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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 291



The known grievances of the English church. The English church is intolerably oppressed in an infinite number of ways. In the matter of the tithe of all its goods ; in that of the aid exacted in haste ; in that of the money extorted for the soldiers ; in that of the subsidy extorted under various pretences by the agency of Otho the legate ; in that of the contribution of six thousand marks ; in that of the sabsidy of the Roman empire ; in that of the subsidy lately granted gratuitously ; in that of the subsidies demanded on the part of the lord the king and the archbishop of Canterbury : all these matters haying been carried forward in an intolerable manner and in a bitter spirit, devoid of all affection or idea of devotion. And therefore it has all been expended uselessly, and (to sum up all in one word) lost. What kind of answer was given to brother John at Saint Alban9s and at Westminster. But when the aforesaid brother John had come to Saint Albans, he exacted, without admitting any excuse from the abbot, who was already oppressed in various manners, the sum of four hundred marks as a subsidy for the lord the pope. And as he was in every respect inexorable and inflexible being unwilling to remit anything whatever of this exaction, the abbot before mentioned, alone of all those who were exempt, appealed to the presence of the lord the pope, in respect of the intolerable grievance of this exaction, preferring to submit to the pope's judgment, rather than to be crushed at the pleasure of one of the Minor brethren. And while one of the brethren was preparing for the journey, this same brother John immediately sent word to the lord the pope, that the abbot of Saint Alban'β alone, among all who were exempt, had appealed, not caring to obey the papal mandates. On which, that brother whom the abbot sent to the court of Rome, found the lord the pope exceedingly exasperated and inflamed against both the abbot and his messenger. But after the lord the pope, being somewhat appeased, had lent a gentle ear to the relation of that same messenger, he exposed the grievances of the house of Saint Alban' s, and besides that, the insupportable exactions of brother John, in regular order. At which the pope, feeling pity for them, abated his displeasure, and took off a great portion of the money previously demanded. But when the aforesaid brother John had come to Westminster with the same object, namely, of exacting money for the use


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