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who had already received investitures from the crown; and he only required of them some submissions for their past misconduct'. He also granted Anselm a plenary power of remedying every other disorder, which, he said, might arise from the barbarousness of the country". Such was the idea which the popes then entertained of the English; and nothing can be a stronger proof of the miserable ignorance in which that people were then plunged, than that a man who sat on the papal throne, and who subsisted by absurdities and nonsense, should think himself entitled to treat them as barbarians.
During the course of these controversies, a synod was held at Westminster, where the king, intent only on the main dispute, allowed some canons of less importance to be enacted, which tended to promote the usurpations of the clergy. The celibacy of priests was enjoined; a point which it was still found very difficult to carry into execution: and even laymen were not allowed to marry within the seventh degree of affinity*. By this contrivance, the pope augmented the profits which he reaped from granting dispensations; and likewise those from divorces. For as the art of writing was then rare, and parish registers were not regularly kept, it was not easy to ascertain the degrees of affinity even among people of rank; and any man, who had money sufficient to pay for it, might obtain a divorce, on pretence that his wife was more nearly related to him than was permitted by the canons. The synod also passed a vote, prohibiting the laity from wearing long hair. The aversion of the clergy to this mode was not confined to England. When the king went to Normandy, before he had conquered that province, the bishop of Seeze, in a formal harangue, earnestly exhorted him to redress the manifold disorders under which the government laboured, and to oblige the people to poll their hair in a decent form. Henry, though he would not resign his prerogatives to the church, willingly parted with his hair: he cut it in the
* Ibid. p. 67, 68. Spel.
t Eadmer. P. 87. Concil. vol. ii. p. 22.
u Ibid. p. 91.
form which they required of him, and obliged all the courtiers to imitate his example2.
The acquisition of Normandy was a great point of Henry's ambition; being the ancient patrimony of his family, and the only territory which, while in his possession, gave him any weight or consideration on the continent: but the injustice of his usurpation was the source of great inquietude, involved him in frequent wars, and obliged him to impose on his English subjects those many heavy and arbitrary taxes, of which all the historians of that age unanimously complain. His nephew, William, was but six years of age when he committed him to the care of Helie de St. Saen; and it is probable that his reason for intrusting that important charge to a man of so unblemished a character, was to prevent all malignant suspicions, in case any accident should befal the life of the young prince. He soon repented of his choice; but when he desired to recover possession of William's person, Helie withdrew his pupil, and carried him to the court of Fulk, count of Anjou, who gave him protection". In proportion as the prince grew up to man's estate, he discovered virtues becoming his birth; and wandering through different courts of Europe, he excited the friendly compassion of many princes, and raised a general indignation against his uncle, who had so unjustly bereaved him of his inheritance. Lewis the gross, son of Philip, was at this time king of France, a brave and generous prince, who, having been obliged, during the lifetime of his father, to fly into England, in order to escape the persecutions of his stepmother Bertrude, had been protected by Henry, and had thence conceived a personal friendship for him. But these ties were soon dissolved after the accession of Lewis, who found his interests to be in so many particulars opposite to those of the English monarch, and who became sensible of the danger attending the annexation of Normandy to England. He joined,
z. Order. Vitalis, p. 816. a Eadmer, p. 83. Chron. Sax. p. 211, 212, 213.219, 220. 228. H. Hunting. p. 380. Hoveden, p. 470. Ann. Waverl. p. 143. b Order. Vitalis, p. 837.
therefore, the counts of Anjou and Flanders in giving dis- 1110. quiet to Henry's government; and this monarch, in order to defend his foreign dominions, found himself obliged to go over to Normandy, where he resided two years. The war which ensued among those princes was attended with no memorable event, and produced only slight skirmishes on the frontiers, agreeably to the weak condition of the sovereigns in that age, whenever their subjects were not roused by some great and urgent occasion. Henry, by contracting his eldest son, William, to the daughter of Fulk, detached that prince from the alliance, and obliged the others to come to an accommodation with him. This peace was not of long duration. His nephew William retired to the court of Baldwin, earl of Flanders, who espoused his cause; and the king of France, having soon after, for other reasons, joined the party, a new war was kindled in Normandy, which produced no event more memorable than had attended the former. At last the death of Baldwin, who was slain in an action near Eu, gave some respite to Henry, and enabled him to carry on war with more advantage against his enemies.
Lewis, finding himself unable to wrest Normandy from the king by force of arms, had recourse to the dangerous expedient of applying to the spiritual power, and of affording the ecclesiastics a pretence to interpose in the temporal concerns of princes. He carried young William to a general council, which was assembled at Rheims by pope Calixtus the second, presented the Norman prince to them, complained of the manifest usurpation and injustice of Henry, craved the assistance of the church for reinstating the true heir in his dominions, and represented the enormity of detaining in captivity so brave a prince as Robert, one of the most eminent champions of the cross, and who, by that very quality, was placed under the immediate protection of the holy see. Henry knew how to defend the rights of his crown with vigour, and yet with dexterity. He had sent over the English bishops to this synod; but at the same time had warned them,
that, if any farther claims were started by the pope or the ecclesiastics, he was determined to adhere to the laws and customs of England, and maintain the prerogatives transmitted to him by his predecessors. "Go," said he to them, "salute the pope in my name; hear his apostolical precepts; but take care to bring none of his new inventions into my kingdom." Finding, however, that it would be easier for him to elude than oppose the efforts of Calixtus, he gave his ambassadors orders to gain the pope and his favourites by liberal presents and promises. The complaints of the Norman prince were thenceforth heard with great coldness by the council; and Calixtus confessed, after a conference which he had the same summer with Henry, and when that prince probably renewed his presents, that, of all men whom he had ever yet been acquainted with, he was, beyond comparison, the most eloquent and persuasive.
The warlike measures of Lewis proved as ineffectual as his intrigues. He had laid a scheme for surprising
Noyon; but Henry, having received intelligence of the
design, marched to the relief of the place, and suddenly attacked the French at Brenneville, as they were advancing towards it. A sharp conflict ensued; where prince William behaved with great bravery, and the king himself was in the most imminent danger. He was wounded in the head by Crispin, a gallant Norman officer, who had followed the fortunes of William ; but being rather animated than terrified by the blow, he immediately beat his antagonist to the ground, and so encouraged his troops by the example, that they put the French to total rout, and had very nearly taken their king prisoner. The dignity of the persons engaged in this skirmish rendered it the most memorable action of the war; for in other respects it was not of great importance. There were nine hundred horsemen who fought on both sides; yet were there only two persons slain. The rest were defended by that heavy armour worn by the cavalry in those Diceto, p.
c H. Hunting. p. 381. M. Paris, p. 47.
times. An accommodation soon after ensued between the kings of France and England; and the interests of young William were entirely neglected in it.
But this public prosperity of Henry was much overbalanced by a domestic calamity which befel him. His Death of prince Wilonly son, William, had now reached his eighteenth year; liam. and the king, from the facility with which he himself had usurped the crown, dreading that a like revolution might subvert his family, had taken care to have him recognised successor by the states of the kingdom, and had carried him over to Normandy, that he might receive the homage of the barons of that duchy. The king, on his return, set sail from Barfleur, and was soon carried by a fair wind out of sight of land. The prince was detained by some accident; and his sailors, as well as their captain, Thomas Fitz-Stephens, having spent the interval in drinking, were so flustered, that, being in a hurry to follow the king, they heedlessly carried the ship on a rock, where she immediately foundered. William was put into the long boat, and had got clear of the ship; when hearing the cries of his natural sister, the countess of Perche, he ordered the seamen to row back, in hopes of saving her: but the numbers who then crowded in, soon sunk the boat; and the prince with all his retinue perished. Above a hundred and forty young noblemen, of the principal families of England and Normandy, were lost on this occasion. A butcher of Rouen was the only person on board who escaped: he clung to the mast, and was taken up next morning by fishermen. Fitz-Stephens also took hold of the mast; but being informed by the butcher that prince William had perished, he said that he would not survive the disaster; and he threw himself headlong into the sea. Henry entertained hopes for three days that his son had put into some distant port of England: but when certain intelligence of the calamity was brought him, he fainted away; and it was remarked, that he never after was seen to smile, nor ever recovered his wonted cheerfulness.
d Order. Vitalis, p. 854. 1 Order. Vitalis, p. 868.
e Sim. Dunelm. p. 242. Alured. Beverl. p. 148.