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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 369



368 ΚΟΠΓ.ΐ: OF WF.SDOVEIÎ. [A.D . 121G. Fiere (tre given the charges of Louis and the barons of England against king John. The first statement laid before our lord the pope again*! king dohn. by tie' aforesaid messenger.*, was, that he had treacherously with his own hands killed his nephew Arthur, bv the worst kind of death, called by the English, murder ; for which crime the said king had been condemned to death at the court of the French king, by the judgment of his peers. To this charge the pope made this opposition, namely, that the barons of France could not adjudge him to death, because he was an anointed king, and therefore their superior ; by the barons, as bis inferiors, he could not be condemned to death, because the higher rank in some measure destroys the power of the inferior ; and besides, it seems contrary to civil law as well as in opposition to the canons, to give sentence of death on a man who is not present, not summoned, convicted, or confessed to be guilty. To this the messengers replied, " It is the custom of the French kingdom that the king should have all kind of jurisdiction over his liege subjects, and the king of England was his liege subject, his count ami duke : therefore, although he was elsewhere an anointed king, vet, as an earl and duke he was under the jurisdiction of our lord, the king of the French. And if an earl or duke committed this offence in the French kingdom, he could, and ought to be condemned to death by his peers ; and even though he were not a duke, or a count, or a liege subject of the king of the French, and had committed the offence in the French kingdom, the barons could, for a crime perpetrated in that kingdom, condemn him to death ; otherwise, if the king of England could not, because he was an anointed king, be condemned to death, he might come into the kingdom of 1·'ranee, and with impunity murder the barons as he murdered Arthur."* In answer to this, the * l'aria here adii* : " Tlie trulli of this matter is as fillomi,—John in fact was not justly or formally deprived of Normandy ; hecanse, when he was deprived of i;, not judicially, |,ut by force, he, to obtain the restoration of it, sent special mcasrngcrs, men of prudence, to Philip, the Trench king, namely, Kustace bishop of Kly, and lluhert de burgh, men of learning and eloquence, to tell that monarch that he would willingly come to his court to iwsert his claim, and to answer all accusations in that matter, on condition that safe conduct was granted him. Philip, though noi with a calm countenance or cordially, replied, · Willingly, let him come


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