archdeaconry of Canterbury, an office of considerable trust and profit. He was afterwards employed with success by Theobald in transacting business at Rome; and on Henry’s accession, he was recommended to that monarch as worthy of farther preferment. Henry, who knew that Becket had been instrumental in supporting that resolution of the archbishop, which had tended so PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 213 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 much to facilitate his own advancement to the throne, was already prepossessed In his favour; and finding, on farther acquaintance, that his spirit and abilities entitled him to...
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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