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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.
page 230



A.S. 1244. THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTEB DIES. 223 ball,* bat not filled up, for him to fill up himself as he pleased ; but I would hope that this was not the case. Accordingly, the aforesaid Master Martin began to exact presents on all sides from the prelates, in an imperious manner, such as desirable palfreys and precious vessels, and to extort them even by force (especially from those who belonged to any religious orders) for his own use ; (for that man prays foolishly who forgets himself,) and for the use of the pope he extorted sums of money, and prebends to which men had been already elected, using this odious additional form of words, " notwithstanding any privilege to the contrary," &c. And as a certain rich prebend at Salisbury was vacant, the aforesaid Master Martin, a diligent searcher out of such things, laid his greedy and hooked hands upon it, and without consulting, or, I may rather say against the expressed wish of the bishop of that see, he conferred it on a young man, a nephew of the lord the pope. And in a similar manner the unwearied Master Martin before-mentioned conferred other benefices on the kinsmen of the pope, of whom there were an astonishing number, not without causing great astonishment to many persons of experience. For many people believed, and, because they believed, hoped that the Roman court, having been so repeatedly chastised by God, would, in some degree, at least, check its accustomed avarice by the bridle of moderation. But the day week after the feast of the Purification of the blessed Virgin Mary, the vessel of pride, and the fuel of all the quarrels which had arisen between the lord the pope and , the emperor, died, namely, John de Colonna, cardinal of Rome. He was a man of great renown as a warrior, and eminent for his high birth, among all the cardinals, and of great fame and power, as the possessor of many castles and palaces, and of large treasures and revenues. About the same time, Master Roger, the precentor of Salisbury, was confirmed in the bishopric of Bath. Also, a certain monk, taken from the bosom of the church of Evesham, was duly elected and created abbot of that same church. The same year, too, the venerable father the bishop of Chichester, Radulph de Neville, chancellor of England, a pillar of truth, in whose power the whole kingdom was, and the very pedestal of fidelity, terminated his temporal life, and departed to an * The bull, strictly speaking, was a leaden seal affixed to the papal documents.


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