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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 354



to the difficulties to which too ready acceptance of the reformed jurisprudence would expose him. How great a lawyer he was I need not tell you; how directly his difficulties were owing to the new doctrines of the canon lawyers we know from the history of Becket. I will only mention two points that illustrate his permanent relation to the subject : first, his Assize of Darrein Presentment removed all questions of advowsons and presentations from the ecclesiastical courts where they were the source of constant appeals to Rome ; and secondly, by the Constitutions of Clarendon he did his best to limit the powers of the ecclesiastical lawyers in criminal matters and in all points touching secular interests. Against this must be set the fact that to his days must be fixed the final sliding of testamentary jurisdiction into the hands of the bishops, which was by the legislation of the next century permanently left there, in a way which, however accordant with the policy of the papacy, was an exception to the rule of the rest of Christendom. Henry, although not by any known assize or constitution, must have restrained the ecclesiastical judicature from interfering in secular matters, except in the two points of matrimony, which was closely connected with a sacramental theory, and of testamentary business. These two, however, furnished matter sufficiently'remunerative for a school of church lawyers ; and the more distinctly ecclesiastical jurisdiction over spiritual things and persons pro vided much more. A thoroughly learned class of civil and canon lawyers is required over and above the thoroughly learned class of common law and (to anticipate a little) chancery lawyers of the royal courts. Here then we begin to mark signs of increasing divergence. The common lawyers of England, the men who tread in the steps of Glanville, who are closely allied with the baronage and with the customary theories of prerogative,


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