The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1801.
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From 988 to 1161
25. ÆTHELGAR succeeded him as archbishop (fn. 1) in 988. He was first a monk of Glastonbury, and was then made abbot of Hide, from whence he was promoted to the bishopric of Selsey, or, as it is now called, Chichester, and from thence to this see of Canterbury; upon which he went to Rome for the pall, which he received from the pope's hands. (fn. 2) He continued archbishop only one year and three months, when dying, he was buried in his own monastery, in the church or chapel of St. John Baptist. (fn. 3)
26. SIRICIUS was elected in his room. (fn. 4) He had been first a monk of Glastonbury, and then abbot of St. Augustine's, after which he was made bishop of Bath and Wells, from whence he was translated to this see. By his advice, the king, who in his distress readily consented to any means of getting rid of his inverterate enemies the Danes, was persuaded to bribe them with 30,000l. in ready money, to quit the kingdom, and to bind them by an oath to be quiet from thenceforth; but what little policy there was in this scheme of the archbishop, might easily be judged, and how pernicious it proved afterwards, may be seen in the course of this volume. (fn. 5) Having sat in this see somewhat more than four years, he died in 994, and was buried in his own church. (fn. 6) He died in a good old age, and gave his books, which were valuable, by his last will, to his church. (fn. 7)
27. ELFRIC succeeded next in 996, to this archbishopric. He was a man of great sanctity, and was bishop of Sherborne, (fn. 8) from whence he was translated hither, being elected in a synod held at Ambresbury; (fn. 9) and going to Rome, he received his pall from the pope there; he was a laborious compiler of sermons and homilies, and translated great part of the scripture into the Saxon tongue, (fn. 10) and wrote besides several other tracts of divinity. His sermon for Easter Sunday has often been printed, and shews very plainly, that the church of England had not at that time embraced the doctrine of Transubstantiation, and it is hardly possible to express the present sentiments of the church of England, and of other Protestant churches on this subject in plainer terms, than Elfric did in this discourse. He expelled the regular canons who would not abandon their wives from this cathedral, and brought in monks in their room. He died in the year 1005, having sat in this see eleven years, (fn. 11) and was buried first at Abingdon, but afterwards removed to his own church of Canterbury, and depo sited in the south cross of the choir, at the altar of St. John Baptist. (fn. 12)
28. ELPHEGE succeeded next to this archbishopric. (fn. 13) He was a native of Gloucestershire, and had been first a monk at Deihurst, near Gloucester. then a monk and prior of Glastonbury, after which he turned anchorite, from which state of life he was taken and made abbot of Bath, the church of which he repaired; after which he was promoted to the bishopric of Winchester, over which he presided five years, and from thence in 1006, to this patriarchal chair of Canterbury, being then of the age of 52 or 53 years, and afterwards went to Rome for his pall, which he received there (fn. 14)
Having sat in this see the space of six years, he was barbarously stoned to death by the Danes at Greenwich, on Saturday April 19, 1012, (fn. 15) whither they carried him prisoner, for refusing to pay the prodigious ransom they demanded of him, after having destroyed the city and church of Canterbury, and murdered the greatest part of the inhabitants, of which a full rela tion has already been made before. The archbishop being thus put to death, was buried first in the church of St. Paul, in London, (fn. 16) but his body was afterwards, with the consent of king Canute, conveyed in 1024, by archbishop Agelnoth, with great solemnity to Canterbury, where it was deposited in his own church. (fn. 17) He was afterwards canonized, the day of his translation being kept on April 19, and he had an altar appropriated to him and a shrine, which stood opposite the present high altar, as is plain from the words of archbishop Winchelsea's statutes, which mention the high altar and the two altars nearest to it, namely, of St. Dunstan and St. Elphege. (fn. 18)
29. LIVING, bishop of Wells, was about a year after the death of St. Elphege, translated to this archbishopric, and received his pall from the pope at Rome. (fn. 19) He consecrated king Edmund Ironside, at London, whom the Londoners and those of the nobility, at that time there, had, with unanimous consent, chosen king, as right heir to the crown, in opposition to king Knute, whom he afterwards crowned at the same place. (fn. 20) He was deeply involved in the calamities of those unhappy times; notwithstanding which, he appears to have been a great benefactor to his cathedral church, both in land and ornaments, and repaired the roof which had been burnt by the Danes. Having sat in this see about seven years, he died about the year 1020, (fn. 21) and was buried in his own cathedral. (fn. 22)
30. AGELNOTH, who was a monk of Glastonbury, was his successor in this see in the same year. (fn. 23) He was of noble extraction, and for his excellent natural disposition, was surnamed the GOOD. (fn. 24) Gervas says, (fn. 25) he was at the above time dean of this church, for there were, continues he, at this time, monks, as if cathedral canons, bearing indeed the habit of monks, but not observing the rule of the order in so strict a manner; for the monks taken in after the martyrdom of St. Elphege, with whom almost the whole convent, excepting only four monks, fell by the swords of the Danes, could neither be so fully informed, nor be restrained from their own will, so as to observe the rule in every part of it, they called their head and or chief; the dean, who after the arrival of Lanfranc, was called prior. (fn. 26)
He went to Rome for his pall, where he was received with much honour by the pope. (fn. 27) He consecrated after his return, the bishops of Landaff and St. David's, in his church of Canterbury, and in the year 1037, he croved king Harold at London, Having sat in the chair of this see upwards of seventeen years, in the interim of which time he perfected the works of his church's repair, which had been burnt and destroyed by the Danes, as has been mentioned before; he died on Oct. 29, 1038, and was buried in his own cathedral, before the altar of St. Benedict, towards the right hand, in the south cross wing of the nave of this church. He was canonized after his death.
31. EADSIN, chaplain to king Harold and bishop of Winchester, succeeded Agelnoth as archbishop in 1038, (fn. 28) and though he continued as such almost 11 years, yet he was that whole time afflicted with bodily infirmities; (fn. 29) he died on October 28, anno 1050, and was buried in his own church. (fn. 30) In the year 1040 he consecrated Hardicanute, as king, at London, who had been sent for from Flanders, on the death of king Harold Harefoot, by the unanimous consent of the nobles, both English and Danes; after whose short reign, he, with Alfric, archbishop of York, and the suffragan bishops, in 1042, crowned, anointed, and consecrated Edward, surnamed the Confessor, whom the clergy and Londoners had chosen as king, with great pomp, at Winchester, (fn. 31) or according to others, at Westminster. (fn. 32) Archbishop Eadsin was, after his death, canonized as a saint.
32. ROBERT, surnamed Gemetricensis, from the place of his birth, being a Norman born, succeeded to this archbishopric on archbishop Eadsin's death in 1050. (fn. 33) He was bishop of London, and a familiar friend of king Edward, by whom he was appointed to this see out of gratitude for his having received some favours, when he was in exile, from him, he being then a monk at Gemetica. (fn. 34) He had continued in this chair scarcely two years, when he was ejected in 1052, and being adjudged a disturber of the nation's peace, he was obliged to fly into Normandy, where he died and was buried in the abbey of Gemetica, in which he had been brought up. (fn. 35)
33. STIGAND, chaplain to king Edward, succeeded next to this archbishopric, in the year 1052. He had been king Harold's chaplain, and had been first bishop of Sherburne, and was translated from thence to Winchester, which he kept together with this archbishopric, with the king's consent, whilst his predecessor was yet alive. (fn. 36) He was guilty of, what was deemed a flagrant irregularity, in making use of his predecessor's pall, which was contrary to the canon; and he was afterwards guilty of one still greater, in receiving his own pall from pope Benedict, whom the church of Rome had excommunicated. As soon as the Conqueror was seated on the throne, Stigand was deposed by him; and so fearful was he of this prelate's disposition towards him, that, when he returned into Normandy in 1067, he took Stigand with him; among others, this archbishop was, on his coming back, first formally suspended by the papal interdict, and at last in the octaves of Easter, anno 1070, in a great council held by the king's command at Winchester, and in his presence, he was degraded and deprived of the archbishopric, with the pope's consent, by his legate and two presbyter cardinals, for the three causes above-mentioned; after which he was cast into prison, (fn. 37) where he died and was buried at Winchester, with the king's licence, (fn. 38) and, it is said, with much solemnity. (fn. 39)
If we may believe the chronicler of St. Augustine's monastery, this archbishop Stigand, by his advice and cunning, together with Egelsine, abbot of that monastery, preserved to the Kentish men, their antient liberties and customs, when they were invaded by the Norman Conqueror, who never had a cordial affection to him before, and curtainly had much less afterwards: indeed his aversion to him was so great, that he resused to be crowned by him, preferring for that purpose Alured, archbishop of York, though that prelate had consecrated and crowed his enemy king Harold. (fn. 40)
Stigand was certainly no favourite with the monks, for they have branded his memory with the crimes of coveteousness, pride and ambition. Higden, p. 276, says, that he was a man who made a public market of all ecclesiastical matters, a man in every shape illiterate, but well fraught with riches, and soft speeches; and Bromton sums up his character by telling us, he was vir pessimus & simoniacus.
The above is the dark representation of Stigand's character, drawn up by his inveterate enemies the monks; the true one it may be perhaps difficult to draw. However, he seems to have been a man of a great spirit, and undaunted by opposition, but not so discreet as he ought to have been, as well in relation to the Conqueror, as in trusting to the precarious power of the pseudo pope Benedict. His actions otherwise, in relation to his country, in opposition to the Norman Conqueror, are in all respects highly justifiable, and give us a favourable opinion of him as an Englishman and true friend to his country. Malmsbury says, he was illiterate, as all were who were not monks; a prejudice which needs no comment. It is certain, that age of hurry and confusion abounded with the darkest ignorance; but if Stigand had been remarkably so, it would certainly have been objected to him at the council, as it was at that time, to Wistan, bishop of Worcester, which it does not appear to be, nor is it likely, considering his attendance at court as a royal chaplain. His coveteousness is the most unjustifiable part of his character, and is by no means to be palliated, but it is yet to be doubted whether even this was so great as represented; certainly in some cases he was very liberal, as to the churches of Ely, Winchester, and this of Canterbury. (fn. 41) On due investigation of the whole, it may be said, that he lost his see for not being a bigot to the church of Rome; his liberty for not being a traitor to his country, and his reputation with posterity for not having been a monk. (fn. 42)
34. LANFRANC, abbot of Caen, and before prior of Bec, in Normandy, a native of the city of Pavia, was called over by the Conqueror, on the deprivation of archbishop Stigand in 1070, to preside in this archiepiscopal see, being constituted archbishop on the feast of the Ascension, August 15, and consecrated in the year following, on Sunday the feast of St. John Baptist, June 24; immediately afterwards he went to Rome and received the pall there from the pope's own hands. (fn. 43) He was a prelate of a great and magnanimous mind, and carried all things as powerfully in the church, as the Conqueror did in the state, and becoming greatly in favour both with the pope and the king, he is said to have presumed on it, and to have treated his comprovincial bishops contemptuously, and to have upbraided them with their inexperience, as well as ignorance.
He performed great things, not only in his own church of Canterbury, but in that of Rochester, for he rebuilt both those cathedrals almost from the ground, (fn. 44) together with all the edifices belonging to the two monasteries, and his own palace likewise at Canterbury, and furnished both churches with rich and costly ornaments. (fn. 45) He re established in them both more strictly, the rules of the Benedictine order, (fn. 46) for turning out the seculars, he filled the stalls of both with monks, and increased the former number of them. (fn. 47) In the church of Canterbury he appointed, that the president over the convent should in future be stiled prior, who before was dignified with the name of dean. In the church of Rochester, he constituted successively, two bishops, Earnest and Gundulph, both of them from Normandy; by these means he fixed the monastical profession so firm in these and other churches, that it continued undisturbed and flourishing in them till the general dissolution of monasteries in England. Nor was Lanfranc's liberality confined only to the buildings of the abovementioned churches, for he purchased with his own money, different lands, and obtained for them, from the king, several grants of others. (fn. 48) His zeal for religion appeared still further in his building and endowing the priory of St. Gregory, in Canterbury, and in re-building the church of St. Albans, which he enriched with many valuable ornaments. He was abundantly charitable in relieving the poor, expending yearly 500l. in alms; and he built and endowed besides the two hospitals of St. John, without Northgate, and St. Nicholas, in Harbledown, both near Canterbury, and endowed them with sufficient revenues. (fn. 49)
Before his time, the archbishop and the monks of his church, had but one and the same revenue, and lived together in common. This the archbishop changed and put upon another footing, after the manner of foreign churches, for he separated the revenue, allotting one part for himself and his successors, and the other part for the maintenance of the prior and convent, (fn. 50) in like manner, as they are described in the survey of Domesday. He caused the sees of many bishops which were then in country villages, to be removed from thence into cities, according to the canon, so that a city with us (Westminster excepted, which once had its own bishop) has ever since been, and yet is known by having in it a bishop and a cathedral church. (fn. 51) The archbishop of York contending with him for the primacy, he brought the suit of it before the king at Windsor, and there by the judgment pronounced by Hugh, the pope's legate, ascertained his right to it, (fn. 52) but his greatest and most undaunted act was, when Odo, the great bishop of Baieux and earl of Kent, the king's half-brother, exercised more arbitrary power in this country than even the Conqueror himself dared to do, by violently taking from the churches of Canterbury and Rochester, many of their lands and estates; Lanfranc con tended with this most powerful adversary, and in a public hearing before the whole people of Kent, which lasted for three days, he obliged him to restore them again, (fn. 53) those to this church amounting to twenty-five manors; nor was it a small testimony of the esteem he was held in, for the excellency of his wisdom, as the greatness of his mind and power, that when the king went beyond sea, which he often did upon weighty occasions, he constituted the archbishop sole justiciary of the kingdom, during his absence; indeed the king confiding in him, consulted him upon every important occasion, especially in whatever the church was concerned; a remarkable instance of which occurred, when the king wished to seize on his brother Odo, bishop of Baieux and earl of Kent, but was afraid of it, for fear of offending the pope, Lanfranc advised him not to fear, but to commit him to safe custody, adding, that if the pope should call him to account for it, for laying hands upon a bishop, and an ecclesiastic, to tell him, that he had not imprisoned the bishop of Baieux, but the earl of Kent, his own liege man and subject. (fn. 54)
It is said, he persuaded the Conqueror to leave England to his younger son, Wm. Rufus, with whom he took part, and crowned him at Westminister, and afterwards, when the nobility armed against him in favour of his brother Robert, Lanfranc alone kept faithful to him, but he required an oath from the king however, to perform certain conditions, which he then dictated to him; upon which account, when the king afterwards had made his cause good, he bore such a secret hatred to the archbishop, especially when he reproved him for breaking his oath, that he ungratefully forgot his services and banished him the realm, and he continued for some time abroad, till by the intercession of many friends, he was permitted to return home.
Lanfranc, not long after his return, fell sick of an ague, of which he died on May 28, 1089, (fn. 55) having sat in this see nineteen years, and he was buried in his own cathedral, in the presence of the archbishop of York, and other bishops, in the Trinity chapel, at the east end of the church, on the south side the altar there; but on the pulling of it down afterwards, to erect the present chapel of the same name, his body was removed, and buried by order of the convent, at the altar of St. Martin, but there is no trace of it left, nor any monument or memorial extant of him. (fn. 56)
During his time, he held several councils at different times at London in 1075, at Winchester in 1076, and at London again in 1077, and another at Gloucester. (fn. 57) As a specimen of his learning, it is said, that he amended the texts of the Old and New Testament, that is, the faulty versions or corrupt copies of the sacred writings; (fn. 58) and he wrote several trea tises, which are among the Harleian manuscripts, and among those in the Bodleian library. (fn. 59) Besides what has been mentioned before, he did many great, good and pious acts; an account of which may be found in Parker, Godwin, and other writers.
Capgrave says, he was canonized. His anniversary was afterwards celebrated by the monks with great solemnities and a large distribution of alms. (fn. 60)
Lanfranc has been celebrated by all our historians as a man of wisdom, learning and munificence, of great magnanimity of mind, and of universal piety and approved goodness. He certainly deserved to be highly spoken of; but it should be remembered, that he was a foreigner and a favourite of the Conqueror, and was besides a monk, and that his character is given and handed down to us by the grateful monks, who were then almost the only historians of the age, and never failed to bestow extravagant praises on their benefactors, especially if belonging to their own order.
35. ANSELM, a native of the city of Aoust, in Piedmont, (fn. 61) and abbot of Bec, in Normandy, was no minated to this see by king William Rufus, in the year 1093, after a vacancy of it for more than four years; (fn. 62) for that king, who is recorded in history as notorious for all manner of sacrilegious rapine, had, upon Lanfranc's death, kept the see vacant for that time, making waste of all the revenues and possessions of this church, as he had done of several others; but falling sick and thinking himself at the point of death, he nominated Anselm, who was then in England, to the archbishopric, though upon his recovery, he is said to have repented that he had not sold it at the best price. (fn. 63)
Anselm was some time before he could be prevailed on to accept of the archbishopric, and when he did, he seems to have been constituted without any formal election. The convent having been destitute of a pastor for so long a time, were desirous of accepting one at any rate, and he was consecrated by the archbishop of York, assisted by most of the bishops of England, on the 2d of the nones of December, that year, and before the Easter following he received the pall in his own church, by the hands of the pope's legate. (fn. 64) When Anselm came to the archbishopric, he found the lands and revenues of it miserably wasted and spoiled, so that beyond the satisfying of the king's demands, there was not sufficient remaining for his bare subsistence; and the first year he sat in the archiepiscopal chair, he struggled with poverty, want and continual vexations through the king's displeasure, and the three next years he spent in banishment, during which time he was forced to borrow money for his maintenance; when king Henry came to the crown on the death of William Rufus, Anselm was in banishment, and the king was crowned at Westminister in his absence, by Maurice, bishop of London; soon after which, he recalled the archbishop home, promising by letters, to direct himself and his kingdom by his advice and counsel. Soon after his return, Anselm crowned at Westminister, queen Maud, daughter of Malcolm, king of Scotland, whom the king had then married. (fn. 65) And in 1099 he established the feast of Whitfuntide at Mortlake.
Two years after this, Anselm held a great council at Westminster, at which almost all the bishops were present; soon after which, the dissention began between the king and him, concerning the investiture of churches, which continued for some time with much altercation, when Anselm having suffered many injuries and affronts, left the kingdom, and the king seized upon all his revenues, which he retained in his hands no less than four years. The archbishop remained abroad till the year 1106, when on the feast of the Assumption, the king came to Bec, in Normandy, where the archbishop then was, when meeting together they were reconciled, and in a little time after, Anselm, by the king's command, returned to England. (fn. 66)
Notwithstanding the archbishop's absence, and these hard circumstances, incredible as it may seem, the church of Canterbury is recorded to have been in a great measure rebuilt, and the choir which Lanfranc had built pulled down, and the rebuilding of it begun and carried forward, to which Anselm is said to have contributed all he could, by authorizing the employing of the stock of the church towards it; and Eadmer tells us, that those things which he could not perform himself, he accomplished by his stebfast friends the priors of it, two of whom successively, Ernulph and Conrad, he had promoted to that office, to whose care he committed the management of it. (fn. 67) —In the synod held in London in 1102, he made a decree forbidding priests to marry, which H. Huntingdon observes, was not forbidden before. Having languished under a consumption for some months, he died, in the 76th year of his age, and the 16th of his primacy, in the year 1109 at Canterbury, (fn. 68) and was buried in this cathedral, at the head of his predecessor Lanfranc. (fn. 69) But afterwards, says Malmsbury, he had a more worthy monument in the east part of the church; for his body being removed to that part of it, was laid in the chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul, which has since been called by his name, on the south side of the high altar. (fn. 70)
He was a man of great austerity of manners, severe and grave in his discourse, of piety and learning, according to the mode of the times in which he lived. He is said to have founded the nunnery of St. Sepul. chre, near Canterbury. Archbishop Anselm wrote at least fifty different treatises, many of which are still extant among the Harleian MSS. and those in the Bodleian library. (fn. 71) Almost four hundred years after his death, by the procurement, and at the great expence of archbishop Morton, in king Henry VII.'s time, he was, on account of his piety and sufferings, canonized a saint. The archbishop is said to have borne for his arms, Argent, gutte de sang, a cross forme, gules.
After the see had continued five years vacant, king Henry I. invited the bishops and nobles of the realm to meet at Windsor, and sent for the prior and some of the monks of this church, to be present at this assembly, the occasion of which was unknown. When they were assembled, the king's intention was to have recommended Fabricious, abbot of Abindon, to be their metropolitan; but the bishops and some of the nobles proposing Ralph or Rodulph, bishop of Rochester, and having obtained the king's consent, they, with the assent of the prior and monks, elected and proclaimed him archbishop elect. (fn. 72).
36. RALPH, or RODULPH, bishop of Rochester, called by some by the surname of De Turbine, (fn. 73) was preserred to this archbishopric on Sunday, May 2, 1114, five years after the death of Anselm, from whom he was a very different character. Next year, anno 1115, on Sunday July 3, he was consecrated, and received the pall, which had been sent him from the pope, handsomely inclosed in a silver coffer, in his own church of Canterbury, where were assembled the several bishops of England, and the same day he consecrated Tegulf, bishop of Worcester. (fn. 74)
Having sat in this see for the space of eight years and an half, he died, worn out with a long sickness, on October 20, 1122, (fn. 75) and was buried, according to Eadmer, in the middle of the body of this cathedral, or according to others, in the south cross wing. (fn. 76) He is said, by William Malmsbury, who was well acquainted with him, to have been a man of eminent piety and learning, of a generous disposition and affable deportment, but too much addicted to jocularity for the dignity of his station, which gained him the name of Nugax, or the Trister. Certainly neither his temper or state of health qualified him for so venerable and great a trust, for he was satirically jocose and ridiculously merry upon trifles, playing with men and words, and this most dangerous kind of mirth was attended with a peevish and morose temper, insomuch, that he was always vexed himself, or vexing others (fn. 77) otherwise indeed, he is said to have been totally unfit for his station, being sometime before his promotion to it, while he lived in Normandy, seized with a palsy, which never left him, and was much afflicted with the gout; the former of which maladies occasioned at last his death.
Archbishop Ralph gave a penny a day out of his manor of Liminge, to Harbledown hospital, for ever; which gift was renewed and confirmed by his successor archbishop Theobald. (fn. 78) There is a long epistle, written by this archbishop, addressed to pope Calixtus, complaining of the injuries done to him and his church, by Thurstan, archbishop of York, and in defence of the see of Canterbury and its primacy over that of York, which is printed in the Decem. Scriptores, col. 1735. He is said to bear for his arms, Sable, a patriarchal cross, argent.
37. WILLIAM CORBOIL, prior of St. Osyth, in Essex, was next seated in the patriarchal chair of this see, in the year 1122, on the feast of the Purification, and was consecrated by the king's command, in his own church, by Richard, bishop of London, with the assistance of William, bishop of Winchester; and other bishops of the realm. (fn. 79)
Immediately after his consecration, he departed for the court of Rome, as did Thurstan, archbishop of York, at the same time, each on their own affairs; and the king sent thither the bishop of St. David's, and others, to assist the archbishop elect of Canterbury, should he meet with any obstructions. On their arrival there, Corboil found many obstructions had been raised by the archbishop of York, who had arrived there before him, to his receiving the pall; all which, through the mediation of the emperor and the king, who strongly interceded for him by their ambassadors, being removed, he received the pall with much solemnity; but at the same time he complained to the pope, in the full hearing of the senate of the church of Rome, that his church was injured by the incroaching proceedings of the archbishop of York; for that it had from the time of the first bishop of it, down to Ralph his immediate predecessor, been possessed of the primacy of all England, which he then earnestly requested for his church, and which, both antient custom and the authority of privileges preserved for so many years, had allowed; but the archbishop of York replying, that he was not summoned to Rome for that purpose, nor had he with him the proper evidences of his church's privileges, to answer these matters, without which he could not enter into them, they both returned home without any further investigation of the business, which was afterwards agitated by the pope's command in England, in the great council of the nation at Westminister in 1127. (fn. 80)
He returned from Rome with the title of apostolic legate, throughout England; after which he crowned king Henry at Windsor, at which time there was great contention between him and the archbishop of York, not only concerning the right of crowning the king, but the carrying of the cross; after this he celebrated a general council at Westminister, at which were present thirteen bishops, and in 1130, he performed the new dedication of his church of Canterbury, with great splendor and magnificence, in the presence of David, king of Scotland, and all the bishops. (fn. 81) At which time the seal of the priory of this church was renewed, being seemingly its second seal.
Archbishop Corboil obtained of king Henry, by his charter dated at Winchester, the custody and constabulary of the castle of Rochester, to be possessed for ever in future, and that by the advice of his barons; and he granted that the bishop and his succes sors should make a fortification and tower, according to their pleasure, in it, and that the knights who should be deputed to the custody of it, should have the keeping and defence of it, saving, nevertheless, their fealty, &c. (fn. 82) He restored the antient nunnery at Minster, in the Isle of Shepey, which had been destroyed by the Danes, long before the conquest, and about a year before his death, he rebuilt the church of St. Martin, in Dover, at a further distance from the town than where it stood before, with proper lodgings and accommodations, intending to fix in them a society of regular canons, whom he brought from Merton for that purpose; but the convent of Christchurch opposing his designs and threatening to make an appeal to the court of Rome, if necessary, it put a stop to the further progress of this design, and the archbishop dying not long after, the convent took this opportunity of sending thither twelve monks of their own house, and of constituting a prior over them. (fn. 83)
It was no small reproach to his character, that he fet the crown upon the head of king Stephen, contrary to the oath which he had before made to the empress Maud; (fn. 84) but he is said to have reslected on this action with so much sorrow, that he fell sick at Mortlake, and being carried to Canterbury in a horse litter, he died there on Dec. 19, 1136, having presided over this church almost fourteen years, (fn. 85) and was buried in his own cathedral. (fn. 86)
Archbishop Corboil appears to have been a weak man, too easily prevailed upon to forget the dignity of his station, and the obligation of his oaths; to which reproachful conduct he was most probably induced by the flattering promises made by king Stephen to the church, at his coronation. He is said to bear for his arms, Azure, a bend wavy in the sinister corner, in chief a cross couped, argent.
38. THEOBALD, (fn. 87) abbot of Bec, in Normandy, was elected to this see in 1138, after it had been vacant upwards of two years. He was elected by cardinal Albert, at a legantine synod convened for that purpose at London, though our historians in general say, that he was elected by the bishops of England, and that Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, declared publicly the election, and that he was afterwards consecrated by the legate, in the presence of the prior of this church. On the other hand, Gervas tells us, that Theobald was elected by the prior and monks, who were sent for to London for that purpose, and who publicly pronounced the election of him made by them, in the presence of the king, the legate, the bishops and nobles. (fn. 88)
He was consecrated by the legate about the feast of the Epiphany, and received his pall at the same time, in his own church, in which year he had the title of legate of the apostolic see confirmed to him. (fn. 89) He crowned king Stephen, together with his queen, in the church of Canterbury; the king in his rich habit was conducted by the archbishop and earls, to the church where the king stood in the archbishop's seat, the queen opposite to him; the archbishop put the crown on both, and afterwards celebrated mass before them. (fn. 90) In 1146, he went to the council which pope Eugenius had convened at Rhemes, without the king's licence, upon which all his goods were confiscated; on the other hand his suffragans were suspended by the pope, because the king prohibiting them, they did not come to it. (fn. 91) On the archbishop's return to Canterbury, where he was joyfully received, the king highly angered at his disobedience, hastened there, where though several messages passed between them, none of them effected a reconcilement, and the archbishop was compelled by him to quit the realm, and he remained abroad till peace was restored between them. (fn. 92) He again incurred the king's anger for refusing, together with the rest of the bishops, in the 15th year of that reign, to anoint and crown his son Eustace king, and notwithstanding the king used force to compel them, yet the archbishop, with the rest, continued resolute in their refusal, upon which his goods were again confiscated. (fn. 93)
During his dissentions with the king, his courage was so great, that he interdicted king Stephen and the whole realm, and taking advantage of the times, which were very troublesome, he went into Norfolk and lived retired there, till by the interposition of some of the bishops, he was restored to the king's favour, which he afterwards enjoyed, and was the chief means of concluding that final peace at Wallingford, between him and the empress Maud.
In 1151, he, as being legate of the apostolic see, celebrated a general council in the middle of Lent, at London, at which king Stephen and his son Eustace, were both present. (fn. 94) After king Stephen's death, he crowned king Henry II. at Westminister, in the presence of the archbishop of York and other bishops. Queen Alianor, who had been divorced from Lewis, king of France, being crowned at the same time. (fn. 95)
By his last will, which is printed from the registers of this church, (fn. 96) he gave whatever he had remaining, at the hour of his death, to the use of the poor; intimating that he had already given them almost all he had, reserving to himself only so much, as was absolutely necessary for the occasions of his family, and for the exigencies of his own languishing condition.—Having sat in this see for twenty-two years, he died purely of age, on April 18, 1161, (fn. 97) beloved by all people for his courteous disposition, and was buried in his own church, in the east end of the chapel of the Holy Trinity, opposite to the tomb of Lanfranc, but when this chapel was demolished to build up the present one, archbishop Theobald's remains were removed and buried before the altar of St. Mary, in the nave of this church, in a leaden chest, the place which he had desired in his life-time, and a marble tomb as before, was placed over him. (fn. 98) He is said to have been a man of no great learning, but of gentle and affable behaviour, being wise withal, that he was highly esteemed by all ranks of people, and charitable to the poor in a very extensive degree.
Gervas says, he was a great enemy to his own convent of Christ-church, (fn. 99) which well agrees with the general character given of him. The archbishop is said to bear for his arms, Azure, three bars, or, a chief dancette, gules.