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The Becket Controversy in Recent Historiography

  • James W. Alexander

December twenty-ninth of this year will mark the eight hundredth anniversary of the martyrdom of Thomas of Canterbury. There will be no such superfluity of books as commemorated the nine hundredth anniversary of the Conquest, the one hundredth of the American Civil War, or the fiftieth of the Soviet Revolution. Few will even recall the murder, since the propers have been deleted from the general calendar of the Roman Church. If Thomas's feast has been quietly dropped from the missal, his career has by no means been neglected by historians in recent years. New editions of the writings of participants in the dispute have appeared, new interpretations of the quarrel are numerous, and important new studies in the history of canon law have altered traditional perspectives on the dramatic confrontation. Now is therefore an opportune time to survey modern scholarship on the Becket controversy and to indicate fruitful directions for further research.

There is, first, the problem of context. The most recent scholarly study of the dispute is that of H. G. Richardson and G. O. Sayles. The eccentricities of the provocative, peppery, and erratic Governance of Mediaeval England have been amply, if cautiously, alluded to by reviewers. Richardson and Sayles commence their discussion of the relations of regnum and sacerdotium in the later twelfth century with the reign of Stephen, neglecting questions of continuity from the reigns of earlier Norman kings. They dispute the received interpretation of Stephen's Second Charter, of which the central clause has been generally interpreted to mean that this King granted benefit of clergy in some form to the English church.

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1. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, LII, 10 (Aug. 15, 1960).

2. Richardson, H. G. and Sayles, G. O., The Governance of Mediaeval England (Edinburgh, 1963). For a sampling of equivocal reviews, see le Patourel, John, E.H.R., LXXX (1965), 115–20; Wilkinson, Bertie, A.H.R., LXIX (1964), 427–29; Dunham, W. H., Speculum, XXXIX (1964), 561–65; Schuyler, R. L., “History and Historical Criticism: Recent Work of Richardson and Sayles,” J.B.S., III (1964), 123.

3. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, p. 289 and n. 1; cf. the comments in Davis, R. H. C., King Stephen (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1967), p. 19. For the charter, see Cronne, H. A. and Davis, R. H. C. (eds.), Regesta regum anglo-normannorum, III, Regesta regis Stephani (Oxford, 1968), No. 271; Stubbs, William (ed.), Select Charters, ed. Davis, H. W. C. (9th ed.; Oxford, 1913), pp. 143–44.

4. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, p. 289 and n. 1.

5. Advowson cases came to be heard customarily before court royal, probably because English custom regarded these pleas as property, rather than as ecclesiastical, actions. For advowson, see esp. Gray, J. W., “The Ius praesentandi in England from the Constitutions of Clarendon to Bracton,” E.H.R., LXVII (1952), 481509. For important comments on the advowson as property, see also Brooke, Z. N., The English Church and the Papacy from the Conquest to the Reign of John (Cambridge, 1931), pp. 203–04; van Caenegem, R. C., Royal Writs in England from the Conquest to Glanville [Selden Society, LXXVII] (London, 1959), pp. 330–35; Maitland, F. W., Roman Canon Law in the Church of England (London, 1898), p. 63, which should be revised in the light of Cheney, C. R., From Becket to Langton (Manchester, 1956), pp. 109 ff.; Mayr-Harting, Henry, “Henry II and the Papacy, 1170–1189,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History, XVI (1965), 3953; Flahiff, G. B., “The Use of Prohibitions by Clerics against Ecclesiastical Courts in England,” Mediaeval Studies, III (1941), 101–16, and “The Writ of Prohibition to Court Christian in the Thirteenth Century,” ibid., VI (1944), 261–313, and VII (1945), 229–90.

6. Saltman, Avrom, Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury (London, 1956), pp. 2530: “Stephen had shown that he could control the English Church.” For the harrying of Roger of Salisbury and his familia, see Davis, , King Stephen, pp. 31 ff.

7. Duggan, Charles, “From the Conquest to the Reign of John,” in The English Church and the Papacy in the Middle Ages, ed. Lawrence, C. H. (London, 1965), p. 67. For the English church under Stephen, see Brooke, English Church, ch. xii; Saltman, Theobald, passim; Voss, Lena, Heinrich von Blois, Bischof von Winchester (1129-71) [Ebering's historische Studien, Heft 210] (Berlin, 1932).

8. Saltman, , Theobald, p. 158.

9. For this case, see ibid., pp. 124–25; Richardson, H. G. and Sayles, G. O., Law and Legislation from Aethelberht to Magna Carta (Edinburgh, 1966), pp. 5960, and Governance, pp. 288, 291, 304, 306, 312. Cf. the interesting comments in Douglas, David C., William the Conqueror (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1964), App. F, “On Poisoning as a Method of Political Action in Eleventh-Century Normandy.”

10. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, p. 291, and Law and Legislation, pp. 59-60. In the latter the authors are less positive in asserting this interpretation of canon law.

11. Saltman, , Theobald, pp. 163–64.

12. Duggan, Charles, “The Becket Dispute and the Criminous Clerks,” Bull. Inst. Hist. Res., XXXV (1962), 1; see also Knowles, David, The Episcopal Colleagues of Thomas Becket (Cambridge, 1951), p. 133.

13. Duggan, , “Conquest,” English Church and Papacy, p. 88; see also his thoughtful article, The Reception of Canon Law in England in the Later-Twelfth Century,” Proceedings of the Second International Congress of Medieval Canon Law, ed. Kuttner, Stephan and Ryan, J. Joseph [Monumenta Iuris Canonici, series c: Subsidia, I] (Vatican, 1965), pp. 359–90. Older works on the general history of canon law in England for the period include Makower, F., The Constitutional History and Constitution of the Church of England (London, 1895); Maitland, Roman Canon Law, to which Ogle, Arthur, The Canon Law in Medieval England (London, 1912), was intended as a stunning rebuttal. The latter is not very good, nor is Dibdin, L. T., “Roman Canon Law in England,” Quarterly Review, CCXVII (1912), 413–36. See the bibliographical footnotes below relating to specific topics within the purview of canon law; also Kuttner, Stephan and Rathbone, Eleanor, “Anglo-Norman Canonists of the Twelfth Century,” Traditio, VII (19491951), 279358.

14. The source materials for the Becket controversy are listed and discussed in Poole, Austin Lane, From Domesday Book to Magna Carta (2nd ed.; Oxford, 1956), pp. 495–96; Freeman, E. A., “St. Thomas of Canterbury and His Biographers,” Historical Essays, first series (3rd ed.; London, 1875), pp. 80115; Halphen, Louis, “Les biographes de Thomas Becket,” Revue historique, CII (1909), 3445; Walberg, E., La Tradition hagiographique de Saint Thomas Becket avant la fin du XIIIe siècle: études critiques (Paris, 1929). Valuable editions published subsequently to Poole's bibliography include Foliot, Gilbert, Letters and Charters, ed. Morey, Adrian and Brooke, C. N. L. (Cambridge, 1967), a superb edition; Blake, E. O. (ed.), Historia Eliensis [Camden Society; third series, XCII] (London, 1962); Holtzmann, Walther (ed.), Papsturkunden in England (Berlin and Göttingen, 19351952); Powicke, F. M. and Cheney, C. R. (eds.), Councils and Synods, II, A.D. 1205–1313 (Oxford, 1964). Studies of the English church in the twelfth century are listed and assessed in Poole, , Domesday Book to Magna Carta, pp. 499500. To his bibliography should be added Duggan, , “Conquest,” English Church and Papacy, which is particularly valuable for canon law and for the place of the English church in Western Christendom; Mayr-Harting, , “Henry II and the Papacy,” Jour. of Eccles. Hist., XVI; Shaw, I. P., “The Ecclesiastical Policy of Henry II on the Continent, 1154–1189,” Church Quarterly Review, CLI (1951), 137–55; Baldwin, Marshall, Alexander III and the Twelfth Century (New York, 1968), pp. 85134; see also bibliographical footnotes below devoted to special topics.

15. Freeman, , “Thomas and His Biographers,” Historical Essays, p. 85. The best independent study of the archbishop is Knowles, David, Archbishop Thomas Becket: A Character Study (London, 1949); Knowles is publishing a new biography of Becket in 1970. Among the better works are the sound, but brief, introduction to Greenaway, George (ed. and tr.), The Life and Death of Thomas Becket, Chancellor of England and Archbishop of Canterbury (London, 1961); Radford, Lewis B., Thomas of London before His Consecration [Cambridge Historical Essays, VII] (Cambridge, 1894), which treats of Thomas as chancellor; Tout, T. F., “The Place of Saint Thomas of Canterbury in History,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, VI (1921), 235–65, a study too ecclesiastical in emphasis and too uncritical of the subject. Of the scissors-and-paste school of historical writing, the least inadequate is the pleasingly written but shallow Winston, Richard, Thomas Becket (New York, 1967). Dark, Sidney, St. Thomas of Canterbury (London, 1927), is a deplorable example of unabashed propaganda. Urry, William, Canterbury under the Angevin Kings (London, 1967), an exemplary study, has material of pertinence for the history of Becket. Special aspects of the Becket tradition are well treated by Abbot, E. A., St. Thomas of Canterbury, His Death and Miracles (London, 1898); and Brown, Paul Alonzo, The Development of the Legend of Thomas Becket (Philadelphia, 1930), a solid literary study. Püschel, Brita, Thomas a Becket in der Literatur [Beiträge zur englischen Philologie, Heft 45] (Bochum-Langendreer, 1963), is dreadful. Churchill, Irene J., Canterbury Administration (London, 1933), gives a good picture of archdiocesan administration. Foreville, Raymonde, L'Église et la royauté en Angleterre sous Henri II Plantagenêt (1154–1189) (Paris, 1943), while based on wide reading in the sources and effectively argued, suffers from an adulatory view of Thomas; it is not definitive, although it is most interesting.

16. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, pp. 267, 294, 318.

17. Stubbs, William, The Constitutional History of England, I (6th ed.; London, 1897), 498.

18. Pacaut, Marcel, Alexandre III: Étude sur la conception du pouvoir pontifical dans sa pensée et dans son oeuvre (Paris, 1956), p. 162.

19. Freeman, , “Thomas and His Biographers,” Historical Essays, p. 106.

20. Radford, , Thomas of London, p. 238.

21. Russell, Josiah Cox, “The Canonization of Opposition to the King in Angevin England,” in Anniversary Essays in Mediaeval History by Students of Charles Homer Haskins, ed. Taylor, C. H. and LaMonte, John L. (Boston, 1929), p. 280.

22. Stubbs, William (ed.), Gesta Regis Henrici II (London, 1867), II, xxix. For an amusing criticism by a serious historian, see Cantor, Norman F., The English (New York, 1967), pp. 162, 163, 164: Thomas had “a need to identify himself with an authoritarian institution,” he “submerged his personal frustrations [owing to his bourgeois origins] in service to the Heavenly City,” and he was the victim of an “increasingly disordered mind.”

23. Brooke, C. N. L., in John of Salisbury, Letters, ed. Millor, W. J. and Butler, H. E., I (Edinburgh and London, 1955), xxvii.

24. Knowles, Becket, passim; Tout, , “Thomas,” Bull. of Rylands Library, VI, passim; Brooke, , English Church, p. 193. For a warm yet judicious appraisal of the man, see Hutton, W. H., Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury (Cambridge, 1926), pp. 251 ff.

25. Poole, , Domesday Book to Magna Carta, p. 199.

26. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, p. 303, and Law and Legislation, p. 63.

27. For criminous clerks in canon law and allied matters, see works cited in nn. 13 and 14 above and the following studies: Brooke, Z. N., “The Effect of Becket's Murder on Papal Authority in England,” Cambridge Historical Journal, II (19261928), 213–28, which presents the traditional view of church-state relations in Stephen's reign. Cheney, C. R., “Legislation of the Medieval English Church,” E.H.R., L (1935), 193–224, 385417, and “The Punishment of Felonous Clerks,” ibid., LI (1936), 215–36, which is quite good both on canon law and on English peculiar practice; concentrating primarily on the period after 1170, it shows the uncertainties and changes in curial policy between the pontificate of Alexander III and the publication of the Decretals. Also, Mary Cheney, “The Compromise of Avranches, 1172, and the Spread of Canon Law in England,” ibid., LVI (1941), 177–97, especially strong on appeals and on advowsons; Duggan, Charles, Twelfth Century Decretal Collections and Their Importance in English History [University of London Historical Studies, XII] (London, 1963), which should be considered with his other important contributions, “Conquest,” “Becket Dispute,” and “Reception of Canon Law.” The standard general work remains Fournier, Paul and Lebras, Gabriel, Histoire des collections canoniques en Occident (Paris, 19311932). Gabel, Leona, Benefit of Clergy in England in the Later Middle Ages [Smith College Studies in History, XIV, Nos. 1–4] (Northampton, 19281929), is sound; Génestal, R., Le Privilegium fori en France [Bibliothèque de l'École des Hautes Études, Sciences religieuses] (Paris, 1921, 1924), remains essential to a study of the topic. Lillie, H. W. R., “St. Thomas of Canterbury's Opposition to Henry II,” Clergy Review, VIII (1934), 261–83, is superseded by Duggan's work. Maitland, F. W., “Henry II and the Criminous Clerks,” E.H.R., VII (1892), 224–34 (reprinted in Roman Canon Law), presents the traditional view that Henry II had the support of canon law concerning the issue of benefit of clergy. Plucknett, T. F. T., A Concise History of the Common Law (5th ed.; Boston, 1956), gives examples of the privilegium fori at work in the royal courts. Volumes which remain important contributions are SirPollock, Frederick and Maitland, F. W., The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I (2nd ed.; Cambridge, 1911), I, 426–40; Poole, Austin Lane, “Outlawry as a Punishment of Criminous Clerks,” in Historical Essays in Honour of James Tail, ed. Edwards, J. G., Galbraith, V. H., and Jacob, E. F. (Manchester, 1933), pp. 239–46; Makower, , Constitutional History, pp. 399416. Foreville, L'Église et la royauté, is an erudite and forceful defense of the archbishop.

28. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, pp. 285–86.

29. Morris, Colin, “William I and the Church Courts,” E.H.R., LXXXII (1967), 449–63.

30. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, pp. 285–86.

31. Ibid., p. 286; Knowles, David, The Monastic Order in England (Cambridge, 1950), p. 594, disagrees. On lay Eigenkirchen, the standard work remains Thomas, Paul, Le Droit de propriété des laïques sur les églises et le patronage au moyen âge [Bibliothèque de l'École des Hautes Études, Sciences religieuses] (Paris, 1906); the subject deserves restudy. For England, Böhmer, Heinrich, “Das Eigenkirchentum in England,” Texte und Forschungen zur englischen Kulturgeschichte: Festgabe für Felix Liebermann (Halle, 1921), pp. 301–53, says little of the practice after the eleventh century. Knowles, , Monastic Order, pp. 592 ff., is concerned with monastic, rather than lay, proprietorship. Gray, , “Ius praesentandi,” E.H.R., LXVII, and Flahiff's studies deal thoroughly with advowson and related matters.

32. Duggan, , “Reception of Canon Law,” Congress of Medieval Canon Law, pp. 360–61.

33. Foreville, , L'Église et la royauté, p. 161.

34. The Constitutions may be consulted in Stubbs, , Select Charters, pp. 163–67. Clauses iii, iv, vii, viii were condemned by the archbishop; the others mentioned, by the Pope.

35. For good material on the exequatur, see Brooke, , English Church, pp. 117–46; Cantor, Norman F., Church, Kingship, and Lay Investiture in England, 1089–1135 (Princeton, 1958), pp. 1234.

36. Brooke, , English Church, p. 206; Tout, , “Thomas,” Bull. of Rylands Library, VI, 248, agrees that for Thomas the question of the customs' antiquity was irrelevant — if they were truly ancient, “so much the worse for the customs.” Poole, , Domesday Book to Magna Carta, pp. 206–07, wrote that the Constitutions “represented not unfairly the practice of the past”; Foreville, , L'Église et la royauté, pp. 154–55, agrees. Knowles, , Episcopal Colleagues, p. 133, argues against the Constitutions. First, they were not traditional; they “had no ancestry in the history of either the Empire or Papacy.” More important, he finds them not customary if tradition be permitted to embrace practices antedating the Conquest. His other objections are beyond dispute: the Constitutions were incongruous with the “international and administrative movements” of their own time, and the effort to make England a self-contained unit was quixotic in the later twelfth century.

37. Maitland, , “Criminous Clerks,” E.H.R., VII, 226. He is followed by Génestal, , Privilegium fori, II, 97; Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, p. 303, and Law and Legislation, p. 64; and by virtually all others who have commented on the problem.

38. Richardson, and Sayles, , Law and Legislation, p. 64, and Governance, p. 304; Génestal, , Privilegium fori, II, 97; Gabel, , Benefit of Clergy, p. 14; Brooke, , English Church, p. 204. Cf. Cheney, , “Felonous Clerks,” E.H.R., LI, 215: “Earlier custom, in England as elsewhere, provided that a clerk, convicted and degraded in court christian, should be punished in the lay court,” and the church had acquiesced in this.

39. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, p. 306; Saltman, , Theobald, p. 161.

40. Ibid., p. 124.

41. Duggan, , “Reception of Canon Law,” Congress of Medieval Canon Law, p. 359.

42. Duggan, , “Becket Dispute,” Bull. Inst. Hist. Res., XXXV, 1415; cf. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, pp. 285, 313.

43. Duggan, , “Becket Dispute,” Bull. Inst. Hist. Res., XXXV, 3; cf. Foreville, , L'Église et la royauté, p. 151.

44. Duggan, , “Becket Dispute,” Bull. Inst. Hist. Res., XXXV, 4. The last idea was advanced before Becket's pontificate by (e.g.) John of Salisbury, Policraticus, ed. Webb, C. C. J. (Oxford, 1909), II, 788. Interestingly, Becket's implacable enemy, Gilbert Foliot, was unyielding in defense of clerical immunity; see Foliot, Letters and Charters, Nos. 117, 170, 197, the last two falling after the beginning of the controversy.

45. Cheney, , “Felonous Clerks,” E.H.R., LI, 216.

46. Ibid., LI, 219.

47. Greenaway, , Life, p. 19. But cf. Tout, , “Thomas,” Bull. of Rylands Library, VI, 249–51, where it is argued that Henry may well have intended to try clergy in royal courts for secular crimes after ecclesiastical trial and degradation.

48. Richardson, and Sayles, , Law and Legislation, pp. 6263.

49. Maitland, , Roman Canon Law, p. 60.

50. Plucknett, , Common Law, p. 18.

51. Flower, C. T., Introduction to the Curia Regis Rolls, 1199–1230 [Selden Society, LXII] (London, 1944), pp. 106–07. For a random sample of corroborative evidence, the following are useful. Of 1,153 cases enrolled in the plea and assize rolls for Yorkshire in 1218-19, two cases only involve benefit of clergy: Stenton, Doris M. (ed.), Rolls of the Justices in Eyre … for Yorkshire in 3 Henry III [Selden Society, LVI] (London, 1937). Only three cases of clerical immunity appear among 1,352 entries in Stenton, Doris M. (ed.), Rolls of the Justices in Eyre … for Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and Staffordshire, 1221, 1222 [Selden Society, LXI] (London, 1940). Maitland, F. W. (ed.), Select Pleas of the Crown [Selden Society, I] (London, 1888), prints 203 cases; of these, thirteen touch benefit of clergy, and of this number, three were false pleas (Nos. 43, 135, 140, the last showing a mysteriously fresh tonsure upon an accused).

52. Gabel, , Benefit of Clergy, p. 8.

53. Richardson, and Sayles, , Law and Legislation, p. 61. Knowles, David, The Historian and Character and Other Essays (Cambridge, 1963), p. 9, points out that “the [historical] moment will bring out what is most significant in [men], even if it be only great folly.”

54. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, pp. 306–07.

55. Ibid., p. 307.

56. Ibid., pp. 296–300; Cheney, , Becket to Langton, pp. 4849, notes appeals in 1128, 1139, and 1153. Duggan, , “Conquest,” English Church and Papacy, p. 85, stated that there was “ample evidence” of appeals before the legatine commission of Henry of Blois (1139), although he noted that “it is possible that papal judges delegate with explicit commissions and mandates can first be clearly traced from this time.”Saltman, , Theobald, p. 143 and n. 1, wrote that “it was only under Theobald that appeals to the pope became a normal part of the procedure in English ecclesiastical causes in accordance with Canon Law,” adding that “down to 1135 appeals to the pope were exceptional.” He observes further that appeals to the Curia from archdeacons' and higher church courts were to the derogation, not of the King's dignity, but of the archbishop's, as was the appointment of judges-delegate; ambiguous evidence that royal license was required before an appeal could be carried to Rome temp. Stephen is presented in ibid., p. 155.

57. Cheney, , “Compromise of Avranches,” E.H.R., LVI, 85.

58. Cheney, , Becket to Langton, p. 89; Morey, Adrian and Brooke, C. N. L., Gilbert Foliot and His Letters (Cambridge, 1965), p. 235 (pp. 234 ff. contain a lucid discussion of the topic).

59. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, pp. 308–09.

60. Poole, , Domesday Book to Magna Carta, p. 207.

61. Knowles, , Episcopal Colleagues, pp. 142–43. Cf. Barlow, Frank, “A View of Archbishop Lanfranc,” Jour. of Eccles. Hist., XVI (1965), 175: “In the secular sphere a man was either a good and loyal vassal or a faithless perjurer.” Foliot's open letter Multiplicem nobis accepts the distinction between a bishop as tenantin-chief and as ecclesiastic. Foliot, Letters and Charters, No. 170. When Stephen harried Roger of Salisbury and his familia, the King claimed that he was dispossessing them as royal servants and as feudatories, not as bishops. Davis, , King Stephen, pp. 2537; cf. Knowles, , Episcopal Colleagues, pp. 151–52.

62. Jolliffe, J. E. A., Angevin Kingship (2nd ed.; London, 1963), pp. 52, 5556. Chapter iv of this stimulating work discusses the King's ira et malevolentia as a political weapon and notices the employment of the King's official rage against the unfortunate Thomas.

63. Ibid., p. 98

64. For the development of Becket's ecclesiology while in exile, see Foreville, , L'Église et la royauté, pp. 156 ff., 214 ff. A perceptive account of the Pope's increasingly uncomfortable diplomatic and political position is presented by Pacaut, Alexandre III, pp. 126–31, 153–71; the latter is especially interesting in showing Alexander's caution and prudence, Becket's growing intemperance and rigidity.

65. Bolt, Robert, A Man for All Seasons (London, 1962), Act I, p. 20.

66. John of Salisbury to Bartholomew of Exeter, in Robertson, J. C. (ed.), Materials for the History of Thomas Becket [Rolls Series] (London, 18751885), V, 544–45, ep. 226.

67. Foliot, Letters and Charters, No. 170. For learned discussions of this famous letter, see Morey, and Brooke, , Gilbert Foliot, pp. 166–87; Knowles, , Episcopal Colleagues, pp. 122 ff., App. vii.

68. Maitland, , Roman Canon Law, p. 57.

69. Knowles, , Episcopal Colleagues, p. 4. The following important studies have been published to supplement those listed in Poole, , Domesday Book to Magna Carta, p. 500: Morey and Brooke, Gilbert Foliot, ch. ix, which details the relations of Gilbert and Thomas; Mayr-Harting, Henry, “Hilary, Bishop of Chichester (1147–69) and Henry II,” E.H.R., LXXVIII (1963), 209–24; Scammell, Geoffrey, Hugh du Puiset (Cambridge, 1956); Voss, Heinrich von Blois. Also relevant are Saltman, Theobald; Webb, C. C. J., John of Salisbury (London, 1932). Knowles, Episcopal Colleagues, Preface, correctly notes that there was no meaningful ideological division between Thomas and his bench; see also Tout, , “Thomas,” Bull. of Rylands Library, VI, who said it was Thomas's rashness and recklessness, rather than his cause, which alienated the bishops.

70. For the history of the dispute between the two jurisdictions, see Dueball, M., Der Suprematstreit zwischen den Erzdiözen Canterbury und York Ebering's historische Studien, Heft 184] (Berlin, 1929); Johnson, Charles (ed. and tr.), Hugh the Chantor, History of the Church of York, 1066–1127 (London and Edinburgh, 1961), Introduction; Southern, R. W., St. Anselm and His Biographer (Cambridge, 1963), pp. 127 ff.; Godfrey, John, The Church in Anglo-Saxon England (Cambridge, 1962), pp. 421 ff.; Barlow, Frank, The English Church, 1000–1066 (London, 1963), pp. 232 ff.; Cantor, Church, Kingship, and Lay Investiture, pp. 300–09; Nicholl, Donald, Thurstan, Archbishop of York (1114–1140) (York, 1964), chs. ii, iii, iv; Southern, R. W., “The Canterbury Forgeries,” E.H.R., LXXIII (1958), 193226; Mayr-Harting, , “Henry II and the Papacy,” Jour. of Eccles. Hist., XVI, 4648. For Becket's defense of Canterbury's privileges, see Foreville, , L'Église et la royauté, pp. 231 ff. For a clear analysis of London's claims to metropolitan status, see Knowles, , Episcopal Colleagues, pp. 4748, App. iii; also Morey, and Brooke, , Gilbert Foliot, pp. 151 ff.

71. Greenaway, , Life, p. 25.

72. Scammell, , Hugh du Puiset, p. 167; cf. Knowles, Episcopal Colleagues, passim, where he is found to be virtually without redeeming qualities. For Thurstan, see Nicholl, Thurstan.

73. Delisle, Léopold and Berger, Élie (eds.), Recueil des actes d'Henri II (Paris, 1916), I, 433 (No. cclxxxv, to Alexander III).

74. In addition to general studies of the Becket controversy, see Heslin, Ann, “The Coronation of the Young King in 1170,” in Studies in Church History, ed. Cuming, G. J. [Ecclesiastical History Society] (London, 1965), II, 165–78. For Canterbury's rights, see Schramm, Percy, A History of the English Coronation (Oxford, 1937), pp. 40 ff.

75. Arnulf of Lisieux, Letters, ed. Barlow, Frank [Camden Society; third series, LXI] (London, 1939), ep. 59 (to Alexander III).

76. Knowles, , Episcopal Colleagues, p. 139: Such an absolution would have been “against justice and papal authority.” Brooke, , English Church, p. 211, presented the view that “it was his fierce vindication of the rights of Canterbury that was really responsible for his murder.”

77. Jolliffe, , Angevin Kingship, p. 106: “It was of the essence of these processes of coercive mischief that they should create a state of extra-legal tension, that they should be as ambiguous as they were intolerable, hinted to royal bailiffs, conveyed without words, put out of sight and abandoned if they became likely to embroil the King further than he cared to go. It was a kind of calculated playing with fire, such as frightened Becket out of England and allowed Henry's Kentish servants to believe that they could receive him on his return as the King's enemy; the same which Henry confessed to Pope Alexander in the first shock of the martyrdom.”

78. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, p. 310, where the agreement is wrongly dated 1178.

79. Cheney, , “Felonous Clerks,” E.H.R., LI, 219–20, 216.

80. Duggan, , “Becket Dispute,” Bull. Inst. Hist. Res., XXXV, 2.

81. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, p. 268.

82. Shaw, , “Ecclesiastical Policy,” Church Quarterly Rev., CLI, 141–42.

83. Ibid., CLI, 154-55.

84. Duggan, , “Reception of Canon Law,” Congress of Medieval Canon Law, p. 360; but cf. Richardson, and Sayles, , Law and Legislation, p. 62, n. 7. Shaw, , “Ecclesiastical Policy,” Church Quarterly Rev., CLI, 146–47.

85. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, p. 312.

86. Round, John Horace (ed.), Calendar of Documents Preserved in France (London, 1899), I, No. 1318.

87. Richardson, and Sayles, , Governance, pp. 312, 268 and n. 1.

88. Mayr-Harting, , “Henry II and the Papacy,” Jour. of Eccles. Hist., XVI, 5253.

89. Duggan, , “Reception of Canon Law,” Congress of Medieval Canon Law, p. 361.

90. Cheney, Becket to Langton, passim, esp. chs. iii, iv.

91. Morey, Adrian, Bartholomew of Exeter, Bishop and Canonist (Cambridge, 1937), p. 77; see also Knowles, , Epıscopal Colleagues, p. 134.

92. Cheney, , “Compromise of Avranches,” E.H.R., LVI, 197.

93. Cantor, , Church, Kingship, and Lay Investiture, p. 320.

94. Southern, St. Anselm, which is definitive; Cantor, Church, Kingship, and Lay Investiture; Barlow, English Church; Cheney, Becket to Langton. Foreville, L'Église et la royauté, does not live up to the promise of its title, despite its author's vast learning; the history of the church under Henry II remains to be written.

95. For the conflicts under Anselm, see Southern, St. Anselm, ch. iv, “Anselm as Archbishop.”

96. Ibid., pp. 150-51.

97. Ibid., p. 162.

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Journal of British Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9371
  • EISSN: 1545-6986
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-british-studies
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