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NATURE OF ANSELM'S TRIUMPH.
stage of the world. He is thought of as an abstract dreamer and saint, who obeyed the commands of his church without any understanding of their true import, and threw away at the last moment the prize for which he had wasted years of suffering. What had been won, when the king still nominated for benefices and received homage? In reality, Anselm succeeded in every object for which he fought. He obtained the restoration of the Canterbury estates; he procured the holding of synods and the enforcement of church discipline; he established the right of appeal to the pope, and forced the king himself to plead at the Romish tribunal; and he drew an impassable line between church and state. No man hereafter thought that the ring and crozier were held like the sword from the king's hand. The righteousness of the compromise lay in the fact that it left to the state whatever the state could justly claim; the right of suzerainty over national lands; the secular obedience of its clergy. But it freed the church from feudalism; it took away the temptations to simony in the court; it gave the one intellectual class in the nation, the one body in which poor men might rise, a distant and weak sovereign, instead of a king who was close at hand and interested in oppression. Later centuries have cast down the whole structure that Anselm and the men of his day laboriously built up. But thought and nobleness of character are longer-lived than the causes which they consecrate. Luther breaching the walls of Babylon; Loyola bidding the sun go back on the world's dial; La Rochejaquelein falling on the fields of La Vendée; and Garibaldi throwing himself upon Sicily, will be household words to thrill the heart, when the differences for which these men died are consigned to a deeper sepulchre than themselves. The Truth that has saved the world was revealed, not as a system, but as a man.1
The principal sources for the history of the contest of investitures are Anselm's Letters and Eadmer's Vita Anselmi and Historia Novorum. The whole subject has been admirably discussed by Mr. Church in his Essays and Reviews, from which I have derived the greatest assistance.
STEPHEN'S USURPATION.-REASONS OF ITS SUCCESS.-CHURCH AND STATE.-WARS WITH SCOTLAND.-BATTLE OF THE STANDARD.-THE BISHOPS' WAR.—QUARREL WITH THE CHURCH.-THE EMPRESS IN ENGLAND.-CIVIL WAR.—BATTLE OF LINCOLN, AND CAPTURE OF STEPHEN.-MATILDA'S GOVERNMENT.-SIEGE OF WINCHESTER, AND CAPTURE OF ROBERT OF GLOUCESTER.-DESOLATION OF THE COUNTRY.-PEACE.
AS SOON as Henry's death was known through Normandy, the barons, who detested Geoffrey of Anjou, met in council to elect Theobald of Blois, the grandson of William I. by his daughter Adela, and next heir to the throne if Matilda were excluded. The meeting was broken up by the news that Theobald's younger brother, Stephen of Boulogne, had already been crowned in England (December 16). Stephen had left the king's death-bed to achieve his enterprise. Repulsed from Dover and Canterbury, he was rapturously received in London; and secured the royal treasure. His brother Henry, bishop of Winchester, aided him with the vast influence of the church, and a council of peers elected him. It was said that Henry's marriage had been uncanonical, and that his daughter could not inherit. The consciences of those who had sworn to support Matilda's succession, were calmed by the oath of Hugh Bigot, that the king on his death-bed had disinherited his son
1 "This is evidently the correct date for the coronation of king Stephen; it is supported by the authority of Hoveden, Annals of Waverley, Dunstaple, and Brompton; the Saxon Chronicle places it on Midwinter Day, or December 25; Malmesbury and the Chronicle of Melrose give December 22."-Hemingburgh, vol. i., p. 55; note by Mr. Hamilton.
Foliot, Epist. 79. Foliot observes that this, by implication, annulled the oath which had been made to the empress on the supposition that she was legiClearly the respect for marriage had increased among Norman nobles since the days of William the Bastard.
ELEMENTS OF STEPHEN'S STRENGTH.
in-law. Stephen, was personally popular. He was the type of the better class of Norman barons of the time. Invested by Henry with the large estates of Robert de Belesme, he had proved a hard master to his vassals, and especially to the towns; and his chief distinction was derived from skilful piracies on the Flemish trade. He was not too scrupulous to betray a benefactor or assassinate a rival.1 But he was an open, genial, free-handed man, with a word and jest for all about him, and with flashes of knightly generosity; his weaknesses were those of an impulsive character, which the last counsel of his friends, or the whim of the moment, swayed; but his bravery, and some skill in generalship, redeemed him from contempt. The causes of his election lie in the times and his own character. The great nobles did not consciously desire anarchy. They wished for a good soldier, who would put down the disorderly outbreaks that followed the news of Henry's death; when all the game in the royal forests was destroyed, and bands of outlaws scoured the country. Now Stephen had precisely that irregular energy which fitted him to discharge the minor duties of government. But the barons further desired to be independent on their own estates, and they calculated on obtaining much from a weak king with a bad title. It had been Henry's policy to employ new men or foreigners, and reward them with titles and estates; the old families hated and scorned the parvenus, whom they hoped that a new dynasty would despoil. A similar feeling may have determined the Londoners in their steady support of Stephen's fortunes; it is probable that the governing body in the metropolis was at this time chiefly Norman. Unhappily, there were other means of securing a throne besides the loyalty of its subjects. Troops of Flemish and Breton mercenaries had already flocked over to England, and were readily taken into the king's pay.
The church had even greater interests at stake. The
Henry had married him to the heiress of the countship of Boulogne, and had given him the county of Mortain (Orderic, vol. iv., p. 189), so that all his fortunes were derived from the king.-Newburgh, lib. i., c. 4.
COMPACT WITH THE CHURCH.
charter which Stephen granted at the Easter meeting in Oxford (1136 A.D.), and the decrees of the Westminster synod (1138 A.D.), show what the church claimed and the king conceded. Stephen promised at Oxford to renounce all claim to the property of intestate clergymen, to repress all simony, and to confirm the church in the possession of all estates which it had enjoyed by an uncontested title at the death of the conqueror, or which the piety of the faithful had since then. conferred. The bishops' right of jurisdiction over all persons ecclesiastical was confirmed, but not defined. The synod of Westminster went further. It abolished all pretensions to freehold property in benefices. It declared that no clerk should receive investiture from a layman, and it ordered all trespassers on church property to be punished with excommunication. These ordinances were in no respect unreasonable for the times; but they increased the difficulties of a divided jurisdiction to such a degree as to make it impossible that church and state could long continue on friendly terms.
At first it seemed as if Stephen would possess his throne in peace. The count of Blois renounced all claim in favour of his brother. The king of France agreed to accept Stephen's homage for Normandy. The pope sent over a brief sanctioning the choice in which the nation was agreed. The new nobility retired in sullen discontent to their estates. Robert of Gloucester appeared to acquiesce in his sister's exclusion. Both Exeter and Bedford were successively taken from nobles who disobeyed the king's summons. The Normans beat back Geoffrey of Anjou from Normandy; and although Stephen, when he visited the duchy (1137 A.D.), was unable, through the misconduct of his mercenaries, to give battle to his rival, he purchased a two years' truce for two thousand marks. But the king's absence was the signal for rebellion in England. The English saw with displeasure the revival of Norman feeling. King David of Scotland had invaded England in the
1 Malmesbury, Hist. Nov., lib. i., pp. 707, 708; Ric. Hagulst., Twysden, 327, 328.
WAR WITH SCOTLAND.
first year of Stephen's usurpation, and, although the sight of a large army and ample concessions induced him to retire, he had refused to violate the homage which he had been the first to swear to Matilda by pledging it anew to her rival. His son Henry had taken the oath for his English fiefs, but, on a visit to Stephen's court, had been insulted and challenged by the haughty Norman nobles, who could not brook the precedence allotted him. David could not forget that, if Matilda's claims were put aside, the succession to England through the Saxon line, whose claims had been recognized by Henry's marriage, devolved upon himself. The Anglo-Norman exiles, who had fled to the Lowlands before Stephen's vigorous rule, urged the Scotch king to assert his rights. Matilda implored him to espouse the cause of his niece and grand-nephew. It was agreed that a Scotch army should pour down upon the north while the English rose in revolt. Before the plan could be executed, the conspiracy was discovered by Nigel, bishop of Ely, and one of the ablest statesmen of his time. A few of the more insignificant rebels were punished with the gallows; the more powerful escaped into Scotland, or remained, suspected but not arrested, awaiting and urging the advent of a Scotch army. David had once professed to desire nothing but the leave to die in peace. Even now he did not venture to claim more than what might be called the family estates: the
1 The whole history of the conspiracy and the Scotch war is very complicated. There is no foundation for Thierry's statement that Nigel came to a knowledge of the conspiracy in the confessional. Orderic is the only writer who mentions the plot in express terms. If he is right in his date (1137 a.d.), we are justified in assuming it as a cause, not a consequence, of the Scotch invasion. But there is a passage in Richard of Hagolstadt which perhaps completes the scanty notice in Orderic: "Eâ tempestate quidam pestilentes ✶ ✶ detestabili concordiâ in unum convenerunt. Hujus vero execrabilis sodalitii Eadgarus filius nothus Cospatrici comitis et Robertus et Uchtred filii Meldred principales ac duces erant."-Twysden, 323. He goes on to say that they ravaged Northumbria; the date being in the autumn of 1137 A.D., after the Battle of the Standard. Probably the plot was of the slightest kind possible, and the conspirators men of no great position or influence, who counted vaguely on rousing the hatred of race, and whose interest, such as it was, lay altogether in the north.