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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 389



caster ; over those of Essex, Middlesex, and the other half of Hertford, the bishop of which has his see in London ; oyer Norfolk and Suffolk there are two bishops, the bishop of Helmham and the bishop of Dommuc ; he also ruled oyer the province of Nottingham, the Christian government of which province belongs to the archbishop of York. And from all these provinces the aforesaid king gave the donation of the blessed Peter, which has been spoken of before, and which is called in English ftametfrot. Moreover, that most mighty king, Offa, gave to the blessed proto-martyr Alban, his own lordly town, which is about twenty miles from Verulamium, and is called jftutflah), and an equal space round it, as is testified to this day by the writings of the king which are contained in the afore-mentioned church. Which church is eminent for such extraordinary liberties and privileges, that it is the only place exempt from the apostolic customs, and from the payment which is called ftomtrtot, though neither king nor archbishop, nor bishop, abbot nor prior, nor any one else in the whole kingdom is exempt from the payment of it. And the abbot* or .archdeacon monk, appointed under him, exercises pontifical power over priests and laymen throughout his whole possessions, so that he owes no obedience to any archbishop or legate, save only to the Supreme Pontiff. This also should be known, that when 'the great king Offa granted this established revenue to the vicar of the blessed Peter, the pontiff of the Roman city, when, that is to say, he gave him the payment of ftemtfcot throughout his realm, he also prevailed on the Roman pontiff to grant that the church of Alban, the proto-martyr of the Angles, might faithfully collect this same XUmuttot from the whole of the province of Hertford, in which this church that we have so often mentioned is situated, and having collected it, might retain it for its own use. On which account, as the church itself has, as a gift from the king, all manner of royal rights, so the abbot of the place for the time being has a right to wear the full pontifical ornaments. And this is enough to say at the present time about the holy Alban. A.D. 795. Humbert, archbishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded by Higbert. The same year, some terrible prodigies alarmed the miserable nation of the English. For fearful lightnings and dragons, blazing in a dreadful manner, were seen to fly through the air. signs which foreshowed a mighty famine,


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