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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

The archbishop put in by Godwin


In

the Germanic countries also this close alliance of hierarchy and chivalry now sought to win influence, but here it met with a strenuous resistance. In England, Edward the Confessor had tried to prepare the way for it: Godwin and his house opposed it. And when the former named the Norman Robert Archbishop of Canterbury, and the latter drove him out, the English quarrels became connected with those of Rome; Stigand, the archbishop put in by Godwin, received his pallium from Pope Benedict X, who had been elected in the old tumultuous manner once more by the neighbouring Roman barons, but had to succumb to Hildebrand's zeal for a regular election by the cardinals, on which the emancipation of the Papacy depended. It seemed, then, intolerable at Rome that there should be a primate of the English Church, connected by his Church position with a phase of the supreme priesthood now condemned and abolished: it is very intelligible that this priesthood in its present form took up a hostile position towards the England of that time. In this, moreover, it found an ally ready to act in Duke William of Normandy, who wished to be regarded as the born champion of the Anglo-Saxon dynasty, and as the natural successor to its rights. Once already his father had collected a fleet to restore the exiled Aethelings, and was only kept back from an invasion by unfavourable weather. There had often since been rumours, that Edward had destined Duke William to be his successor; men asserted that Harold had
previously recognised this right, and that in return William's daughter, and a part of the land as an independent possession, had been promised him.[12] In his own position William had cleared the ground for himself with a strong hand. He had beaten his feudal lord in the open field, and thus not only recovered a frontier fortress lost during his minority, but also strengthened the independence of the duchy. At the same time William had vanquished his rebellious vassals in arms, banished them, deprived them of their possessions, and got rid, with the Pope's consent, of an archbishop who was allied with them. Death freed him from another mighty opponent, the Duke of Brittany, who threatened him with a great maritime expedition. It throws a certain light on his policy, to see how he made himself master of the county of Maine in 1062. On the ground that Count Heribert, whom he had supported in his quarrel with Anjou, had become his vassal and made him his heir,[13] he overran Maine, and put his adherents in possession of the fortresses which commanded the land. However we may decide as to the details told us about his relations to Edward and Harold, it seems undeniable that William had received provisional promises from both--for Harold loved to side with Edward. He was not the man to put up with their being broken. The system, however, which through Harold's accession gained the upper hand in England, was in itself hostile to the Norman one: and that a king of England like the present might some day become dangerous to the duke, amidst all the other hostilities which threatened him, is clear. To these motives was now added the approbation of the Roman See. The Pope's chief Council deliberated on the enterprise, above all did the archdeacon of the Church, Hildebrand, declare himself in its favour. He was reproached--then or at a later time--with being the author of bloodshed; he declared that his conscience acquitted him, since he knew well, that the higher William mounted, the more useful he would be to the Church.[14] Alexander II now sent the duke the banner of the Church. As a few years before Robert Guiscard had become duke, so now a Norman duke was to become king, in the service of the Church. The Normans were still divided in their views as to the enterprise, but when this news arrived, all opposition ceased, for in the service of S. Peter and the Church men believed themselves secure of success; then lay and


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