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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 273



forewarned by some of his faithful friends, escaped the toils of those who were plotting against him. And writing on the subject of this circumstance to the king of England, and to many other of the princes of the world, he asserted that when these criminals had, as they well deserved, been condemned to death, that they had confessed that they had embarked in their unfortunate undertaking in consequence of the contrivance and prompting of the lord the pope himself; by which statement, the fame of the pope was blackened in no small degree. And, therefore, the hearts of many persons abandoned their affection for the pope, who, both on account of the implacable hatred which he still obstinately cherished againBt Frederic, even in spite of his humbling himself before him, and also because of the manifest tokens of his insatiable avarice, turned the filial devotion which all men ought to have felt towards him into curses and hatred, to the great peril of their own souls. Therefore, the pope, deriving boldness from past events, in order to trample on the miserable English, and, when he had trampled on them, to pauperize them more and more, and seeing that they were scattered and deprived of all courage and strength, signified, in a more imperious tone than usual, to the prelates of England, that all the beneficed clergy in England, who resided on their benefices, should, for the next three years, pay one-third of their receipts to the lord the pope, and that all who did not so reside should pay onehalf, adding many other hard conditions, which made the aforesaid command more stringent ; and, at first, he appointed the bishop of London to see to the diligent execution of this command. Therefore, the bishop, with some other persons whom he had summoned to set this order before them, explained it openly in the church of Saint Paul to the clergy there assembled, to whom he spoke of this " terrible imposition," and he excited all who heard of it to great amazement and grief, because what was commanded by the pope seemed and was impossible ; and lo ! there came besides, on the part of the king, who was no longer able to conceal this circumstance, the lord John of Lexington, a knight, and Master Lawrence of Saint Martin's, one of the secular clergy, strictly forbidding, in the name of the king, any one in the whole kingdom of England from in any respect complying with this execrable command of the pope. And when they brought this order, the others cheerfully complied with it : and these things were done on


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