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


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 367

XIV.] CONFLICTS AND JEALOUSIES. 361 ' ever rises pricked at heart from the reading of the laws, or even of the canons1 ? ' The practice of these studies stood to theology, stood to religion itself, in the relation in which the casuistry of the confessional stood to true moral teaching. When however we turn, as we must do, to consider the attitude of the national law and the national lawyers, we see more distinctly how incompatible were the systems which, for four hundred years, from the Conquest to the Reformation, stood side by side, with rival bodies of administrators and rival or conflicting processes. Look first at the area of matters with which the canon law assumed to deal : it claimed jurisdiction over everything that had to do with the souls of men, and I think there is scarcely a region of social obligation into which, so defined, it would not claim to enter. It claimed authority over the clergy, in matters civil and criminal, in doctrine and practice, in morals and in manners, education and dress, in church and out. It claimed authority over all suits in which clergymen were parties, or in which ecclesiastical property was involved; I say, mark you, claimed, rather than exercised, for some of these are the points in which the struggle with the national law arises. It claimed authority over the belief and morals of the laity, in the most comprehensive way. The whole of the matrimonial jurisdiction, the whole of the testamentary jurisdiction was, we know, specially regarded as a branch of canon law ; but by its jurisdiction for correction of life, 'pro salute animae,' it entered into every man's house; attempted to regulate his servants, to secure his attendance at church, to make him pay his debts, to make him observe his oaths, to make him by spiritual censures, which by the alliance with the State had coercive force, by the dread of a writ of capias excommunicaium, to keep all the weightier matters of the law, not only 1 Job.. Salisb. i. 196, epist. 138.

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