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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2
page 182



A.D. 1199.] COKONATION OF KING JOHN. the day after, which was the eve of our Lord's ascension, he went to London to be crowned there. On his arrival therefore, the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, and all others, whose duty it was to be present at his coronation, assembled together in the church of the chief of the. apostles at Westminster, on the 27th of May, and there Ilubert archbishop of Canterbury placed the crown on his head,* and anointed him king; Philip bishop of Durham, made an appeal to prevent this coronation taking place in the absence of Geoffrey archbishop of York, but did not obtain his wish. At this coronation king John bound himself by a triple oath, namely, to love the holy church and its ordained priests, and to preserve it harmless from the attacks of evil designers, and to do away with bad laws, substituting good ones in their stead, and to see justice rightly administered throughout England, lit; was afterwards adjured by the same archbishop on behalf of God, and strictly forbidden to presume to accept this honour, unless he purposed in his mind, to fulfil in deed, what he had sworn to; in reply to this the king promised that, by God's assistance, be would in all good • Matthew Paris adds ns follows:—"The archbishop,standing in the midst, addressed them thus, ' Hear,n]l of you, and be it known that no one has an antecedent right to succeed another in the kingdom, unless he shall have been unanimously elected, under tiie guidance of the Holy Spirit, on account of the superior merits of his character, after the example of Saul the first anointed king, whom the Lord set over his people, not as the sou of a king, nor as born of royal ancestry. In the same manner, after Saul came David, son of Jesse. Saul was chosen because lie was a biave man, and suited for the royal dignity: David, because lie was holy and humble. Thus those who excelled in vigour are elevated to kingly dignity, lint, if any relations of a deceased king excel others in merit,all siioird the more readily mid zealously consent to his election. W e have said this to maintain the cause of earl John, who is here present, brother of our illus trious king Richard, lately deceased without heirs of his body, and astile said carl John is prudent, active, and indubitably noble, we have, under God's Holy Spirit, unanimously elected him for his merits and his royal blood.' Now the archbishop iras a man of bold character and a support to the kingdom by his steadiness and incomparable wisdom, no one, therefore, dared to dispute what he said, as knowing that he bad good cause lor what he did. Karl John and all who were present acquiesced, and they unanimously elected the earl, crying out, ' God save the king!' .Archbishop Ilubert was afterwards asked why he acted in this manner, to which he replied that he knew John would one day or other bring the kingdom into grent confusion, wherefore lie determined that he should owe his elevation to election and not to hereditary right."


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